Billy Mack’s trying to passionately record “Christmas is All Around” in a recording studio. But, he keeps singing “Love” instead of “Christmas”. He realises it’s crap, then manager, Joe, reminds him it’s solid gold crap.
FIVE WEEKS TO CHRISTMAS
Jamie’s poorly girlfriend good-naturedly forces him to go to the wedding without her.
Colin Frissell delivers sandwiches to office staff, making suggestive comments. People unfailingly disregard him.
John and Judy are simulating rudimentary sex fully-clothed on camera. John introduces himself to Judy as Jack.
David, the new Prime Minister, arrives at Number Ten. He meets Natalie, tea lady. She calls him David, then panics and swears, and swears again. He says the f-word to save her embarrassment. Soon, he realises he’s in love.
The vicar proclaims Peter and Juliet husband and wife. Then, curtains part to reveal choirs and a singer singing All You Need is Love. Trumpeters appear, then flautists, then trombonists, then saxophonists, then an electric guitarist. Mark hi-fives the vicar.
Jamie goes home to check on his girlfriend. He discovers she’s sleeping with his brother.
Colin distributes canapes at the reception, unsuccessfully flirting with the caterer. He wants to go to America, where he’d get a girlfriend immediately because of his accent.
Jack and Judy discuss the traffic on the way in to work. Then, Jack must massage her naked breasts. They continue discussing bad traffic.
Boss, Harry, understands Sarah’s been working for him for two and a half years. Further to this, she’s been in love with Karl, the chief designer, for almost the entire time. Harry suggests she ask him out.
Billy is DJ Mike from Radio Watford’s guest. Billy says when he was young and successful, he was greedy and foolish. Now, he’s wrinkly and alone. He then insults Britney Spears, says his current record is crap, mentions his historic heroin addiction, his fat, ugly manager and uses the f-word a lot.
FOUR WEEKS TO CHRISTMAS
The American presidential visit is looming. In David’s office, Natalie brings him biscuits. He says her name as she leaves. He tells himself to snap out of it.
Jack and Judy are again naked, simulating sex. After some stage direction, Jack and Judy agree they’re glad they can talk like they do.
Daniel’s upset that eleven year old stepson, Sam, spends all his time in his room. His late wife’s friend Karen tells Daniel no-one will ever shag him if he keeps crying. Sam tells Daniel he’s in love and that it couldn’t be any worse.
David discovers that Natalie’s recently become single. He offers to have her rude ex-boyfriend murdered by the charming and ruthless SAS. He immediately regrets his actions again.
THREE WEEKS TO CHRISTMAS
After some offensive antics live on TV, Billy’s reminded lots of children are watching. He tells them not to buy drugs. Instead, become a popstar and get them free.
Married Harry talks with single Mia about the upcoming office party. She says it’ll be full of dark corners, for doing dark deeds.
Jamie meets new cleaner Aurelia at his cottage. She’s Portuguese and doesn’t speak French. On the evening drive home, he tries breaking the ice, but Aurelia just listens. She discreetly giggles when Jamie starts high-pitched humming.
The American president arrives at Number Ten. David finds the president coming on to Natalie. The president smoothly compliments the scotch.
At a press conference, David says Britain has given the world Shakespeare, Churchill, the Beatles, Sean Connery, Harry Potter and both of David Beckham’s feet. When he calls the president a bully, the press start clamouring.
TWO WEEKS TO CHRISTMAS
Aurelia accidentally releases Jamie’s manuscript into the wind. He can’t help admiring her figure as she removes her clothes to rescue the pages from the lake. She dives in and Jamie follows. They independently exclaim that the water’s very cold. She hopes the work’s worth saving, he apologises for it. They talk of the importance of making copies. Then, they mention the eels.
Afterwards, he suggests he could name a character after her, as does she. Or 50% of the profits, she says. Or 5% of the profits, he says. The drive home is Jamie’s favourite time of day. The drive home is Aurelia’s saddest time of day.
Juliet’s brought banoffee pie and wants to see Mark’s wedding video. The entire recording is close-ups of her face. When the video finishes, Mark leaves. Outside the apartment, he goes to return, then walks on, then turns — very conflicted.
Aurelia and Jamie pack the car with presents. She kisses him on the lips quickly and leaves. He’s shocked and has a minor crash.
Watching Billy on TV singing, surrounded by sexy girls, Sam has an idea. If he plays an instrument absolutely superbly, Joanna will fall in love with him. He starts learning the drums.
Karl goes home with Sarah. After a brief interlude of silent, celebratory freaking-out, she asks Karl for ten seconds. She tidies her room and hides her teddie under the bed. Then, the phone rings. She answers, saying she’s not busy.
Sarah tells Karl it’s her unwell brother and he calls frequently. He’s got no-one else. Karl and Sarah resume smooching. The phone rings again. Again, Sarah says she’s not busy.
Sarah visits her brother in hospital. He says the nurses are trying to kill him and lashes out at her. A nurse arrives to stop him.
Mia tells Harry she wants a Christmas gift — something pretty. While Karen’s back is turned, Harry decides on a £270 necklace for Mia.
ONE WEEK TO CHRISTMAS
Both fully naked, Judy is performing a sex act on Jack. Jack asks her out for a Christmas drink. Judy agrees.
Karen checks Harry’s coat pockets and finds the expensive necklace. She’s surprised. Their daughter is dressed as a carrot.
At the airport, Colin yells a confident farewell to Tony and soon arrives in snowy Milwaukee. A pretty girl introduces herself as Stacey. She alerts Jeannie. When third friend, Carol-Anne, with a thing for English guys, arrives — Colin growls.
The Americans invite Colin to sleep at their small apartment. Then, they remember Harriet, the sexy one. Colin says “praise the Lord,” this goes down very well.
Around the tree, Karen says one present early. Instead of a necklace from Harry, it’s a CD. She excuses herself and cries in private. Then, she returns to her family and hustles everyone into the car.
Billy’s single makes it to Christmas number one and he makes a grand acceptance speech. Everyone then cheers at his every word.
Jack says goodnight to Judy and they kiss. She says all she wants for Christmas is him.
Jamie arrives at his family’s house, but immediately says he’s got to go. He leaves his gifts and heads for Gatwick Airport.
Sam is urgently practising the drums. Daniel calls him to dinner, but he refuses. The sign on his door says “I said — I’m not hungry”.
Sarah and brother are wearing Santa hats in hospital. Mark shows at Juliet’s house, with messages written on cardboard sheets. As recorded carols play, he explains his feelings for Juliet, then leaves — with closure.
Billy visits Joe. Christmas is when you should be with your loved ones. Joe says it’s been an honour and they embrace.
David finds a card signed “your Natalie” and orders a car. When he finds her house, she appears, swearing profusely. Her family’s running late for the school concert. On the way there, Natalie says she thinks of David all the time.
After the show, Daniel praises Sam’s drumming, but singer, Joanna flies to America that night. Daniel says he knows a shortcut to the airport.
In Portuguese, Jamie asks Aurelia’s dad if he can marry his daughter. She’s at work waiting tables. Jamie walks to the restaurant, collecting villagers on the way.
It’s last call to New York (JFK). Sam darts past security and jumps over the metal-detector security guard. As alarms sound, he runs through duty free and yells to Joanna at sound-proofed glass.
Finally, he reaches Joanna — who knows his name. He’s frog-marched out. She then pecks him on the cheek. He’s beaming with pride as Daniel scoops him up.
In broken Portuguese, Jamie asks Aurelia to marry him. He predicts she’ll say no, but, it’s Christmas and he wanted to check. Aurelia says, in English, that that would be nice.
She accepts his proposal in Portuguese and the restaurant applauds. She then kisses him — as does her sister, as does her father.
ONE MONTH LATER
At the airport, Joe greets Billy. Jamie introduces Aurelia to Juliet and Peter — Mark, also. Karen’s pleased Harry’s back. Joanna waves to Sam. Jack’s with Judy, showing off her engagement ring. Colin arrives — whooping. He presents gorgeous Harriet and sister Carla and Tony is stunned. David and Natalie embrace.
Starring Hugh Grant. Martine McCutcheon. Liam Neeson. Rated 15. Dir Richard Curtis. Released in the UK 2003. Runtime 2hrs 15mins.