Today’s Joanna Page is Richard Curtis’s Love Actually.
Curtis has dominated British comedy, whether it’s been on television or in the cinemas, for nearly three decades now. Following an early stint writing for Not the Nine O’Clock News in the 70s, he started to bestride us like a laughing, Islington-loving colossus the following decade with The Black Adder, its three sequel series and a couple of one-off spin-offs. Within a few years, he became the moving force behind Comic Relief and managed to notch up a couple of movies, including The Tall Guy, starring Jeff Goldblum and Emma Thompson.
In the 90s, he stormed through again, first unleashing Mr Bean on us all, before choosing to take over the world and introduce Hugh Grant to us all with Four Weddings and a Funeral. He went on to write Notting Hill and the screenplay for Bridget Jones’s Diary. He also spent 13 years laughing at country folk for the mysteriously successful The Vicar of Dibley.
Love Actually, released in 2003, was his first attempt at directing a movie. It’s kind of a composite rom com version of Crash (or a sicklier version of This Year’s Love, which also featured Jo Page) in which just about every possible facet of love is explored through the inter-connected lives of various people around the world. With an incredible cast of stars, it is occasionally touching, sometimes funny, and usually irritating. But it has Joanna Page in it – provided you don’t buy the censored DVD – so we’ll forgive it.