I saw Love Actually for the first time in the theater with my best friend Sherrie right after I had been unceremoniously dumped by the alleged love of my life. By "right after" I also might mean "three-to-six months after"" because that breakup took me a while to get over. It was 2003. I was 22. I wasn't sure I wanted to see a feel-good romance.
So yes, the breakup still felt very fresh, and I had found that "love of my life" everyone always talks about -- that one person who is it for you (and as we all know I watched way too many MGM movie musicals in my youth, and that just messes with your head a bit in the idealistic expectations department). Anyway, Love Actually ended up being a healing movie. It actually made me feel like I might want to date again some day. I started to feel hopeful about my romantic future. Movies starring Colin Firth are powerful that way.
The next time I watched it was with a group of friends on Valentines Day. I can't remember if I was single or not. I think I was, but I think I was in a good place. I definitely remember my friend Maggie (name changed to protect the innocent) was not in a good place. She was in her 50s, and she had semi-recently split up with her husband in a way that was pretty messy. I remember her lying on the floor after watching the movie just feeling monstrously depressed. I think the movie actually made her feel worse, sadly. The power of Colin Firth cannot overcome all heart break, I suppose.
So go ahead, enjoy a piece of this Christmas classic for yourself.