The Movie: Last year's feel good movie, Love Actually, came from the makers of Bridget Jones's Diary and Notting Hill, and has finally arrived on DVD. The movie itself was uplifting, humorous and fun as it intertwined various characters, and, as many films do these days, brought them all together at the end. While the film itself does run a bit long at 130 minutes, with all the intertwining storylines, it's hard to tell where the time goes most of the time with only a couple of lulls. Written and directed by Richard Curtis (his first direction), Love Actually follows various couples, singles, and others as they look for romance, partnership, and fulfillment during the holiday season. It'd take too much space to outline every storyline or talk about each plot twist, but suffice to say, Love Actually delivers a fun, romantic comedy that stands up through multiple viewings and never fails to bring a smile to your face.
Video: Presented in anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1), the video quality is quite good. I didn't notice any artifacts and only the slightest bit of loss of detail in a few dark scenes. Though, once you get caught up in the film, it's quite hard to notice any of the very minor video flaws.
Sound: Presented in Dolby 5.1 for English and Dolby Surround for Spanish and French, Love Actually is a dialogue-driven film and therefore does not really benefit from the surround sound. The side and rear speakers are used occasionally for some sound effects or music, but, in all actuality, most of the film emanates from the center speaker. Dialogue is easy to understand (even for British accents) and sound effects do not drown out any dialogue that is necessary for the plot to advance.
Menus: The menus are very easy to navigate with very little extraneous effects. The background music is pleasant and enjoyable, though the loop is quite short and you can't let it sit for a while. Transitions between menus are quick and efficient without that long wait some DVDs force you to watch. The scene selection menus do not feature clips, but rather, just stills from each scene, without any sort of description of the scene, which could make it difficult to find the scene you want to jump to.
Conclusion: I really enjoyed this film in theaters, I just thought it was a fun and funny film and saw it twice on the big screen. It's taken a while to get to DVD, but the wait has been worth it. The film is presented with a very good picture and a Dolby surround presentation that is quite sufficient. The commentary is fun to listen to - once, but any more would just be a bit much, but the deleted scenes and "music of" features justify the price of purchase (aside from the film of course). If you are a fan of the film, as I most obviously am, the DVD is a great addition to your collection - and even as a blind buy, I'd highly recommend this to anyone who even remotely enjoys romantic comedies.