It’s an election, actually: Boris Johnson’s ‘Love Actually’ spoof met with criticism

Click to play video: '‘Brexit, actually’: antics rise in last days of U.K. election'
‘Brexit, actually’: antics rise in last days of U.K. election
WATCH ABOVE: As the United Kingdom election approaches, the campaign is seeing its share of hijinks, embarrassments, and accusations of fake news. Redmond Shannon looks at how British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's parody of the movie 'Love, Actually' is playing a role – Dec 10, 2019

The 2003 Christmas-themed romantic comedy “Love Actually” has become an unlikely election battleground for Britain.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson released a campaign video on Monday parodying one of the film’s scenes. It shows Johnson knock on a voter’s door and silently deliver a message via notes written on large white cards.

In the movie, the suitor’s message is designed to woo his romantic interest with talk of eternal love while her husband sits inside the house, believing carol singers are at the door.

Johnson’s message is rather more prosaic: “With any luck by next year, we’ll have Brexit done … your vote has never been more important.”

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Labour’s Rosena Allin-Khan, on Nov. 22, used the same format to show her persuade a Conservative voter to switch to her party.

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Allin-Khan responded to Johnson’s ad, suggesting if the prime minister wanted to “copy any more of our ideas,” he could read the Labour Party’s manifesto.

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Johnson’s video has racked up more than 2.1 million views compared to Allin-Khan’s 1.5 million.

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Among the critics of Johnson’s ad is the star of the romantic comedy — Hugh Grant. Speaking to BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday, Grant said the video was “quite well done.”

But one of the cards used in the movie was not included in Johnson’s ad, as Grant pointed out.

“One of the cards from the original film that he didn’t hold up was one where Andrew Lincoln held up a card saying, ‘Because at Christmas you tell the truth,'” Grant said, referring to his character.

“I just wonder if the spin doctors in the Tory party thought that was a card that wouldn’t look too great in Boris Johnson’s hands.”

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Britain holds an election on Dec. 12. It’s a political gamble by Johnson, who sees it as his best chance to break the deadlock in parliament over Brexit.

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The parties are on the campaign trail this week, travelling the length and breadth of the United Kingdom to drum up last-minute support.

— With files from Global News

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