After the cast of Richard Curtis’s nauseating 2003 saccharine-fest Love, Actually reunited to film a short sequel for Comic Relief, people – oh all right, men – all over Britain have been forcibly reminded that some people – oh all right, women – inexplicably didn’t think it was the most risible sack of pigs’ faeces ever committed to celluloid.
‘This has stirred up a mass of difficult memories for me,’ admitted Richard Hunter, a man. ‘The ads gave me an idea what to expect, but I’d only been going out with Jessica for a month at that point and I wanted to create the right impression. And get a blowie. And I’d got through Four Weddings and a Funeral with no serious damage, so I thought ‘What’s the worst that can happen?’. Well, I soon found out.’
During the film, Huntley’s then girlfriend Jessica Holmes first squeezed his hand tightly as Hugh Grant, playing against type as an uptight upper class bumbler who has morphed into Tony Blair, initially failed to cop off with the tea-girl, then screamed ‘Dive into the lake! PLEASE dive into the lake!’ at Colin Firth, playing against type as an emotionally constipated upper class bumbler. She then glanced furtively at him to check he was not salivating overtly as Stacey from Gavin & Stacey got her kit off.
‘When we came out after what was apparently only 135 minutes, though it felt like several weeks, was the worst ‘What am I meant to say now?’ moment of my life,’ said Hunter. ‘I thought I’d try a feminist critique, so I patiently explained how covertly taking hundreds of pictures of your newly married best friend’s wife is not romantic but creepy, if not downright criminal, and that Colin Firth’s character really shouldn’t propose to his Portuguese cleaner until they at least have a language in common, but she just said I just didn’t understand anything and stormed off in tears.’
Huntley has not had a sustained relationship since, but says he learned an important life lesson. ‘The lesson was: women are fucking mental. Now if you’ll excuse me, there’s an episode of Brazilian Anal Beach Party with my name on it. Sure, it gets lonely sometimes but you have to be true to yourself and how can you honestly pretend to like something where the US president is cast as a vulgar bully who sexually harasses the staff? Ah….’