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Christmas spirit returns to TV with the reunion of "Love Actually"

The appointment with the cast is November 30

Christmas spirit returns to TV with the reunion of Love Actually The appointment with the cast is November 30

When it was released in the U.K. back in November 2003, the New York Times called it an "indigestible Christmas pudding," the Guardian wrote that it was "garbage," but audiences rewarded it with excellent box-office results, though divided between those who found it simultaneously honeyed and enjoyable and those who found it awful. Yet, as the years have passed and the many TV reruns have continued, Love Actually has carved out an honored place for itself in the movies to watch under the holidays, infiltrating the Christmas traditions of our homes, perfectly wedged between the tree and the panettone. Kind of like that centerpiece or that decoration made in elementary school that you know is ugly, but which, deep down, you keep using because you find them reassuring and because they take you back to a time when everything was easier and full of magic. Now, the romantic comedy, which weaved a series of love stories set in London in the period around Dec. 25, is about to turn 20 years old and will celebrate the important anniversary with a TV special on ABC.

The event, titled The Laughter & Secrets of Love Actually: 20 Years Later and scheduled for Nov. 30, will be presented by host Diane Sawyer and will feature a reunion of some of the original cast. It will be an opportunity to see Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Laura Linney, Bill Nighy, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Olivia Olson and director Richard Curtis together again. As the network announced, the special will "explore how the film has become a beloved Christmas tradition and global sensation, with new insights into behind-the-scenes secrets and iconic scenes," but also "how the COVID-19 pandemic has reoriented the ways we love and relate and the ubiquitous acts of kindness within our families and communities." The most anticipated moments for fans are surely, as it was for the Friends reunion, the actors' exchanges and reminiscences. From the teaser we find out, for example, that Hugh Grant hated doing the scene where he dances in Downing Street to the notes of Jump (For My Love) by the Pointer Sisters Sisters and that, after attending the premiere of Love Actually he said to Emma Thompson, "Is that the most psychotic thing we've ever been in?". And do you want to know his response to the presenter asking him to complete the sentence "Love Actually is ..."? The star, with his typical British humor replies, "dead."

The date for The Laughter & Secrets of Love Actually: 20 Years Later is Wednesday, November 30 at 1:00 a.m. UK time on ABC. It will be interesting to see the cast talk about their experience on the set, but just in case it proves a little disappointing to see time passing affect our memories of their characters, we are always left with the original film. We need only press play to see Mark's declaration of love to Juliet co his series of handwritten signs; the British prime minister romping within the walls of Downing Street; Sam discovering love for the first time or Karen crying because she thinks she has lost hers. After all, we know that without Love Actually, it's not really Christmas.