The award-winning British screenwriter said there were moments in the film that now “had to feel out of date” but that society’s continued love for it was “really touching”. He made the remarks as part of an hour-long special, Laughter and the Secrets of Real Love: 20 Years Later, which aired on ABC on Wednesday.
Cast members, including Hugh Grant, Dame Emma Thompson, Bill Nighy, Laura Linney and Thomas Brodie-Sangster, also sat down with ABC News host Diane Sawyer for exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes looks.
Asked by Sawyer if there was any part of the film that “made you cringe,” Curtis replied: “There are things you would change, but thank God society is changing.
“My film is bound at times to feel out of date. The lack of diversity makes me feel uncomfortable and a bit stupid.”
He added that the love he continued to see in the world made him “wish my movie was better.”
“There is such extraordinary love happening every minute in so many ways, all over the world, and it makes me wish my movie was better,” he said.
“It makes me wish I’d made a documentary just to watch it.”
The film’s stars also praised Curtis as a “truly good person” with a “heart of gold” in their own interview segments.
“It’s this heart of gold that he has,” Dame Emma said.
“He is truly a good person (and) in our business that is something that (must) be treasured.”
Added Grant: “He’s funny, that’s a black and white thing…and (the story) comes from the heart, it’s true.”
Curtis later added, “I think the way to think about life is that every day has the potential to be beautiful.”
“I think when you do it right, movies can act as a reminder of how beautiful things can be and how there are all kinds of things we can go through, which are actually the best times of our lives.”
Nighy, who won a Bafta for best actor in a supporting role in the film, said it had been “wonderful to be a part of the film”.
“It’s amazing the way the language was entered,” he said.
“There are people who come up to me and say that it got me through my chemotherapy, or that it got me through my divorce, or that I see it when I’m alone. And people do it.
“People have Love Actually parties and they know it by heart. They play their sheet music live with a live orchestra.
“It’s become a darling and it’s a wonderful thing to be a part of.”
Love Actually launched in 2003 and became a staple of the UK festive season.
Despite a mixed critical response, the film was nominated for two Golden Globes and a Bafta for Nighy.
The story delves into different aspects of love as shown through 10 separate stories involving a wide variety of individuals, many of whom are shown interrelated as the tales progress.
The story begins five weeks before Christmas and unfolds in a weekly countdown to the holiday, followed by an epilogue that takes place a month later, hosted by Grant.
It also starred big British names like Colin Firth and Keira Knightly, Liam Neeson and the late Alan Rickman.
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