Love Actually: Focus on Jamie
First time we meet this guy, played by Colin Firth (love that man), he's saying good bye to his girlfriend, who's sick. He's on his way to a wedding, and she's too sick to come.
Something I've noticed about this movie every time I saw it is, he tells her he loves her, but she doesn't return the "I love you." She saws, "I know... Now get out. Loser." And it's said in a teasing tone, of course, but the lack of, "Love you, too," or whatever strikes me every time.
In a Sunday School Class several years ago, way back when I was just starting college and we didn't have an official sunday school so they lumped us with the old people (oh wait, that never changed...), one of the lessons was about marital relations, and how important it is that the couple says, "I love you," to one another, and in response, "I love you, too," or "Love you, too," instead of "You, too." I don't remember much else about that, just the importance of those three little words...
Jamie comes into the house in-between the wedding and reception to see his brother there. He's excited to see him, and they make plans for their mother's birthday - dinner, I believe. He confirms that he's just back to check in on his "lady" and then hears her voice, calling his brother, "I want you at least twice before Jamie comes home." His own brother.
The next time you see Jamie, he's in France, somewhere down south, by the look of things, writing, and we meet his nosy landlady, who is completely unsurprised by the lack of girlfriend. She has a cleaning girl with her, a cute little Portuguese girl who reminds me of my roommate. He fails miserably at speaking to her, but tries really hard. It's cute. He keeps pointing to things and trying to say random things. But meanwhile, he makes fun of himself and she is crazy confused, and laughs at him. It's great.
The next several interactions show Jamie and Aurelia, him saying something in English, and her saying the equivalent - or sometimes the opposite - in Portuguese. And you can tell, just by watching the way they interact with one another - stealing glances when they think the other isn't looking, the cute way their eyes meet, etc - that they're interested in one another. Even though they can't actually speak to one another.
I think, though, the hardest part of the film for him is as he's going home for Christmas. He's clearly upset about Aurelia leaving, doesn't know when - or if - he'll see her again, and then, he doesn't quite have the guts to kiss her. So he learns Portuguese for her, always in the hope of seeing her again.
Then, with his family, you can just see his brother's face for a split second as he pokes his head in the door. The question is: is his ex-girlfriend there? How much does it hurt to see his brother? Has he forgiven him? Will he ever forgive him?
My favorite part, though, is when Jamie goes to Portugal to ask Aurelia to marry him. Her older sister is spreading rumors that her father is going to sell Aurelia to the Englishman, and the whole town follows, curious. Or, rather more accurate: suspicious. Euridice explained to me one night that the Portuguese in general are very suspicious people, and they just don't trust others. "You always sleep with your door locked. I don't care where you live."
But this part reminds me of telephone, because by the time they arrive at the restaurant, people are saying, "Apparently, he's going to kill Aurelia."
In stumbling Portuguese, he asks her to marry him, even though they haven't known one another long, and he knows that she'll probably say no. And, in stumbling English, she says yes.
I realized for the first time today that Jamie's part in this movie isn't all that large. But he's my favorite character - and not just because he's played by Firth. He has a good sense of humor, and his pain is real, and instead of just living with it, like other characters, he works to change it. He pursues the girl he loves, even though he doubts anything will come of it.