Love Actually couples ranked: Who's the best pair in the Christmas romcom?
Whether it's Harry's affair with employee Mia or the prime minister's pursuit of tea lady Natalie, RadioTimes.com's Lauren Morris has ranked all of the Love Actually couples as the film approaches its 20th anniversary.
With Christmas just days away, Love Actually will undoubtedly be streaming up-and-down the country as we all collectively get into the festive spirit.
The classic Richard Curtis romcom has given us some of cinema's biggest moments, from Dame Emma Thompson wiping away tears to the sound of Joni Mitchell, to Hugh Grant delivering a stirring speech as prime minister David, and has launched the careers of its numerous child stars – however, it really is love actually that's at the heart of this Christmas flick.
With that in mind, we've ranked all of the couples and their various plot lines from Love Actually, whether that's Andrew Lincoln's Mark and his secret obsession with Keira Knightley's Juliet, or Kris Marshall's Colin Frissell and his quest to find an American woman.
Read on for our definitive list – and let us know whether you agree!
10. Harry and Mia
Nothing makes me cringe more than watching Heike Makatsch's Mia, with her bobbed black hair, questionable noughties outfits and sultry German accent, telling Alan Rickman's Harry that there'll be "plenty of dark corners for doing dark deeds" at the Christmas party, legs increasingly ajar. Absolutely nothing – which is why Harry and Mia land at the bottom of this list.
Not only is their workplace tryst a slap in the face to Dame Emma Thompson's Karen, there is zero chemistry between graphic design boss Harry and original pick-me girl Mia (who wears devil horns to a work Christmas party?), making their embarrassing affair utterly unsexy.
In the iconic words of Kim Woodburn, they're both "adulterers" and "chicken-livered s**ts"; can someone please burn the mistletoe and ring HR?
9. Juliet and Peter (and Mark)
Poor Peter. Not only is the Chiwetel Ejiofor character being absolutely snaked by his supposed best friend and creep-with-a-camera Mark, he only features in roughly two-and-a-half minutes of the whole movie – in fact, I've seen Love Actually countless times and I'm only now learning he's called Peter.
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Juliet and Peter are the second worst couple in Love Actually because they are unbelievably dull. All we know about Peter is that he doesn't like surprises (but secretly does) and hates answering doorbells (to the downfall of his marriage), while Keira Knightley's Juliet wears questionable hats, likes banoffee pie and thinks kissing your husband's best friend is an appropriate response to his voyeuristic stalking.
We haven't even touched on Mark, Andrew Lincoln's lovelorn onlooker who's one bad hair-dye job away from becoming Robin Williams in One Hour Photo. I don't know much about the role of a best man, but I'm almost certain that it doesn't involve secretly filming their new bride and professing your love to them via unsettling A3 posters. To quote Mark himself: "Enough. Enough now."
8. Jamie and Aurélia
While there's an undeniable spark between the turtleneck-obsessed Jamie (Colin Firth) and his witty Portuguese housekeeper Aurélia (Lúcia Moniz) despite the language barrier, it's hard to forget that Jamie proposed when the two were yet to have a proper conversation.
What if one of them held offensive views? What if they wanted completely different things in life? I know it's not very Christmassy but with 50 per cent of marriages ending in divorce, Jamie and Aurélia need to get real! At least finish the Duolingo course before you book your honeymoon flights.
7. Colin and his American girls
You've got to admire Colin Frissell's confidence. Turning up in Milwaukee with a backpack full of condoms is a bold gamble and while it ultimately paid off – with four stunning women inviting him back to their abode – this slightly pointless plot line would have been more entertaining if they'd turned out to be secret Manson Family-style serial killers.
Forget the Death in Paradise spin-off, we need Kris Marshall and January Jones to reprise their romcom roles in Murder Actually – the Richard Curtis cult drama we didn't know we needed.
6. Harry and Karen
The only reason Harry and Karen aren't in dead last is because Dame Emma Thompson's Karen deserves so much better than to be sharing a spot on this list with her salivating sleaze-ball husband and his shameless seductress. From stanning Joni Mitchell to wing-manning Sarah (Laura Linney) on the Christmas party dance-floor, Karen is a top tier Love Actually character and so Harry's betrayal hits so much harder (particularly to the sound of Mitchell's Both Sides Now).
While Harry's implied cheating did give us that heart-breaking bedroom scene in which Thompson delivers a masterclass in acting, Karen should have gifted her love-rat husband divorce papers for Christmas.
5. Sarah and Karl
Sarah's (Laura Linney) Love Actually story is both heart-breaking and extremely frustrating. After "two years, seven months, three days and I suppose, an hour and 30 minutes" of lusting after the offensively attractive Karl (Rodrigo Santoro), Sarah finally pulls at the work Christmas party with the help of 2003 icons Justin Timberlake and Norah Jones – just to be frustrated by the constantly-ringing Michael, her brother who lives in a psychiatric hospital.
While Sarah's situation couldn't be helped and like many across the UK, she's responsible for the hands-on care of a family member that's needed even more at Christmas time, but why couldn't they just reschedule their rendezvous for another time instead of letting the potential romance die? Thanks to Love Actually's Red Nose Day special spin-off, we know Sarah ultimately ends up with Patrick Dempsey so at least her character isn't given a completely tragic ending but the film did starve its audience of what would have been a great sex scene – whilst also robbing that graphic design company's employees of excellent water-cooler gossip.
4. Sam and Joanna
Colin Firth's Jamie couldn't be bothered to become fluent in Portuguese before proposing to Aurelia, however Sam – a child processing the recent death of his mother whilst in the care of his stepfather – learns how to play the drums in a matter of weeks to woo his American crush Joanna. That's real romance.
Sam and Joanna's adorable puppy-love ends up becoming the backbone of the film and gives us that iconic All I Want for Christmas Is You performance so it has to rank highly on this list. However, they're docked a few points for Sam fancying his dead mother's namesake, making the relationship less festive and a bit too Freudian.
3. David and Natalie
The love story between Hugh Grant's politically ambiguous prime minister and Natalie, his tea and biscuits lady, is one of the best storylines in the film. Hugh Grant effectively just plays himself but if it ain't broke, don't fix it, and charmingly awkward leading man is very much his forté. Meanwhile, Martine McCutcheon is unsurprisingly loveable as Natalie from "the dodgy end of Wandsworth" and completely iconic as the centre of the love triangle between the prime minister and the US president (clearly winter is cuffing season, even for leaders of free world).
While David's petty behaviour in response to the president making a move on the civil servant is a bit of an ick, he makes up for it with all the door-knocking down Natalie's road – although, I'm not sure this relentless search was a good use of tax-payers' money when all he needed to do was pick up the phone and give her a call.
2. John and Judy
John (Martin Freeman) and Judy (Joanna Page) may have met in the nude-y, but they're one of the film's most wholesome, heart-warming couple. Freeman and Page may only appear in a few scenes as the professional body doubles who meet whilst filming a sex scene, but they're both incredibly funny and likeable whenever they do pop up on screen.
While Judy's "all I want for Christmas is you" line is incredibly cringeworthy, she can get away with it thanks to her earnest delivery and the fact that their love story is ripe for an article in The Guardian.
1. Billy Mack and Joe
A bromance for the ages, washed-up rock star Billy Mack (Bill Nighy) and his manager Joe (Gregor Fisher) are definitively the best couple in Love Actually.
Nighy's BAFTA-winning performance as the rock-and-roll legend vying for a comeback is excellent in and of itself, with Billy Mack delivering some of the film's most memorable lines ("Don't buy drugs... become a pop star and they give you them for free!") as well as the festive Wet Wet Wet parody that's stuck in your head all Christmas season.
However, it's the relationship between Billy and his under-appreciated punchbag manager that warms the cockles of our hearts in the end – that's until the rock star suggests they round off Christmas Day by "getting pissed and watching porn".