Happy Endings Abound In The ‘Love Actually’ Mini-Sequel

Love Actually” is still all around us, thanks to the mini-sequel that aired Thursday during NBC’s Red Nose Day charity special. We are now blessed with an update on most of the characters from the 2003 Christmas hit that continues to inspire obsession and vitriol around the world. 

It’s happy endings (mostly) all around. The couples formed in the film ― Natalie (Martine McCutcheon) and the prime minister (Hugh Grant), Jamie (Colin Firth) and Aurelia (Lucia Moniz), even Sam (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) and Joanna (Olivia Olson) ― are still together. Mark (Andrew Lincoln) is still showing up at Juliet’s (Keira Knightley) door while Peter (Chiwetel Ejiofor) awaits her return, but now Mark is married to Kate Moss. Billy Mack’s (Bill Nighy) manager has died, but Billy is still recording half-baked publicity singles and giving cantankerous radio interviews. Rufus (Rowan Atkinson) is methodically packaging gifts at Walgreens, because product placement is real, and Daniel is inquiring about Sam’s life on that same waterfront bench (sans Claudia Schiffer). The happiest ending of all goes to Sarah (Laura Linney), who’s bagged a new fellow played by Patrick Dempsey. 

Cast members missing from the roster: Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman (who died in 2016), Rodrigo Santoro, Kris Marshall and the rest of Colin’s crew, and Martin Freeman and Joanna Page, who played the flirty body doubles. 

You can watch the full 16-minute bit above. 

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What Adam Pally Can Say About The ‘Happy Endings’ Countdown Clock

Last month, the long-dormant Twitter account run by the writers of “Happy Endings” shared a cryptic link that sent fans to a page featuring a countdown clock. “It’s almost a new day,” reads the site, with time ticking down to April 1, aka April Fools’ Day.

But despite the fact that the clock could be an elaborate ruse, fans of the canceled series were tantalized by the possibility of a renaissance. “The thought that ‘Happy Endings’ might actually be resurrected is probably the most ah-mah-zing thing I’ve heard in a long time,” wrote Natalie Abrams at Entertainment Weekly. “I need to know what this means. I’m, like, stress-vomiting with anticipation,” tweeted TVLine staff editor Andy Swift.

In the weeks since the @happywrites account posted the link, many have speculated that some kind of second life for the show could materialize. (After the tweet, the account also followed streaming services Netflix, Amazon and Yahoo Screen.)

Former “Happy Endings” stars Damon Wayans Jr. and Adam Pally left their respective regular roles on “New Girl” and “The Mindy Project,” while Eliza Coupe’s show “Benched” was canceled. And while other “Happy Endings” cast members Casey Wilson, Zachary Knighton and Elisha Cuthbert are currently involved in different series, none of those shows have been picked up for future seasons. What does it all mean?

“I can’t tell you anything,” Pally told The Huffington Post during an interview at South by Southwest to promote his new film, “Night Owls,” which debuted at the festival on Friday. “I know as much as you.”

But after Pally was pressed to provide some concrete information by his “Night Owls” co-star, Rosa Salazar, he did offer one tidbit.

“I’ll tell you this: I know the origin of that ‘Happy Endings’ countdown clock was not intended to be where it is headed,” he said. “That’s as much as I can give you.”

Check back on Monday for more from Pally and Salazar on “Night Owls.” This year’s South by Southwest Film Festival runs until March 21.
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