I think of that conversation and how much it makes me laugh (and is so damn true) every time I watch Love Actually. My daughter and I watch it every Christmas and I suspect I've seen it several times more than just that annual holiday viewing.
It's not a perfect film. I fast forward through most of the scenes with Colin and I cringe through the scene where Sarah (Laura Linney) gives up fabulous sex with Karl, the man she's loved for years, to talk on the phone with her constantly, tragically crazy brother. It's sentimental and treads more carefully than I'd like around being gay.
But there are scenes I adore. I sob every time Karen (Emma Thompson) moves slowly through her bedroom, trying to take in the fact her husband (Alan Rickman) has cheated on her, as an older wiser Joanie Mitchell sings Both Sides Now.* I love watching the Prime Minister (Hugh Grant) shake his booty to the Pointer Sisters. If Bill Nighy's Billy Mack is in a scene, I'm awash in joy. Natalie's family is endearing.
And every time I watch it, in the very beginning, when pictures of people meeting loved ones at Heathrow blend together, Hugh Grant's speech grabs me. I stop and am immeasurably grateful for love, for the connections I see in just about every life I see.
So this, yes, his speech is something I wish I'd written. But since I didn't, I try to remember it every time I feel lost and alone.
Here you go:
Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there - fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge - they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around.* If you've never heard this version of Both Sides Now, I urge you to listen to it. It's a deeper richer and oh so much sadder version of her 1969 hit.