In the last several years, hating the 2003 classic holiday rom-com “Love Actually” has become a time-honored tradition on the Internet. Yet as the haters tear it to shreds, ridiculing its wildly unrealistic premise, sexist tropes and stalker storyline, “Love Actually” persists — and is, actually, getting a sequel.
Well, sort of. As it turns out, people still love “Love Actually” so much (some people really love it) that it has landed its own mini-sequel. On Wednesday, NBC announced that writer-director Richard Curtis and some of the cast will reunite for “Red Nose Day Actually,” a short film that will air as part of Comic Relief’s annual “Red Nose Day Special,” which raises money to benefit children living in poverty.
The people returning include: Hugh Grant, who plays the British prime minister; Martine McCutcheon as Natalie, the prime minister’s assistant and eventual love interest; Keira Knightley, a new bride who discovers her husband’s best friend is in love with her (and may be a stalker); Andrew Lincoln, the aforementioned best friend; Colin Firth, the wounded writer who finds love with his Portugese housekeeper; and Lucia Moniz as the housekeeper.
Then there’s Liam Neeson as a grieving widower who has to bond with his tween stepson; Thomas Brodie-Sangster as the adorable stepson in love with a fellow classmate; Olivia Olson, said crush with the voice of an angel; Bill Nighy, the washed-up pop star who winds up with a hit Christmas single; Marcus Brigstocke, who played a DJ that we cannot remember; and Rowan Atkinson, the slowpoke salesman who really made things difficult when Alan Rickman’s character was trying to buy a present for his maybe-mistress.
Rickman, who died last year, will tragically be a missing piece of the cast. There’s also no word about stars such as Emma Thompson, who played Rickman’s wife, or Laura Linney, whose love story with her co-worker Karl (Rodrigo Santoro, also not appearing) went sadly awry.
The sequel/reunion will air in the U.K. on March 24, and repeat on NBC on May 25. According to the network, Curtis wrote the script, and the film revisits the characters to see what they’re up to in 2017. Hate-tweeters, get ready.