I Just Watched Love Actually For The First Time Outside Of Cable, And It Turns Out I Was Missing Entire Raunchy Storylines For Years

 Hugh Grant in Love Actually.
Hugh Grant in Love Actually.

It was the first of many nights before Christmas, but my wife wanted to get in the holiday spirit a bit early. Having recently seen CinemaBlend's list of best Christmas movies on Netflix, I suggested we use our Netflix subscription to watch a movie I'd seen countless times on television: Love Actually. Little did I know my first viewing on streaming would be a memorable experience, as this was an entirely different movie than what I originally thought.

Prior to this latest viewing, I thought Love Actually was a pretty tame movie, if not a tad boring. Still, we fired up the movie with our daughter in the room, not even glancing at the rating or anything of that matter. It's a Christmas movie, after all, and how many holiday movies have anything unsuitable for children? Well, it turns out this one does, and I had to quickly usher my child off to her room when I was blindsided by a movie far raunchier than I ever thought.

I Had No Idea Martin Freeman And Joanna Page Were In The Movie

When I saw Martin Freeman pop up in Love Actually, I was surprised. How could I, someone who is crossing all their fingers hoping Sherlock Season 5 will happen, not remember that Freeman was not in this movie? Furthermore, what was he doing grinding up against Joanna Page while they were both clothed? I was very confused right up until Page took her shirt off, and then I started to understand.

As Mental Floss and others have pointed out, the television version of Love Actually typically removes all of Martin Freeman and Joanna Page and their characters' scenes from the movie. It's understandable considering once scrubbing out all of the scenes in which they're nude, it's kind of hard to piece together the clothed scenes at the end and explain what they have to do with any of the other stories. CinemaBlend ranked John and Judy's story as the least enjoyable Love Actually couple in a ranking list, so it's no surprise little is lost nixing it.

The nude scenes on Netflix weren't the end of the world, even if they were jarring. What it did create, though, was an awareness that really tuned me into the fact Love Actually isn't the movie I thought it was. It might be one of Hugh Grant's best romantic comedies, but it's also fairly raunchy in a way I hadn't previously realized.

Other Parts Of Love Actually Haven't Aged Well

It may be on a list of the best romantic comedies of all time, but that doesn't mean there are parts of Love Actually that don't garner criticism in 2023. By his own admission, director Richard Curtis realized it hadn't aged well after a conversation with his daughter about the comments made about Natalie's weight throughout the movie. I also picked up on those comments and thought even for 2003, the weight comments were a little iffy for the script.

Take that paired with another nude scene featuring Laura Linney, and my whole perspective on Love Actually has shifted permanently. This movie is way more explicit than I ever realized watching it on television, and I'm not sure I can go back to watching it and not see the actual theatrical version. My life is forever changed just ahead of the holidays and it has me rethinking this one as a holiday classic.

Love Actually is available to stream right now on Netflix for those who love the movie and already know about the theatrical version. I may be in the minority on this one, as the movie comes in at nineteen in CinemaBlend's Best Christmas Movies of all time.