Wednesday, October 10, 2007

"Love Actually: Focus on Sarah

I know, I know... I over-watch this film, right? Well, this time it was destiny. As E News finished, I was looking for something else to watch, and what is on, but "Love Actually?" Amazing. Just amazing. And so I decided that the first character I saw would be today's focus. Which is why we're looking at Sarah.

Now, it's a good thing I know this movie so well, or this wouldn't be so good, now would it?

Sarah is a friendly, sweet girl, who can't seem to figure out relationships. She has a brother who is institutionalized for... who knows what. "He's ill," whatever that means.

At her friend's wedding, she confronts Mark, asking if he is in love with him. Good question... wrong person. I don't know if she gets the answer she's expecting or not, but the important thing is that she asked. She understood that Mark is clearly hurting, and so she asked the awkward question so should he want to talk about it, he could.

And then, there is the horribly awkward conversation with her boss, Harry. I don't know about you, but if my boss were to ask me how long I'd been in love with a coworker, I'd want to sink through the floor.

Sarah has a similar reaction, but for one thing: she answers the question. She is rather shocked when Harry then suggests that she ask him out, then "casually drop into the conversation that you'd like to have lots of sex and babies."
"You know that?"
"Yes, I know that. Everybody knows that. Even Karl." Poor girl. And then, she thanks him for his advice, still a little stunned and leaves - as in walks the man of her affections. Ouch...

I came in as Sarah was sitting at work, late, after hours, putting on makeup. Karl walks out, and tells her goodnight. And she repeats the kind words. I can only imagine that her boss's words came to mind... but whether she had any intention of following through with his suggestion, we'll never know, because her phone rang. Her brother. Again. As usual.

A "concerned" Harry asks about the matchmaking plan, but agrees when Sarah explains she's gone goose egg (chickened out), and it's a good thing, because he's too good for her. I think his reaction is more to encourage her to do it than to be truly cruel. But her phone rings while they're playfully hitting one another with pieces of paper. Her brother. Again. As usual.

Oh, and you have to love her. Karl asks her to dance at the company Christmas party and the girl completely chokes, "Who, me?" He starts to back off, and then she fixes it. Fortunately, Harry's wife, who she's been talking to, has the foresight to take her drink so she doesn't have to worry about it any longer.

As they step out on the dance floor, the song, originally a fun dance song, turns to a slow dance song. And they dance happily in one another's arms.

Karl drives her home, and then, after a few awkward moments and some passionate kissing, Sarah invites him in. We all know they intend to have sex. Just as Harry encouraged her.

Funny insert: Karl, who is incredibly handsome is standing in his underwear by her bed, and one of the first times I watched this, my then-roommate (Portuguese, Euridice) and I were discussing how I think men in tuxes were hot. She was non-commital, and then, in this scene she turns to me and said, "Yes. He's hot. You can know because in a tux anyone is hot. But in your underwear it's just you and your underwear." Well, there is that.

In any case, just as Karl and Sarah look like they might actually be getting somewhere... the phone rings. Now, I don't want to encourage them to have sex... but she knows who's calling!!! Don't answer the phone! For goodness sakes DON'T DO IT!

But Sarah must be a nicer person than I, because she answers the phone. And it's her brother. Of course. As usual. She's off quickly, and she's left with a hot almost-naked man in her bed. Now what? The phone rings. Again. Of course. And she answers it. And it's her brother. Again. Of course. And she tells her brother that she's not busy, and agrees to go to see him.

While Sarah's sitting, talking with her brother, I can only think about what she's given up for the brother who loves her, but is never going to fulfill her. And I can't help but feel sorry for her.

Later, Sarah and Karl have one last goodbye and Merry Christmas... and threw her tears, Sarah calls her brother.

This movie doesn't end with a predictably happy ending for Sarah. And I think that's one of the charms of this film. Not everyone gets a happy ending. "Love Actually" shows love in all of its forms... love unreturned, love unfinished, love broken, sweet love, patient love,,and love triumphant, too. And that's pretty cool.

(Off the subject: we have hot water!!!!)


Melody said...

Boo for Sarah. Hurray for hot water!

Benjamin Yu said...

But it's not just unrequited love. Sarah's anecdote is less about Karl and maybe more about the love she has for her brother. At least that's how I saw her storyline: admirable, self-sacrificing love Sarah proves for her brother, regardless of whether it's returned. I love it.