It seems like every good rom-com about Christmas needs a heartbreaking story. In a movie brimming with new love and optimism, it’s important to witness what happens when love turns stale.
Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman play Karen and Harry, a couple with a loving relationship and a beautiful family. We’re introduced to Harry’s new secretary Mia (Heike Makatsch), who is completely smitten with him from the start, openly flirting on multiple occasions. Mia attends a holiday party at their office dressed as a devil, symbolizing her role in helping to sabotage the marriage.
The heartbreaking irony of it all is that, while her husband’s eyes are on her, Karen is convinced that true love “lasts a lifetime”. A twist of the story occurs when Harry buys jewelry for Mia while his wife is at the other end of the store – and then when she discovers the gift-wrapped necklace comes to believe it was for her. but on Christmas morning received a Joni Mitchell CD. .
Emma Thompson’s work in this scene reminds you why she’s a two Oscar winner, as she tries to hold back her tears while shedding tears over the piece of jewelry that belongs to someone else. Trying to hold it together until the facade collapses, a moment highlighted by Joni Mitchell singing “Don’t Let Them Know, Don’t Give Up on Yourself,” as she sobs quietly in her bedroom. Despite it all, Karen stays with Harry, knowing that “life will always get a little worse”, in the most realistic and heartbreaking of the series’ romantic endings.
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