The holiday season means lots of different things to lots of different people: parties for hosting, marshmallows for toasting, pre-drinking whiskey from a water bottle in your car in your parents’ driveway so you don’t punch your uncle Howard in the face when he starts quoting Fox News over turkey and dressing. But for me, the holiday season means one thing: mainlining Christmas movies like some kind of DVD addict until I am strung out and singing “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” in my sleep.
Of all the Christmas movies I own — and I own all of the Christmas movies — Love Actually is my favorite. And did you know that Love Actually actually has one of the sweetest, saddest lesbian storylines; only it didn’t make it into the film? The DVD includes 40 minutes of deleted scenes, all of which are introduced by writer/director Richard Curtis. Among them is the story of a middle-aged lesbian couple, which Curtis expresses the most remorse over having to cut:
I was really sorry to lose this next bit, but obviously when we’d lost the bit with Emma [Thompson] and her son, we couldn’t do this. The idea was meant to be that we just sort of casually met this stern headmistresses … and then 15 minutes later we fell in with the stern headmistresses and you realize no matter how unlikely it seems, any character you come across in life has their own complicated tale of love.
This tale of love is about the stern headmistresses (played by the estimable Anne Reid) who returns home from a day of tending wily youths to take care of her partner who is dying of cancer. And, as it turns out, she’s not really so stern at all. They laugh about Bernard (who was cut from the film) writing an essay saying his Christmas wish was to be able to see other people’s farts, they bicker sweetly like an old married couple about fancy sausages, and then the headmistresses cuddles up with her ailing Geraldine in the last days of her life.
In the assembly scene at the school near the end of the movie, Karen reveals that the Geraldine has passed away, calling her a “wonderful and wicked woman,” and applauding the headmistresses for supporting her students in spite of her sorrow.
If you don’t have the DVD and you fancy shedding about a thousand tears, you can watch the full scene here.
Whenever I get gloomy about the state of affairs in the world, I think about the deleted scenes on my Love Actually DVD. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Even if you sometimes have to dig around in the bonus footage to find it.
Did you know about Love Actually‘s lesbian relationship? Do you wish it had made it into the final cut of the film?