LONDON — It turns out it’s not love, actually.
In Johnson’s three-minute video, which has been viewed almost 2 million times on Twitter, the prime minister upholds his vow to “get Brexit done” while flashing cards urging people to vote Conservative. “We only need 9 more seats to get a majority,” one of the handwritten signs reads.
Johnson’s video leaves those watching it with a clear message: “Vote Conservative, actually.”
But if the world needed a surer sign that all is a hot mess in Britain, it’s that both major political parties are ripping off what was once a cherished, albeit cheesy, scene from “Love, Actually” in their campaign advertisements.
Johnson’s ad stirred a variety of reactions on social media, with some people entertained, others horrified and a few accusing him of ruining their favorite movie. Actor Hugh Grant also had feedback for the prime minister.
Labour’s Allin-Khan quickly took to social media to let her followers know that the video had seemingly been inspired by her very own ad, published in November and entitled: “Election Actually.”
“Boris Johnson has copied my video,” she tweeted Monday before discouraging others from sharing his video.
I won't be retweeting it - but Boris Johnson has copied my #ElectionActually video.— Dr Rosena Allin-Khan (@DrRosena) December 9, 2019
Tanks. On. The. Lawn.
Don't share his version in outrage - instead, share my original version.
It's us versus Cummings, Johnson, Trump and Farage - retweet this and spread the word! pic.twitter.com/vuC26bWlcy
Speaking to BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday, Grant, who starred in the 2003 romantic comedy, said of Johnson’s video: “I thought it was very well done” before going on to call out Johnson for failing to include one of the cards seen in the memorable scene from the original movie.
“One of the cards . . . Boris Johnson didn’t hold up was the one saying, ‘Because at Christmas you tell the truth,’ ” Grant said, before adding: “I just wonder if the spin doctors in the Tory party thought that was a card that wouldn’t look too great in Boris Johnson’s hands.”
Grant says he has become more politically active because he believes Britain “is on the edge of a true abyss,” and he has urged Brits to “vote tactically” in the election to help “save the country from Brexit.” Grant has been attempting to sway voters into ticking the box that will best deny Johnson a majority in Parliament.
In recent weeks, the actor has been knocking on doors while on the campaign trail with Labour and the Liberal Democrats.
Over the weekend, Grant responded to a Twitter user who had tweeted, “Hugh Grant is a Lib Dem.”
“Not true. Am an anti Tory,” the actor replied.
Johnson also came under fire on Monday for pocketing the phone of a political journalist who had tried to show him an image of a sick child on the floor of a British hospital. Video of Johnson’s actions sparked fierce criticism, with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeting in response to the footage: “He just doesn’t care.”
On Thursday, Britons will cast their votes in a highly divisive election that has been dominated by Brexit issues. The electorate is polarized, and some are calling the choice between Johnson and Corbyn the worst in a generation.
Last year, Dutch politician Kees Verhoeven issued his own “Love, Actually”-inspired appeal to Brits, urging them to back then-Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposed Brexit deal or remain in the European Union.