Love actually deleted the scene with a same sex couple
Christmas just wouldn't be the same without your festive favourite. Mistletoe, turkey, awkward questions from distant relatives at dinner about when you’re going to be getting a girlfriend. But the one that trumps them all is, of course, Love Actually.
The film has become something of a crimbo cult in the UK, beloved by young and old alike. Testament to its enduring popularity is the recent decision by Netflix to bow to subscriber pressure and add the title to its library, just in time for the holiday season (available from 14th December, in case you were wondering).
But despite its heart-warming tales of love across the lives of an all-star cast, cleverly interlinked by their careers, family and even indiscretions, Love Actually is missing something.
If you’ve ever delved a little deeper into the DVD extras, you might have come across some of the deleted scenes from the film, cut for various reasons. Among them is a subplot involving the headmistress of the school that features towards the climax of the film. It shows her and her same-sex partner having a mundane conversation – laced with the atmosphere of fear as she slowly becomes ill.
Director Richard Curtis noted that his decision not to include the story was purely down to the ‘knock on’ effect of losing another storyline, in which the head teacher was introduced, thus rendering this plot illogical in the complex narrative of the film.
The scenes are striking for a few reasons, the sincerity and brilliance of the acting by Anne Reed and Frances de la Tour, the heartwarming and genuine portrayals of a couple enduring illness together, allows the audience to relate to the characters and form emotion as the storyline develops. The passion they share together is special to witness, despite the sorrow clearly befalling them.
The scene does a brilliant job of communicating the reality and normality of same-sex relationships. You can’t help but wonder whist watching it what their backstories are - how they met, the struggles they must’ve had. But in my eyes, the most striking part of this small deleted scene is just how ahead of its time it really was, despite its ultimate trip to the cutting room floor.
It could have been a defining moment for the LGBTQ+ community in 2003.
When Love Actually premiered, Civil Partnerships were not yet a reality for same sex couples, let alone the distant victory of equal marriage rights in Great Britain. The fact that a film with such a brilliant and varied cast was even able to consider shooting such a personal and emotional same-sex story proves just how modern Love Actually was aiming to be. It is a great shame it wasn’t included as it would have sent a ripple through society at the time.
Ultimately, even without this scene, it’s still a film that promotes so many of the modern values we desperately need to protect and promote; inclusion, diversity and an awareness of the lives of those around you. As Richard Curtis said regarding this beautiful scene, “no matter how unlikely, any character you come across in life has their own complicated tale of love”. Remember that when you’re snuggling up with a mulled wine and mince pie to watch Love Actually this Christmas.
You can watch the clip here: