Nearly 15 years after its release, we thought that we’d wrung out just about every potentially problematic detail from Love Actually, from the over-reliance on fat-shaming jokes to the downright weird relationship dynamics of many of Richard Curtis’ ‘romantic’ storylines. However, despite having seemingly watched the ensemble rom-com a grand total of 4,527 times, we’d missed out on one glaringly bizarre piece of trivia – and you’ve probably done the same, too.
Cast your mind back to last Christmas, when it’s almost inevitable that you (whether deliberately or not) managed to catch at least half of Love Actually on ITV, and back to two storylines in particular. First, there’s Sam, the primary school-aged step-son of Liam Neeson who’s suffering from ‘the total agony of being in love’ while also mourning the death of his mum. Then, there’s Juliet, she of baker boy hats and ‘I look quite pretty, don’t I?’ fame, the newly-wed whose husband’s best man just happens to be in love with her, despite their never shared more than two words. So, one is probably learning about phonics and long division; the other is settling down in an improbably fancy Kensington mews flat.
These two characters, at two vastly different stages in their respective fictional lives, are played by Thomas Brodie Sangster and Keira Knightley. A cursory Google of the two actors reveals that Keira was born on 26th March 1985; Thomas, meanwhile, was born on 16th May 1990 - meaning that there’s a whole five years’ age difference between the pair (as fans on Twitter are pointing out). Five. Whole. Years. At the time of filming, Thomas was a 13-year-old playing a 10-year-old, whereas Keira was an 18-year-old playing someone a good half-decade older. A strange oversight, or just another example of how women in film seem to age at an exponential rate, in contrast to their male colleagues? You decide..
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Peter and Juliet
Peter and Juliet are that couple. The ones who improbably live in a mews flat in Zone One, yet still try to spin the myth that they're struggling creative types through a combination of lo-fi sartorial choices (baker boy hats, Etsy-ish wedding dresses…) If Instagram had existed in fictional 2001, these two would've been insufferable (and they'd definitely have deployed a wedding hashtag on the big day). These two are so wrapped up in their soft-focus White Company and Waitrose lifestyle that they've neglected to notice that Peter's best mate is a Nice Guy about to go nuclear – they're not problematic so much as really, actually tedious.