Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about movies and whether they are true or false. Click here to see all the Movie urban legends featured so far.
MOVIE URBAN LEGEND: There was a lesbian romance cut out of “Love Actually”.
Today, we take a look at a legend from a modern Christmas classic, 2003’s “Love Actually”.
The film (written and directed by Richard Curtis) follows a disparate (but, as it slowly turns out, all somewhat interconnected) group of British people who are dealing with all sorts of dramas involving love around the Christmas season – familial love, unrequited love, illicit love, platonic love, it’s all covered in the film. One area, though, that the film did not get into was same sex love. However, originally that was not the case! Read on to learn about the lesbian romance that was cut out of “Love Actually”!
One of the subplots in the film was the annual Holiday pageant put on by the local children. Karen (Emma Thompson) is getting her children’s costumes ready for the pageant (which is a satire by Curtis of how modern sensitivities have turned the story of the Nativity into as secular of a story as they could, including talking lobsters) while dealing with husband Harry (Alan Rickman) and his infidelity. Daniel (Liam Neeson) is trying to relate to his stepson Sam (Thomas Langster) following the death of Sam’s mother and the way they connect is by Daniel helping Sam woo a girl in his class. Their solution is for Sam to play in the school band for the pageant. A good chunk of the plot of the film comes to a climax at the school pageant, including the plot where the Prime Minister (Hugh Grant) professes his love to a member of his household staff (Martine McCutcheon) who is attending the pageant with her family (Karen also turns out to be the Prime Minister’s sister, and she thinks he has come to the pageant to see his niece and nephew).
Early in the film, we would have met the stern headmistress at the school that is holding the pageant. Karen would have a scene with her and would basically go off on the mean headmistress.
The twist, though, is that we discover that the headmistress has been dealing with some devastating news in her private life, as the love of her life, Geraldine, is slowly dying from cancer.
Throughout the film, there would be short scenes of the headmistress (Anne Reid) taking care of Geraldine (Frances de la Tour) before Geraldine passes away shortly before the pageant (the headmistress would be seen somber in the audience at the play).
In the end, though, Curtis decided to cut the big fight scene earlier in the film between Karen and the headmistress, and once that was cut, there wasn’t a reason to show the OTHER side of the headmistress. As Curtis recalled on the commentary on the film’s DVD:
I was really sorry to lose this. The idea was meant to be that you just casually meet this very stern headmistress, but later on in the film we suddenly fell in with her and you realise that, no matter how unlikely it seems, any character you come across in life has their own complicated tale of love.
Here are the deleted scenes…
The film was rather long, but it’s still a shame that they cut the only same sex romantic story that they had in the entire film, especially since it was very well told.
The legend is…
Thanks to reader Ron K. for suggesting this one! And thanks to Richard Curtis for sharing the information on the film’s commentary, along with the deleted scenes!
Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.