It’s that time of year again: the time when it’s ok to watch Love Actually on repeat, or maybe in between viewings of The Snowman, Miracle on 34th Street and, of course, It’s a Wonderful Life.
This year marks a decade since Love Actually was first released, (feel old? Us too) and with that shocking revelation, comes another: the film which celebrated love’s omnipresence was also intended to include a lesbian couple.
As with all creative pursuits, there comes a time when you have to get pretty brutal with the cutting, which is what happened with Richard Curtis.
The scene (which you can watch below) was intended to follow-on after another that also remained on the cutting room floor, which saw Emma Thompson’s character’s son being reprimanded for writing an ‘inflammatory essay’ by a stern headmistress (Anne Reid).
The following scene sees Reid return home after work to her female partner, who we see is dying of terminal cancer. The scene that plays out between the two women is incredibly touching, and incredibly sad.
Speaking about the cut director, Richard Curtis, says he was sad to see the scene go, but it no longer made sense after the scene with Thompson’s son had to be cut. He says:
“The idea was meant to be you just casually met this very sort of stern headmistress… and the idea was meant to be that later on in the film… we suddenly fell in with the headmistress and you realise that no matter how unlikely it seems, that any character you come across in life has their own complicated tale of love.”
The deleted subplot is even more tearjerking than the scene where we see Emma Thompson silently sobbing to Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now.
Perhaps the film didn’t need any more sad subplots, with adultery and spousal bereavement already in the mix, but it would definitely have been a positive addition, to see the film tell a more diverse story of love, with the inclusion of a lesbian relationship.
Either way, we wish it had stayed in. Watch it and weep: