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Written by Victoria Joss
Billy Mack is an ageing rocker attempting to make a comeback with a new version of the Troggs’ ‘Love Is All Around’. He is the character that opens the movie by constantly forgetting to change ‘Love’ to ‘Christmas’ and singing the original lyrics. Billy is well aware that the single is awful, yet releases it in hopes of reaching the Christmas number one. It is revealed at the end that he has reached number one, and he is seen being invited to a party at Elton John’s house. At the end, he decides that his manager, Joe, is in need of company on Christmas Eve, and leaves the party to join him.
Joe is Billy's also ageing, and slightly tubby, manager. He is also aware that the single is awful, but does his best to promote it. This is a struggle, as Billy is notoriously bad at behaving at press appearances, or on television. An example is Billy promoting his single on a kids TV show hosted by Ant and Dec, and advising the kids to just become a rockstar, because then you get drugs given to you for free.
Juliet is first seen getting married to her fiancé, Peter. At the wedding ceremony, she is radiant as she walks down the aisle. Peter’s best friend, Mark, has arranged for singers to perform ‘All You Need Is Love’ as they walk back out the Church. We see Juliet and Peter leave on a boat for their honeymoon. When she returns later in the movie, she is seen as attempting to deal appropriately with Mark’s inappropriate feelings for her.
Peter is Juliet’s husband. He is unaware of Mark’s feelings towards Juliet, and spends a lot of time asking Mark to be friendlier towards his fiancé, rather than dismissive. He does not feature prominently in the film, only as a way of making Mark and Juliet an impossibility as a couple, and inappropriate if anything were to happen.
Mark is Peter’s best friend, owns a gallery, and is in love with Juliet. He begins the story by filming their wedding. Later on, Juliet turns up unexpectedly at his apartment, and asks to see his footage from the wedding as the official video is ‘all blue and wibbly’. The footage is mainly close ups of Juliet’s face, and the penny drops that he is in love with her. He explains that his dismissive attitude towards her was ‘self-preservation’. He enacts a famous scene at the end of the movie, where he turns up at Juliet’s door with signs, telling her behind his best friends back that she is beautiful and that his wasted heart will always love her. They share an innocent kiss before he walks away, and asserts ‘enough now’.
At the beginning of the movie, Jamie goes to Juliet and Peter’s Wedding without his fiancé, who pretends to be sick. He returns before the reception to check on her, and discovers his brother at the flat. It is revealed his fiancé is cheating on him with his brother. He retreats to a house in rural France to heal his wounds and focus on his writing career. He meets and falls in love with his Portuguese housekeeper, Aurelia. Eventually, he must return home for Christmas and Aurelia to Portugal. He is seen learning Portuguese, and eventually makes an impromptu trip at Christmas to see her. He proposes in awful Portuguese and she replies in awful English, learnt ‘just in cases’.
The Portuguese housekeeper that Jamie falls in love with. She seems intelligent and conscientious, as she jumps in to a freezing lake to save a draft of Jamie’s book. It is revealed she is from a average family, and at the end is seen waiting in a restaurant. Her entire family wait for a reply, and she agrees to marry Jamie.
Harry is a wealthy director of a design agency, is married to Karen and has two kids. Whilst his marriage is comfortable, he is tempted by the sexual comments of the new girl in the office, the twenty-something Mia. He flirts with her back, asking if she has a boyfriend, and what she would like for Christmas. He almost gets caught buying her a heart-shaped necklace as a present whilst out shopping with Karen, but just gets away with it. His wife, Karen, discovers the affair and he admits he is a fool. At the end, he returns from the airport and the marriage seems to be on the road to repair.
Karen is presented as a busy, middle-aged but well meaning wife to Harry. She is seen as supporting her kids throughout, making her daughter a lobster costume from paper Mache for her daughter’s nativity play. She is unsuspecting to her husband’s oncoming affair with Mia until Christmas Eve, when she opens a present she suspects is the necklace, and it’s a Joni Mitchell CD. She is devastated at her husband’s betrayal, and tells him he has made a complete mockery of her. She continues with her life because she has to, and seems to accept Harry back at the end of the movie
Mia is a dark-haired, plump-lipped 20-something year old secretary at Harry’s firm. She is open about her feelings towards him, and makes sexual comments as well as hinting at sexual acts. At the office Christmas party, she wear devil horns. When she dances with Harry, she pulls herself close and whispers in his ear ‘It’s all for you’. She is seen in lacy red underwear, trying the heart-shaped necklace on at the end of the film.
David is Karen’s Brother, and the recently elected Prime Minister. He introduces himself to the staff at Downing Street, and is taken by his housekeeper, Natalie. The impression at Downing Street is that the British have been bullied by the Americans, and need to hold their ground. David agrees, but will placate the Americans this time. When the president visits, he is inappropriate towards Natalie, and David decides to stand up to the Americans. At the end, he knocks on every door of her street to find her. They go to the nativity that his niece and nephew are in, and kiss back stage, only to be revealed in the finale.
Natalie is the housekeeper at Downing Street. She has a famous introduction to David where she can’t stop swearing, and is meant to be displayed as slightly common. We learn that she had an abusive past relationship, where her boyfriend constantly called her fat. She is increasingly warm towards David, yet is moved department after the President of America makes a move on her. At the end, she sends a Christmas card signed ‘I’m actually yours’ to David, prompting him to go find her.
Daniel is mourning the recent death of his wife, Joanna. He also has to raise his stepson, Sam, on his own. He is seen as struggling, and Karen is the friend that helps him through it. Throughout the movie, he has good and bad days, and focuses on helping Sam with his own love life. At the end, he meets Carol, and a new beginning seems immanent.
Daniel’s stepson, Sam, is also mourning and angry over the loss of his Mother. He becomes distracted by a girl in his class, also called Joanna, and claims he loves her. She doesn’t seem to notice him, and him and Daniel hatch a plan to change this. He spends months learning the drums, and plays in the Christmas concert that Joanna plays in. He learns she is going back to America, and runs through the airport to tell her his feelings. She gives him a kiss on the cheek, and tells him she knew his name all along. At the end of the movie, she is seen as returning to Sam.
Joanna is Sam’s crush. She only appears as person at the end, where she sings ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’, with Sam playing the drums. She returns to America, but comes to visit Sam at the end of the movie.
Sarah is an American friend of Juliet and Mark’s, and is first seen at their wedding, sitting next to Jamie. She works at Harry’s company, and it is revealed she has been in love with Karl, the company’s creative director, for years. She finally gets to dance with Karl at the office party, and takes him home. However, they are interrupted by her brother, who is in a hospital with disabilities, and needs constant care. She is well meaning, and puts her brother before her own desires.
Karl is the enigmatic and good-looking creative director at Harry’s design company. It is noted that he also admires Sarah from afar, and calls her ‘beautiful’ when they finally come in contact. He is exasperated but understanding when Sarah’s brother, Michael, rings and interrupts them. Sarah and Karl end the movie by obviously liking each other but being unable to explore any potential.
Michael is Sarah’s brother, with disabilities. He is seen in 24 hour care in an institution, and in need of Sarah, of whom is his only living family member left.
Colin is first seen as the caterer for Juliet and Peter’s wedding. He is well meaning, but forward and clumsy when talking to women. He decides to move to America, and woo all the women with his ‘cute British accent’. He is meant as a comedic character, yet upon moving to America meets four young, attractive women who love British men.
Tony is Colin’s friend, and a production assistant. He acts as the voice of reason when Colin announces he is moving to America. He claims that he will be rejected in America, and ridicules him when Colin sells his flat for a plane ticket. Tony is gobsmacked when Colin returns with a gorgeous girlfriend, and brings her cousin back for Tony also.
John is a body double for a film that Tony is working on as a production assistant. He meets Judy, the other body double and they have to stimulate sex. However, they are shy around each other off set, and begin a gentle relationship on Christmas Eve.
Judy is also a body double, and John’s other half by the end of the movie. She is friendly, and says it’s nice to have ‘someone she can chat to’. In the end credits, Judy and John are seen leaving London airport, engaged.
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