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'Love, Actually' premieres in Manhattan

November 6, 2003
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The people of New York have fallen for a very British romance, after the new comedy Love Actually had its premiere in Manhattan. The flick centres on the story of a prime minister, Hugh Grant, who becomes enamored of his tea lady, played by Martine McCutcheon.

Arriving on the red carpet, a characteristically self-effacing Hugh admitted to feeling a little nervous about the film. "It was a really hard film to pitch because it sounds nauseating - it's all about love," he joked. "The reason it succeeds, rather than being puke-making, is that it is funny as well."

His co-star Colin Firth was eager to praise British creator Richard Curtis, the man behind Notting Hill and Bridget Jones' Diary, for his work on the film. "I think every single discerning person on this film felt we were in danger of drowning in syrup if we did not end up with something substantial," he said. "The bottom line is that it completely wins you over, it sweeps you up."

Love Actually features a who's-who of British drama, and the film's other stars all turned out for the screening. Claudia Schiffer, Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Keira Knightley and Rowan Atkinson were all in attendance.

Over in Los Angeles, meanwhile, Sean Penn, Benicio Del Toro and Naomi Watts were also taking to the red carpet. There was little chance of their new flick, 21 Grams, being branded "sentimental", however. Critics say the probing drama, by Amores Perros director Alejandro González Iñárritu, is one of the most accomplished movies of the year.

Also winning a chorus of critical approval was Gwyneth Paltrow, whose latest offering Sylvia was screened at the London Film Festival. The film, which charts Sylvia Plath's tempestuous relationship with fellow poet Ted Hughes, was one of the highlights of the event. And Gwyneth's rock star boyfriend Chris Martin seemed in little doubt about the quality of the work. "It's the best movie I've ever seen," declared the Coldplay frontman after the screening.

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Photo: ©
Hugh shares an intimate moment on the red carpet with Princess Rosario of Bulgaria, one of the many high-profile guests at the New York premiere of Love, Actually Photo: © PAy
Photo: ©
Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond, US star Gwyneth Paltrow was the toast of the London Film Festival in an elegant Valentino gownPhoto: © AFP

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