It's December, which means the people who spent the days leading up to Halloween reblogging "Hocus Pocus" GIFs on Tumblr have started assembling an arsenal of awkwardly looping clips from "Love Actually."
The film has become a modern classic since its release in 2003 and is a favorite among people who like watching a Christmas movie that tackles more serious issues than "how many presents will Santa be able to deliver this year?".
While that's undoubtedly an important question to answer, I'd argue, "how does infidelity and the unexpected death of a loved one impact the holiday spirit?" is slightly more compelling.
"Love Actually" touches on a number of fairly mature themes that manage to inspire a wide array of emotions during its run time, but it ultimately ends on a high note for virtually everyone involved.
This is largely because people are a lot less likely to incorporate a movie into their holiday traditions when it leaves them feeling horribly depressed.
Barring the release of a blatantly exploitative sequel, we're left to believe basically every character in the film gets the happy ending we're taught everyone deserves around the holidays. However, based on how things played out in the film, it's hard to believe that would have really happened.
Here's how things probably played out for the major characters once the Beach Boys cut out and the credits stopped rolling.
Keira Knightley and That Jackass With The Signs
The line between "cute" and "creepy" is impossible to objectively define -- there's a reason some people list "Baby It's Cold Outside" among their favorite holiday songs while others see it as the perfect example of how not to take "NO" for an answer.
It's hard to blame anyone for falling madly in love with Keira Knightley because Keira Knightley answers the question "what would it look like if an angel came to Earth and walked among us mortals?".
However, it's very easy to blame a guy for professing his love to the woman who just married his best friend, encouraging her to lie to her husband and inadvertently giving him the gift of fleeting infidelity for Christmas.
In a perfect world, the two remained good friends and took the secret to their grave. Sadly, the world is not perfect
The guilt eats away at Knightley's character until it became too much for her to bear and she tells her husband, ruining a friendship before eventually destroying a marriage.
Liam Neeson's Son and his American girlfriend
After managing to track down his crush by successfully evading an inept security team at one of the world's busiest airports in the wake of 9/11, Sam and Joanna maintain a long distance relationship across the Atlantic.
Sam pledges to reunite with his love in America, but when he attempts to book a ticket he learns he's been banned from entering the United States due to his involvement in the aforementioned incident at Heathrow.
Joanna eventually makes the trek back to England but tells Sam she doesn't see things working out in the long run just moments before boarding her return flight. The two remain friends, but the relationship is never the same.
Liam Neeson and Claudia Schiffer
At the beginning of "Love Actually," Liam Neeson's character says his wife had made him promise to take model Claudia Schiffer as his date to her funeral in the event of her death.
At the end of the movie, he ends up meeting Claudia Schiffer backstage at the school Christmas pageant but doesn't appear to recognize her. There are a couple of ways to explain why.
The first is Schiffer was merely playing the role of a parent and this was a cute throwaway joke. The other is Liam Neeson's character has some sort of brain tumor that's destroyed his ability to recognize faces and will soon turn Sam into an orphan.
The second one is the more likely scenario.
Mack decided to take it easy on Christmas Eve after he unexpectedly secured the number one song of the Christmas season, but he couldn't stop himself from eventually celebrating like he would have in his prime.
Unfortunately for Billy, success can't cancel out the damage done by years of substance abuse, and his body is found a few months later on the toilet in a hotel in Barcelona next to magazine opened to a picture of Britney Spears.
The Couple That Can Barely Understand Each Other
After learning about the details of the engagement, Jamie's agent realizes the couple's unconventional relationship has the potential for an amazing reality television show that could also bolster his career as an author.
Jamie and Aurelia move back to her home country, where viewers are given an intimate look at his relationship with not just his new wife but the vast and assorted cast of eccentric Portuguese characters.
The couple eventually becomes about as famous in Europe as the cast of "Real Housewives of Atlanta" is in the United States, and their show airs for four seasons before the couple decides to take a break from the public eye after the birth of their first child.
The Fake Porn Stars
They live a happy life full of various carnal pleasures well into their later years.
The Luckiest Man Alive and The Girls From Wisconsin
Please see the previous entry.
Hugh Grant and The Most English Woman To Ever Exist
This might be my favorite couple in the entire movie as Hugh Grant is the prototypical Englishman and Natalie is the first result I'd expect to see after searching "average English woman" on Google Images.
Consequently, the couple will eventually take their two children with visible overbites and settle down in a charming village next to a pub with "Brazen" in the name, where they politely wait in line while taking refuge from the constant rain to order pints of cider and platters of blood sausage.
I couldn't figure out a way to fit every single British stereotype into the previous sentence, but you can assume they also partake in all of the things I omitted.
Laura Linney and The Hot Guy
The two never reach their full potential after a lawsuit brought by a former secretary convinces their company's human resources department to formally forbid interoffice relationships.
Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson
While in exile, Rickman's character realizes he probably shouldn't have become a corporate cliché by betraying the trust of his loyal wife for the chance at a brief fling with an overly flirtatious secretary.
He attempts to reconcile with his wife upon his return, but in his absence she realized she's a strong and independent woman who looks stunning for her age and doesn't deserve the amount of disrespect that's been directed at her.
She eventually takes the children and starts a life on her own, and her husband responds by isolating himself in the basement of the home they once shared, becoming increasingly hateful and bitter before eventually accepting a position teaching potions at Hogwarts.