Marie Louise McConville: Harsh words about Love Actually will not spoil this classic for me
It's just so disappointing.
Personally, I consider it a classic and to read this has just put a right old dampener on it, especially in the lead up to Christmas this year of all years.
Everyone has their favourite Christmas movie, some prefer the black and white wisdom of It's a Wonderful Life with James Stewart, others prefer the animated fun of The Snowman.
However, I just love all the romance of Love Actually, with all the various storylines, the fantastic dance scene with Hugh Grant at Number 10 and of course, the fact that Mr Liam Neeson is in it - need I say more?
It's always on at some point over Christmas each year and I love it.
The movie has a certain charm and a storyline or relationship we can all relate to.
So when I read one of the film's stars referring to it in fairly derogatory terms this week, I have to say I was upset.
Lulu Popplewell, who played Emma Thompson's daughter, Daisy, who had one memorable line about being a lobster in the school nativity play, was all rather negative about it.
Aged 12 when she appeared in Love Actually, the now 29-year-old comedian said she felt the film had "aged badly" and is "not great".
"All the women in it are sort of passive objects," she said.
"You also have to remember that he [Richard Curtis] was writing in the context of the time.
"I mean I don't know how he excuses more recent work. But it was in 2003 or whenever it was out. But it is also not for me because I don't like cheese".
She added: "Look, softly be it spoken I think it's a s**t film".
These comments have really not come at a good time, when people are dealing with lockdowns and restrictions and really looking forward to Christmas in the hope of finally being with loved ones.
Love Actually is a feel-good movie which teaches us about the power of love and how, in its many forms, love makes the world go around.
Many people watch this movie for the fuzzy feeling they get and I now fear Lulu's comments - which she said were "taken out of context" - will now spoil it for some.
The movie launched the successful careers of Keira Knightley and Andrew Lincoln, so it can't have been all that bad.
I really wish people would think before they speak.
So Lulu, you didn't enjoy making the movie and it didn't set you off on the road to Hollywood but Love Actually brings joy to many each year, and right now we need that more than ever.
Maybe it's time you returned to being a lobster on stage, one line is about all I want to hear from you from now on.
So, the glittering Strictly Come Dancing pairings have been revealed - but it's just not the same this year.
I watched the launch show and it was just ok.
There's just something about everyone standing apart that took away a certain sparkle from the show for me.
I'm not overly taken with any of the celebrities if I'm honest but if I had to put my money on someone, it would be actress Caroline Quentin - how sensational did she look?
I'd love to see her lifting the Glitter Ball Trophy.
Come on Caroline, you can do it.
The cold weather has certainly set in so how about snuggling down with "a gripping tale of deception and skulduggery"?
Hammer To Fall by John Lawton, is the third Joe Wilderness spy thriller, moving from icy Finland to tumultuous Cold War Prague and is a tale of vodka smuggling and a legendary female Red Army general who is playing a dangerous game.
It's London, the swinging sixties, and by rights MI6 spy Joe Wilderness should be having as good a time as James Bond.
But alas, in the wake of an embarrassing disaster for MI6, Wilderness has been posted to remote northern Finland in a cultural exchange programme to promote Britain abroad.
Bored by his work, with nothing to spy on, Wilderness finds another way to make money - smuggling vodka.
He strikes a deal with old KGB pal Kostya, who explains to him there is a vodka shortage in the Soviet Union but there is something fishy about Kostya's sudden appearance in Finland?
Wilderness's posting is getting more interesting by the minute, but more dangerous too.
I have five copies of Hammer To Fall to give away.
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Closing date is 12 noon on Tuesday, October 27, 2020
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