The scene in question, from the 2003 Christmas romcom, saw Andrew Lincoln’s character Mark use cue-cards to declare his unrequited love for Keira Knightley’s Juliet, the new wife of his best friend Peter (Chiwetel Ejiofor).
The sequence, which featured cards saying, “To me, you are perfect, and my wasted heart will love you…” has been mocked and parodied countless times over the years. It has even been perceived as romanticising stalking.
Now, in a script that has emerged as part of a charity auction to benefit the Good Chance Theatre in east London, which supports refugee artists, annotations by Curtis hint at doubts.
“I came up with four things Mark could do as his big gesture,” Curtis writes in the annotations, seen by The Sunday Times. “The people in the office chose their favourite and I went for it. I wonder: do we all regret the choice now?”
Stars of Love Actually have previously defended the doorstep scene. In 2020, Martine McCutcheon, who played the role of Natalie, refuted the suggestion that the scene was somehow “creepy”.
“I don’t think it’s creepy at all,” she said. “I think people do crazy things when they are in love with people.
“He had his moment where he thought, ‘Enough now, I’ve told her how I feel, I love my friend too but I had to get it off my chest in the right way.’”
Love Actually also starred Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Laura Linney, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Bill Nighy and Rowan Atkinson.
Earlier this year, Curtis announced that his next project will be Christmas Actually.
It is not a sequel to Love Actually, but a stage show involving live music, performance, poetry, and comedy. The production, which will run in December this year, will raise funds for charity Comic Relief.
Curtis is currently working on another festive release, an untitled film starring Melissa McCarthy, Paapa Essiedu, and Marc Maron, about a workaholic father who tries to win his family back in time for Christmas with the help of a magic genie.
The charity sale, run by The Auction Collective in collaboration with Christie’s, runs online until 6 October. A selection of the scripts will go on display at Christie’s in London from Thursday 21 September.