The school that Love Ac­tu­ally built

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The films of Work­ing Ti­tle of­fer an un­can­nily ac­cu­rate de­pic­tion of ex­actly how life in the UK isn’t. Love Ac­tu­ally, Four Wed­dings, Brid­get Jones, Not­ting Hill – all charm­ing lit­tle pan­tomimes of townhouses in leafy zone 1 streets, plummy ac­cents, in­ex­pli­ca­ble af­flu­ence and dith­ery and apolo­getic love­mak­ing. No one in Lon­don has ever lived like this, partly be­cause

no one knows how to. This makes news that Work­ing Ti­tle plans to open a school for 16- to 19-yearolds in 2019, train­ing a di­verse new gen­er­a­tion of film­mak­ers, quite in­trigu­ing. Could it also teach us how to achieve a life as seen in Work­ing Ti­tle’s films? Could you fi­nally lead an ex­is­tence Richard Cur­tis him­self would be proud of? The an­swer, dear reader, is an em­phatic “per­haps”.

How would such a Cur­tis­ic­culum look? Form­ing the back­bone of its bold and bru­tal syl­labus would ob­vi­ously be in­ten­sive mod­ules in Ro­man­tic In­ep­ti­tude, Snog­ging in In­clement Weather and Ad­vanced Fop­pery. Say­ing “sorry” at least 60 times a day is manda­tory. There will be prac­ti­cal ex­am­i­na­tions on Phys­i­cal Clum­si­ness in In­ap­pro­pri­ate Un­der­wear, and on the com­pul­sory ac­qui­si­tion of at least one friend who is more of a wastrel than you. See Sally Phillips’ Shazzer in Brid­get Jones or Rhys Ifans’ Spike in Not­ting Hill

for ref­er­ence. These com­pan­ions are es­sen­tial in main­tain­ing the ve­neer that this new, bet­ter, posher you isn’t a snob, be­cause you’re demon­stra­bly pre­pared to slum it with some pro­les.

Most tan­ta­lis­ing of all is the mas­ter­class on how to get on the prop­erty lad­der in cen­tral Lon­don while work­ing as a writer or in a tiny shop that no­body ever goes into. Just imag­ine it: an en­tire school’s worth of bum­bling, rich, li­bidi­nous sin­gle­tons. Maybe they can fi­nally turn the coun­try into the posh par­adise of bad weather, red phone boxes and ter­ri­ble teeth that – thanks, in part, to Work­ing Ti­tle’s films – many Amer­i­cans al­ready think it is. Luke Hol­land

(pic­tured below)

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