Friday Drinking Game #38 – Richard Curtis Rom-Coms

Last weekend we decided to take a sip of drink everytime something annoyed us about Star Wars: Episodes I – III. God, we were wasted (and for that we place the blame solely on Jar Jar Binks). However, this weekend we’re looking forward to Valentine’s Day. And by that we mean that we’re looking forward into the future and noticing that V-Day has shuffled, ashamedly, into the horizon. We aren’t at all impressed with this behaviour, quite frankly. It can only mean tacky novelty gifts in varyingly ghastly hues of red and pink, not to mention a bunch of depressed singletons / horribly smug coupled-up folks. Time to get drunk? Yeah. let’s get drunk. And, to celebrate the fluffiest day of the year, we’re going to be knocking back Fuzzy Navels (chased with drain cleaner) as we watch Richard Curtis rom-coms…

Take one sip…

Whenever you see Hugh Grant
Make these teensy-weensy little sips; if you’re watching a Richard Curtis film, this floppy-haired toff is bound to waltz onto the screen at some point. We actually think Hugh and Richard made a deal in blood that has bound them together for all eternity. How you liking Hugh’s awkward stammer guys? Lots? Have a drink. Not at all? Er… have a drink as well. It’ll do you good.

Whenever Colin Firth appears in a natty jumper
Colin Firth is an undoubtedly sexy human being. However, in Curtis films, we have to pretend that he’s kinda average and not all that exciting until we’re midway through the plot. How do we achieve this miraculous deception? Curtis sat puzzling over this one for days, locked within his woodshed, poring over photographs and designs. And then one day…


And, like the magical Invisibility Cloak of Harry Potter, this knitted garment shrouded Colin’s devilishly handsome good looks from us all… or, at the very least, from the female protagonists of his films. So that means, dear menfolk, that you need to follow John Underwood‘s lead and grab yourself a natty jumper, stat! It may just help to pull the WOOL over the eyes of that girl you like… (Don’t believe me? Check out Bridget Jones’ Diary and Love Actually!)

Whenever an American actress finds herself lost in a Brit flick
Renee Zellweger, Julia Roberts, Andie MacDowell… they all have one thing in common. And, thanks to Andie’s inclusion on the list, it isn’t being great at acting! They are all American actresses. Quite beautiful American actresses actually. And they have all found themselves inexplicably falling in love with Hugh Grant. Incredible as it may seem, that stammering idiot has some magnetic hold over girls from across the pond. At least, he does on camera. In real life he prefers to ditch Liz Hurley for a backstreet whore and masterfully uncover important phone-hacking scandals…

Whenever someone “feels it in their fingers”
You know you’ve definitely wandered into the realm of Richard Curtis when someone starts wailing about love being all around them. Do you feel the love all around you? No? Drink up. Drink up until you no longer feel anything in your fingers and toes. That’ll show ’em!


Take two sips…

Whenever Hugh Grant and Colin Firth have a fight
Okay, so this only happens in two films but, surely two films is enough? Anyone who’s ever been anywhere NEAR a proper drunken man fight will know that these two have got it bang on the money. ignore all those sexy fisticuffs in Fight Club and James Bond; real men don’t say it with balled fists, they say it with limp wrists and flailing arms. A little like two T-Rexs having an arm wrestle…

Whenever someone rises above class clichés
You know what most people lack? The ability to function in a way that’s unaffected by their social standing. Which is why, when it happens (and happens for love), it makes us feel all horribly warm and sticky; either we’re falling for the charm of it all or we’ve had an alcoholic-induced toilet accident. Regardless, we do love it when someone RICH falls for someone POOR; Hugh Grant for Martine McCutcheon, Julia Roberts for Hugh Grant, Colin Firth for Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth for that Portuguese lady in Love Actually and so on and so forth forever and ever. If you’ll keep it under your hat, we actually suspect Richard Curtis of orchestrating the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton like Ed Harris in The Truman Show, just to see if he could.

Whenever the secondary romance is more important than the first
Oh wow, those two seem really smitten, don’t they? They really truly do. I bet nothing will split them up…oh. Oh it did. But that’s okay, because THEY weren’t the couple we were going to end up rooting for, it’s this NEW couple. Oh yeah. Bridget Jones, Love Actually, Four Weddings and a Funeral… we’ve got the pattern sussed. Trust nobody (unless they’re the second to appear). This is a pattern you should apply to dating; date one person from you close circle of friends, ditch them after a surprisingly nasty incident and then grab another. They have to be equally good-looking but milder in manners and less of a dick. Sorted? Excellent. You may proceed to your happy-ever-after now…

Whenever something bad happens after having sex
Had sex? Excellent. About to have sex? Lucky you. But, if you’re smack-bang in the middle of a Curtis script, now is the time to be on your guard. Whether it’s bad underwear, a horde of paparazzi, an unexpected phonecall from an institutionalised sibling or someone reading your diary, something terrible is about to happen. it’ll disrupt your happy cocoon of lovemaking and reduce it to nothing more than bumping uglies.

The message to take away here? Never have sex. Especially with someone you really, really like.

Take three sips…

Whenever Rowan Atkinson makes a surprise visit
Seriously, it’s true. If you keep your eyes peeled, you’ll generally spot Mr Bean somewhere in the background doing something mad and Bean-worthy, like poorly conducting a ceremony or wrapping a present in a tediously slow fashion. He does that, you know. It’s just SO Rowan Atkinson of him. In fact, if you spot Rowan Atkinson this V-Day, be sure to rub him on the head for luck in all your future romantic endeavours.

Whenever the signature trait of being British is being socially-awkward
The art of being ultra-appealing in a Richard Curtis romance is being unable to talk to anyone without saying something enormously stupid. Can you do that? Of course you bloody can… but only if you’re British. British people are the only ones who can be idiots in conversation. Try declaring your intentions to your beloved this V-Day with a huge amount of stammering, confusion, lowered eyes, drunken mumbling and, if possible, one or two well-honed insults about something the other is truly insecure about. IT WILL WORK, GODDAMNIT! RICHARD CURTIS PROMISED US IT WOULD!
BONUS SIP if the person committing the act of idiocy is Hugh Grant. Have one more if he is left standing alone saying “right” to himself at the end of it all.

Whenever love is based on mutual dislike
Did you just spill f*cking orange juice on me? Did you write unnecessarily cruel but accurate observations about me in your diary? DID YOU INSULT MY JUMPER?

All signs of oncoming true love. Trust us. In fact, ditch that lame complimentary V-Day card you’re mulling over. Instead, grab a pen and write down the ten most irritating features of your potential / ex / current partner and then mail it to them. Nothing says ‘I love you’ like “you’re an insensitive chain-smoking arsehole with unruly hair and a crooked nose”.

Whenever the main character is a horse
Pardon? Richard Curtis wrote the screenplay for “War Horse’? BUT WE LOVE HORSE-ON-HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS! In fact, we love them so much more than actual human-on-human relationships. Nothing like a bit of inter-species adoration to really get your heart pumping, is there? Joey has replaced Hugh Grant in our Richard Curtis affections with his beautifully long face and glossy, unruly locks. In fact… is it just us, or are they starting to look more and more alike?



When you suddenly realise how much you’re enjoying yourself
Oh yes, we can pretend to be as high-brow and cinematically superior as we like, but there’s no denying that there’s something wildly enjoyable about a Richard Curtis flick. Whether it’s Emma Thompson wiping away streaming tears of broken-hearted anguish, someone posh being a prat, the natty jumpers or Bill Nighy pretending to be a drug-addled fool, there’s something for everyone to cling to and love.

And you’ll find yourself hoping, just a teeny-weeny bit, that these stories ring true in real life. But, to be honest, they probably don’t. Love stinks…

… but, just sometimes, it stinks of Colin Firth’s manly aftershave. Yum.

Are you getting hammered this Valentine’s Day? Tell us why!

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