The school that Love Actually built
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