1. Listen: Love, Actually is a very bad movie.
That doesn’t mean I don’t love it. Of course I do. I’m an adult baby whose already negligible taste goes right out the window when it comes to Christmas movies and rom-coms, and especially when it comes to Christmas rom-coms.
2. But folks, it’s 2016, and Love, Actually is no longer the modern Christmas romance we need it to be.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s like, SO great that Prime Minister Hugh Grant is somehow able to fall in love with his beautiful and charming employee despite the fact that no one can stop talking about how fat (?!!?) she is. So cute that Colin Firth falls in love with his hired help Aurelia, with whom he cannot communicate. Assistants: so hot. And SO romantic how obsessed sad Mark is with the pretty married lady. Love!!!
3. Perhaps the biggest problem? There are NO GAYS in this movie!
NINE subplots and not even one of them is queer? What gives?
4. This year, I’d like to propose an alternative. A much better love story, actually. A new Christmas classic: Carol.
5. You may not think of Carol as a Christmas movie, but you’d be wrong.
Much of the movie takes place on and around Christmas. The story begins a few weeks before, in the department store Frankenberg’s, where Therese is working at the toy counter. Carol is there to buy a present for her daughter but leaves with so much more.
What makes a Christmas miracle if not love at first sight, especially between two women in 1950s New York??
6. The characters in this movie are dressed in head-to-toe wool and occasionally, fur. This is not a movie you watch in the summer.
I’m just kidding, there is no Carol off-season. But it fits BEST at Christmas!
7. True, this movie does not feature the Christmas classic “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” but Therese embodies it.
Plus, the Carol soundtrack is amazing Christmas music in its own right. On Christmas Eve, after I have watched Carol, I am going to sit in the dark and listen to the Carol soundtrack and look at my Christmas tree, and I am going to cry. It’s going to be great.
8. And true, the love story in Carol is not always a cheerful one.
Carol and Therese may love each other, but there are other people in their lives to contend with, not to mention the forbidden nature of their relationship. It’s literally the two of them against the world, which is SO romantic.
9. Carol and Therese flirt (a LOT), but they also push and challenge each other. They become better people.
Which is part of what Christmas is all about!!
10. And ultimately, Carol has a happy ending, as all Christmas movies should.
And, for that matter, as queer women characters in movies/TV shows deserve once in a while!