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Word Count: 317
Cynics may be sick romantics will feel their spirits soar Richard Curtis returns The writer responsible for the biggest British hits of the last ten years - Four Weddings And A Funeral Notting Hill Bridget Joness Diary - directs this vibrant romantic comedy blending ambition with good sense by filling the profuse parts of his multi-storied script with excellent experienced actors and rising young stars BILL NIGHY IS BRILLIANT Ten stories intertwine loosely connected by friends of friends family and next-door-neighbours Theres the new bachelor prime minister Hugh Grant falling for the teagirl Martine McCutcheon his sister Emma Thompson suspecting her husband Alan Rickman may stray her mate Liam Neeson grieving over his wifes death his stepson Thomas Sangster longing for a girl from school The writer Colin Firth heartbroken in France his newlywed friends Chiwetel Ejiofor and Keira Knightley whose best man Andrew Lincoln acts oddly their Yank friend Laura Linney who wants a beau in Blighty the sex-starved Brit Kris Marshall heading to the sexed-up United States his best mates buddy Martin Freeman falling for a pornstar stand-in And bestriding it all Bill Nighy is brilliant as a washed-up Rod Stewart-alike rock singer whose coarse cover of the Four Weddings theme song is climbing the charts towards a seasonal number one Christmas he sings is all around A SOFT FOCUS SHORT CUTS Inevitably some strands are almost forgotten and actors underused A soft focus Short Cuts the movie lacks the layered fluency of Robert Altmans work - or the hard edge But while theres enough treacle to turn a bee diabetic it is not without raw emotional moments - with Thompson outstanding in a tear-duct tingling scene You can almost see Curtis pressing the emotional buttons but he does it so well you wont care Warm bittersweet and hilarious this is lovely actually Prepare to be smitten
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