By Lori Perkins
I was today’s year’s old when I learned that a lesbian subplot had been cut from the much-beloved Christmas classic Love Actually, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. One of the criticisms of the much-loved holiday film is that it did not have any LGBTQ content, which we just learned was not the case.
According to a variety of news sources, Richard Curtis, the director of the film, explained that there was a subplot about the headmistress of the school where the Christmas play is performed, and her lover, who appears to be ill when we first meet her at the headmistress’ home. "I was really sorry to lose this bit," Curtis explains in an interview in The Express. "The idea was meant to be you just casually met this very sort of stern headmistress."
"The idea was meant to be that, later on in the film, we suddenly fell in with the headmistress and you realize that no matter how unlikely it seems, that any character you come across in life has their own complicated tale of love."
The first of the three missing scenes shows Anna Reid's headmistress coming home to her partner, Geraldine, played by Frances de la Tour. The second scene shows Geraldine coughing in bed before being comforted by her partner.
The final scene is the real tearjerker, played subtly by Reid and Emma Thompson’s mom character Karen who announces to the entire school that Geraldine had passed away.
Curtis explained that after a scene with Thompson's son at the school had also been dropped, the scenes no longer made sense and that the scenes jumped a little abruptly to the news of Geraldine's death.
"I thought that it was worth you seeing the fullness of it," he says. "Even if it's slightly clumsy towards the end."
I do wish they’d release a 2020 “director’s Cut” with the scenes replaced because it gives a fullness to the film that was missing.