Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “How Love Actually Ruined Christmas (or Colourful Narcotics)” as Want to Read:
How Love Actually Ruined Christmas (or Colourful Narcotics)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

How Love Actually Ruined Christmas (or Colourful Narcotics)

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  72 ratings  ·  61 reviews

“Love Actually dulls the critical senses, making those susceptible to its hallucinogenic powers think they’ve seen a funny, warm-hearted, romantic film about the many complex manifestations of love. Colourful Narcotics. A perfect description of a bafflingly popular film.”

By any reasonable measuremen
Paperback, 175 pages
Expected publication: June 1st 2021 by Parthian Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about How Love Actually Ruined Christmas, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about How Love Actually Ruined Christmas

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.54  · 
Rating details
 ·  72 ratings  ·  61 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of How Love Actually Ruined Christmas (or Colourful Narcotics)
Andrea Pole
Nov 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
How Love Actually Ruined Christmas by Gary Raymond was, admittedly, always going to be a hard sell to someone who habitually refers to the film as a perennial favourite. Still, I was open to hearing what the author's objections to the film were, and I have to confess that they are, indeed, valid, well-researched and oh, so, so witty. I was helpless with laughter, agreeing with all that this seasoned film critic had to say, and as much as I have always loved the film, I concede that all of his ob ...more
Megan Thomas
Oct 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It seems that even though I tend to sit in the “love” camp when it comes to Love Actually, there was not one point in this utterly hilarious scene-by-scene critique of it that wasn’t 100% accurate. This is “solid gold shit” and just what I needed.
Steph Warren
Dec 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
*I received a free copy of this book with thanks to the author, Parthian Books and Emma Welton of damppebbles blog tours. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*

I have absolutely no issue at all with the main premise of this book, that the beloved romcom Love Actually is actually [whispers] not very good. I was baffled the first time I watched the film, as I just didn’t get its appeal. I can’t say I disliked it, but I didn’t LOVE it the way so many seemed to. I just thought it was al
Girl with her Head in a Book
For my full review:

When I saw this book's cover on Netgalley, my immediate reaction was, 'Finally!' This is a book that has been needed for years. Raymond mentions mid-way through that this is his 'lockdown book', not because it has anything to do with coronavirus but rather because due to the pandemic he had the time to sit down and write it. So ... I guess this is one of those silver covid linings? As most good thinking people know in their hearts, Love
Zoé-lee O'farrell
Dec 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020
I am going to say it right off the bat, I like Love Actually. When I first saw it, I thought it was cute and I loved how everyone linked and yes it made me laugh and cry. I took it at face value. Over the years, I realised some things weren’t that romantic and cute about this film Andrew Lincoln/ Keira Knightley and Alan Rickman/Emma Thompson, but it is still easy to watch and I still enjoy it.

Then this book came along and I just had to read it because well its a book based on a film! My favouri
Rachel Powell
Dec 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Oh dear!

Even though I'm a big fan of Love Actually, I was really looking forward to this book. Its interesting to learn of other peoples opinions on things, after all. I was even a little afraid that this book might spoil the film for me, but while it makes some excellent points about some of the less palatable parts of the film (Colin the Sex pest, for example) i also found it a bit... harsh at times, as though the author were nitpicking at every single little detail just because he doesnt lik
"Love Actually" is a movie I could (and did) watch again several times. Maybe not every year, but surely every third year I would say. And until now I found nothing wrong with that, or the movie itself.

Reading this book made me see some things in a different light. To be honest, I have never noticed the casual misogyny before. And while I don't agree on all the examples the author brings for that here, I do see his point.

Some things I just haven't questioned as much as the author does, for examp
Nov 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
This book wins all the things on dedication alone...
To All Those Who Have Had The Sh%$t Kicked Out Of Them By Love Actually

Going into this book is going to be very different for each reader; depending on if you are in the.
Love, Actually is the best Christmas film every catagory, or Love, Actually is the bane of every Chritmas since it hit the cinemas in 2003.
I am in the latter camp, sitting in my local cinema with my mum, Christms 2003, expecting joy..
I came out physically shaking and disturbe
Emily Quinn
Dec 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Just fabulous – what more do I need to say?! I must have seen the Love Actually film only once in my life and this book just captures everything many of us think but can’t quite pluck up the courage to say! Such a funny book analysing the film in detail, and it really did put an unexpected smile on my face.

I appreciated this book much more than I originally thought I would - from ridiculous plot holes to all the sloppy details we don’t really think much about when watching the film, the author
Dec 06, 2020 rated it liked it
HOW LOVE ACTUALLY RUINED CHRISTMAS (or Colourful Narcotics) by Gary Raymond is an in depth critique of the movie Love Actually. I really liked how this book goes scene by scene in order to give a detailed description of the movie along with Raymond’s thoughts and notes. I definitely agree with him in how this movie unnecessarily used fat jokes and misogyny to portray humour. I’ve seen the movie before and enjoyed some parts of it but it’s not one I would rewatch. After reading this book I’m in t ...more
Dec 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book made me laugh out loud several times and I very much enjoyed it. I’d recommend reading it on a kindle if you have one, because there are 107 footnotes in the appendix, and it would be really tedious to keep trying to find the right ones in a book.

(Also, I disagree about About Time - it’s still one of my favourite films. I will rewatch it with a more critical eye having read this, but it makes me happy, regardless.)
Dec 02, 2020 rated it it was ok
This book went through all of the scenes of the movie, Love Actually. If you have been a fan of the movie like me, you still will.enjoy reading how the author feels about each character and what happened in each scene. It is like you are watching it with a friend that talks throughout it about their feelings. I would recommend that you have seen the movie, or you will not.understand the book.
Nov 22, 2020 rated it liked it
As a fan of Love Actually, but with an of awareness of the fact it isn't perfect and it has it's flaws - as soon as I saw this I wanted to read it to truly get the view from the other side of the coin. While I do feel Gary Raymond had some interesting points it also feels self indulgent, like it's written by someone whose friends are possibly a bit fatigued with his rants about a Christmas romcom. He literally writes that the book is here to serve his ego, and you really pick that up from the ge ...more
Helen Marquis
Dec 24, 2020 rated it liked it
An entertaining and easy to read deconstruction of Love Actually and how it's a deeply problematic film, filled with epic sexism, classism, misogyny, body shaming, general terrible behaviour and tragic stereotypes. So far so good. There's a good book here, but it's buried in an epic mountain of unnecessary snark and annoying smug footnotes. Maybe the internet has finally worn me down and I'm actually tired of other people's superiority complexes....
What annoyed me most of all, was that I agree
Jan 04, 2021 rated it liked it
In the interests of full disclosure, I must admit at the outset that LOVE ACTUALLY is a seasonal favorite of mine and has been since I first saw it in theaters in 2003.

Nevertheless, I derive a great deal of enjoyment from reading various “takedown” pieces LOVE ACTUALLY has elicited over the years, all of which —including this one — have had the stopping power of a spitball against a Abrams M1A2 tank.

I began reading Gary Raymond’s How LOVE ACTUALLY Ruined Christmas (HLARC) shortly after Christmas
J Fearnley
Dec 03, 2020 rated it liked it
What can I say? When I saw the invite to this book I thought “aah, yes! I remember that film, I’ve seen it on tv.” Of course, that was a while ago, what ten, fifteen, maybe more years ago. It wasn’t really a film on my favourites list. Actually I was a bit indifferent truth be told! Still, it was a surprise to hear that it was up at the top with the best ever Christmas RomCom films.

I think, mostly, I was intrigued about how such a film could make someone write a book on why they disliked it so.
Dec 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One film, Love Actually, has a particular place in modern film history. Essentially a compilation of loosely linked stories, it is memorable for the well known actors involved, the music and its production by Richard Curtis. This book takes a critical view of the film - not in the sense of a review, but looking at the questionable elements of the film. This includes the acting, the flow of the story, the editing, the implications of the script, and the time scale of the stories. Anyone with a de ...more
Michelle Ryles
Dec 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs-read
Having watched Love Actually many years ago and being completely underwhelmed, I was very intrigued by Gary Raymond's book: How Love Actually Ruined Christmas (or Colourful Narcotics). The only thing I could remember about the film was Hugh Grant doing his crazy dad dancing so I decided to watch the movie before reading the book. After watching the movie and scratching my head in confusion, Gary Raymond writing this book makes so much sense, a lot more than Richard Curtis' dreadful movie that's ...more
Ophelia Sings
Nov 18, 2020 rated it liked it
As one who loathes the festive behemoth that is Love Actually, I realise I'm in the minority. It's a lonely place, particularly at this time of year, these LA-denying lowlands. So I approached How Love Actually Ruined Christmas in the hope of solidarity and vindication, and for the most part, I found it.

Even those who are diehard (now THERE'S a Christmas film) Love Actually aficionados admit that it's (over)loaded with schmaltz and saccharine tropes, and for some, that's kinda the point of it. D
Jan 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
I will start off my review by saying I love Love Actually...I have in fact watched it more times than I can count just this year (obviously a certain movie channel has been playing it on repeat).

I found this book really funny and refreshing and I laughed out loud plenty of times throughout.

I am aware that the film is problematic with some themes but have never thought of it as fat phobic....having always been on the bigger side. .thats just how society is. The fact that people DO actually think
Nov 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a fun read and, without trying to be dismissive or rude, a good gag gift to be added to the pile of books in the smallest room in the house. The ‘colourful narcotics’ in the title is because the author misread a review referencing ‘colourful neurotics’.

Raymond has decided to make use of the time in lockdown in this pandemic world, to finally write the book he’s been threatening to write for years. The one about how that perennial festive favourite, “Love, Actually”, is not the warm and
Kate Southey
Dec 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was the perfect candidate for this book. I held the title for being the only one of my friends and acquaintances who had never watched Love Actually. I asked my 21 year old daughter if she’d ever watched it and the reply came swiftly “Yeah. It was sh*t” I do love how pithy the youth of today are!
So I set myself the challenge of watching the movie and then reading this book. I’m not sure I would call the film sh*t with the same vehemence that my daughter and the author have but it certainly is
I must admit, I’m not the biggest Love Actually fan. I just don’t get it. I’ve watched it once and couldn’t get the hype so I’ve never rewatched it. Don’t get me wrong, I like Richard Curtis’ films, loved Bridget Jones’ Diary, Notting Hill and Four Weddings – I’ve lost count how many times I’ve seen each of these. And I love Hugh Grant… and I adore Christmas but there are so many more festive films that I’d sooner watch: Elf, Arthur Christmas, Die Hard (yes it is a Christmas film).

But this guy,
Dec 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I was one of those who couldn't bear Love Actually. I'm disappointed to find that I can't claim the high ground. I ignored the misogyny, poor characterization and plot holes. For me it was the overwhelming sadness. When it came out in 2003 I had finally got divorced after a very unhappy marriage. I'd let my children down with my misguided promises that things would work out with their father at some point.

Watching Love Actually all I saw was love going wrong. The woman who didn't shag the co-wo
Rowena Andrews
Nov 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
For me, Love Actually has always been one of those films that you love because they are terrible. And sometimes you want to curl up in a blanket with a hot chocolate, a box of chocolates and watch a film that doesn’t demand anything from you, especially in the run-up to Christmas while working in retail.
So, I came to this book already knowing that it wasn’t the best film by a long shot, but enjoying it, and I have to say I can very much agree with the idea of ‘Colourful Narcotics’ – although so
Zoey Curato
Nov 30, 2020 rated it did not like it
How Love Actually Ruined Christmas (or Colourful Narcotics) By Gary Raymond

Well what can I say? I saw this one on @netgalley and thought it sounded interesting. I can't say I am the hugest fan of Love Actually but I have seen it a few times, in fact I think I start the film every christmas and probably fall asleep after 20 mins after too many xmas snowballs!!! I'd seen a few reviews with people saying this was funny so I thought I'd give it a go.

Well I'm sorry to say that it wasn't for me. As
Amy Louise
Nov 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Okay, confession time.

I KNOW that Richard Curtis’ Love Actually is a terrible movie.

I knew it was a terrible movie the first time I watched it – long before Lindy West’s infamous (and hilarious) take down of it for Jezebel, and long before I was old enough to truly appreciate the sheer depth of the misogyny, fat-shaming, and sheer smugness of it. And that’s before we even get onto the dodgy timeline, the numerous plot holes, and the fact that some of the actors were mostly definitely phoning it
Nov 23, 2020 rated it liked it
Confession time as soon as the John Lewis Christmas advert appears on screen, I’m in full Christmas mood. One of the first things I like to do during this time is buy a Gingerbread Latte (in a red cup) and drink it whilst watching “Love Actually”! It is part of ritual to get my excited about the upcoming season.

Now I know “Love Actually” is filled with flaws and problematic characters (Andrew Lincoln’s character is just awful). And the editing and time line is very confusing but for me it is th
Sara Ann
Dec 15, 2020 rated it did not like it
Well researched but actually joyless.

I like Love Actually. It's not my favorite Christmas film ever but I watch it on occasion. I started this book expecting to laugh a little, maybe even agree with some of the points made. I did neither.

To give the author their due, they've presented their argument well as a scene by scene analysis of the film with references and footnotes that shows they've put thought into their writing. However, the tone of the book is too arrogant and condescending.

As both
Mary G.
Nov 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020, arc, pop-culture
Love Actually is certainly not a great movie, but it's a movie that many people really love. And why? It's 2+ hours of questionably romantic stories, including people falling in love during their work as sex stand-ins and a non-attractive British man successfully wooing multiple very attractive American women - all because he says "bottle" with a British accent. And the flashcards, don't forget the flashcards.

I wouldn't save that Love Actually ruined Christmas, but I'm ambivalent enough about th
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Silent Night (Paige Northwood, #2)
  • The Push
  • Sleepless
  • Sins of the Father: A disturbing and heart-stopping debut
  • Banking on Murder (The Parker Sisters, #1)
  • The Chalet
  • Christmas Island
  • The Burning Girls
  • Hungry
  • This Is Not the Jess Show (This Is Not the Jess Show, #1)
  • All Down The Line
  • The Whole Truth
  • The Push
  • Last One at the Party
  • A surprise for Christmas and other seasonal mysteries
  • The Christmas Swap
  • The Pretenders
  • Burying the Dead: An Archaeological History of Burial Grounds, Graveyards and Cemeteries
See similar books…

Related Articles

New year! New books! New this month: Scandal rocks an elite British boarding school in The Divines. A dark secret spans several...
90 likes · 37 comments