A bizarre shot from the “Love Actually” trailer that didn’t make it into the film shows a character holding up a sign that says “fatso” — and could reopen debates about whether the movie relied too much on fat-shaming for laughs.
It looks like a parody, we know. But the trailer appears on Universal Movies’ official YouTube page, uploaded in 2011 in partnership with YouTube’s Video-On-Demand program. We reached out for comment, but haven’t heard back.
In this particular scene, one of the most “awww”-inducing moments of the entire film, Mark, played by Andrew Lincoln, appears at the door of Peter and Juliet, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor and Keira Knightley, respectively, to confess his love to Juliet.
The big moment comes when Mark shows Juliet a card reading, “To me, you are perfect.”
The full scene is below.
It’s a little creepy because Mark is supposed to be best friends with Juliet’s husband, but “Love Actually” fans try not to get too bogged down with that particular detail.
But the condensed version of the scene — the one we see in this original trailer — is pretty different. As the voiceover announcer says, “and chances are taken,” this is the scene that plays:
“Merry Christmas, fatso. To me, you are perfect.”
This particular trailer is something we just noticed, but the fat-shaming in the film is nothing new. In the 12 years since “Love Actually” came out, viewers couldn’t help but notice a proliferation of jokes relating to body weight, specifically women’s body weight.
A character called Natalie has to endure ~1 fat joke per scene, as pointed out by Pajiba. And when Screen Junkies recut the “Love Actually” promo spot into an “honest trailer,” they joked that the movie seeks to convince women that “the ideal woman… isn’t fat.” The Telegraph, Jezebel, and The Awl have also pointed out the movie’s penchant for fat jokes.
Yet Juliet appears to be totally down with this! Charmed, even!
Movie producers put shots and scenes in trailers that aren’t in the full-length movie all the time. But it’s unclear whether the “fatso” cue card ever stood a chance at appearing in “Love Actually.” In fact, it could just have been added to the trailer to condense the scene and add a quick joke (“joke”) to keep things moving.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Lincoln says the cue cards actually showed his real handwriting, but he doesn’t mention the lost “fatso” joke. We also aren’t sure when this trailer was originally released. YouTube didn’t exist when “Love Actually” came out, and this trailer wasn’t added to YouTube until 2011, according to Universal’s YouTube channel.
But judging by the trailer’s quality and its emphasis on director Richard Curtis’ prior hits, 1999’s “Notting Hill” and 2001’s “Bridget Jones’ Diary,” it appears to be a really early trailer that was shown in theatres. A newer 10th-anniversary trailer is available on the Universal Pictures Home Entertainment YouTube page, but that one doesn’t include the “fatso” shot.
We’ve reached out to Universal and will update if they get back to us.
Watch the full original trailer below.
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