Nearly 20 years after Richard Curtis’ romantic comedy Love Actually hit the silver screen, the speech that opens the 2003 hit forms the basis of an ad for Heathrow airport.
With a script brought up to date and adapted for these Covid-struck times by the original film’s script supervisor, Lisa Vick, the 60-second spot seeks to reassure travellers that the world is returning to some semblance of normality.
The words originally delivered by Hugh Grant’s prime minister character are spoken this time by actor Martine McCutcheon, who played love interest Natalie in the romantic comedy.
Created in-house and directed by Gary Tarn (who also composed the score), the ad was shot at Heathrow Terminal 3, the same location used in the opening of Love Actually. It features real-life footage of passengers emerging at Arrivals to have emotional reunions with their loved ones.
The accompanying voiceover says: “Any time I find myself worrying about what the future holds in these uncertain times, I think about the arrivals hall at Heathrow. We’ve been living in a difficult and isolated world for a while now, but as the world cautiously opens up, I see love and connection everywhere.”
The ad will be distributed via Heathrow’s social channels, while McCutcheon’s Instagram account will promote the spot.
Its timing comes as Heathrow expects a busy Christmas and the campaign is built on research that found 62% of the UK have been separated from a loved one in over a year and that 40% have a loved one who lives abroad.
Vick said: “The opening scene in Love Actually is an iconic moment in the movie, setting the themes of love and relationships in a visual and emotive way.
“Words have great power and working with Heathrow to reimagine that monologue is a way of celebrating the world’s resilience in the face of the great challenges experienced over the last two years, and the love that people have for families and friends around the world.”
McCutcheon added: “I’m very proud to have been part of a film that has stood the test of time, and is synonymous with Christmas for many around the world. The opening scene nearly two decades ago reminded us that no matter what, love is everywhere.
“Watching families and friends reunite after so long is incredibly touching, and I hope that people take comfort from the film and get to see the people they love most very soon.”