A Definitive Ranking of Love Actually Storylines, From Worst to Best

Love Actually is one of our fave movies to watch during the holidays, and that's because it's loaded with aww-worthy storylines. That said, some of film's major themes are sweeter than others.

From cheating spouses and unrequited love, to workplace romances and elementary school crushes, this film runs the romantic gamut. So, luckily for you we've parsed through each of the intertwined vignettes and ranked them in order from best to worst.

Scroll down to see where your favorites fall!

9. Harry and Karen

Believe it or not, not every storyline in this holiday classic is sweet and cheerful, and the Harry and Karen plotline illustrates that perfectly. Harry spends much of the film flirting with his young secretary, Mia, and even buys her a fancy necklace for Christmas, while wife Karen gets a simple CD. Because Karen is utterly devastated (and rightfully so) when she learns of her husband's indiscretions, this crushing plotline has earned its last place finish on our list. There certainly isn't any holiday cheer here.


8. Juliet, Peter and Mark

Though the scene where Mark confesses his love for his best friend Peter's wife, Juliet (via handwritten signs) is one of the most iconic parts of the movie, the plotline itself is a bit creepy and depressing if you think about it. For starters, Mark's admission that he loves his best friend's gal only makes things complicated and awkward for all those involved—especially since, so far as the viewer knows, Peter is utterly unaware of what Mark's hiding. Juliet, on the other hand, eventually learns how Mark feels and will likely forever be a bit uncomfortable around him for quite some time since she clearly doesn't feel the same way. Talk about unrequited love ruining the group dynamic!


7. Billy Mack and Joe

Sure, this underdeveloped storyline about a recording artist realizing his true feelings for his manager is sweet (and certainly gets points for being inclusive), but in a movie that's loaded with vignettes that feel much more genuine and developed, this one kind of gets lost in the shuffle. Still, there's no denying "Love Is All Around" is one catchy song!

Billy Mack and Joe in Love Actually
(Love Actually via Universal Pictures)


6. Sarah, Karl and Michael

Sarah's been harboring a crush on her company's creative director, Karl, for years. While the pair do finally connect at the company Christmas party when Karl gives Sarah a ride home, what could have been the start of a great romance is thwarted when Sarah's mentally ill brother, Michael, phones from his mental care facility. Though Sarah and Karl cross paths again on Christmas Eve, it's clear romance just isn't in the cards for this pair. Instead, Sarah spends the holiday with her brother and shares her Christmas scarf with him, showing viewers a different kind of love.


5. Colin and the American Girls

Who hasn't dreamed of jumping on a plane to a foreign country and wooing some locals?! That's exactly what Colin did after striking out with several British ladies and convincing himself that his accent would be more of an asset across the pond. Upon landing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, it doesn't take long for the sweet Brit to meet three women in a bar and win them over. Though a bit cliche, this storyline gets points for its sweetness.


4. Jamie and Aurélia

Though writer Jamie seldom understands what Portuguese housekeeper Aurélia, says (and vice-versa), the pair manages to form an attraction to one another that's hard to deny. When Jamie, who had been working in his cottage in France, returns to England, he realizes he's in love with Aurélia and starts learning Portuguese so he can converse with her. Sure, the scene where he returns to France to find her is cliché, but it's also cute. Plus, the whole ordeal ends with Jamie declaring his love for Aurélia in his broken Portuguese and proposing, so there's nothing not to like.

Jamie and Aurelia in Love Actually
(Love Actually via Universal Pictures)


3. John and Judy

The professional body doubles are probably two of the most naive characters in the film, which makes their budding romance as they work in some awkward situations all the more adorable.


2. David and Natalie

Despite David's position as the Prime Minister and Natalie's role as his newest household staff member, their sweet relationship follows the path of a traditional workplace romance. They each embarrass themselves in front of one another, and after a misunderstanding with the American president, David has Natalie moved to another role. However, when David finds a Christmas card from Natalie on Christmas Eve, he realizes he's made a huge mistake and conducts a door-to-door search to find her. Swoon! The duo eventually reunites at a school Christmas play and shares what they believe to be a clandestine kiss backstage that was actually seen by the entire audience.


1. Daniel, Sam and Joanna

Is there anything sweeter than young love? We think not. Pretty much everyone can identify in some way with Sam's childhood crush on American classmate Joanna, making this storyline the most relatable of the bunch. Plus, since Sam's puppy love for Joanna is so real, he's willing to do just about anything (including run through a crowded airport) to show her how much she means to him. Joanna returns Sam's affection by giving him a kiss on the cheek, creating one of the jam-packed film's most heartwarming moments.

Daniel, Sam and Joanna in Love Actually
(Love Actually via Universal Pictures)


For more rankings, click HERE for a list of the most underrated Disney couples.