The cult film "Love Actually" turns 20 years old. The director behind the Christmas movie classic is rom-com genius Richard Curtis – with successes such as "Notting Hill" and "Four Weddings and a Funeral" on his resume.

"With 'Love Actually', he took those ingredients, added Christmas and voilà a 'Christmas miracle'," says SVT's film editor Hannes Fossbo.

"Love Actually" premiered in the United States on November 14, 2003, and the plot differs from conventional Christmas movies that revolve around a few main characters. "Love Actually", on the other hand, is described by Hannes Fossbo as a collection of short stories:

"With a very light touch, all the characters have a little bit to do with each other in some way, and then it becomes a bigger tapestry of it all," he says.

Sexism allegations

The cast includes stars such as Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson. The film became a box office hit and quickly became part of the Christmas movie canon, but in recent years it has been criticized for being outdated and sexist.

Richard Curtis himself has said that 'the lack of diversity makes me feel a bit stupid'.

"All films that are older can be watched with some reservations and think about the time in which they were made. If the quality is not up to scratch, racism or homophobia can take over completely. Then the films don't last. I don't think that's the case here," says Hannes Fossbo.

Is 'Love Actually' the last classic Christmas movie released?

–No. But there may not have been one that reaches that level.

"Watered-down genre"

A good basis for a Christmas movie is "love, preferably a big family and fights – preferably across generational boundaries" according to Christmas movie buff Hannes Fossbo.

"If you have that, you can throw in anything," he says.

After "Love Actually" broke through, a shift has taken place in the genre. Christmas movies are no longer big productions starring superstars, but rather mass productions for streaming services.

"A bit AI-like, they have taken all the ingredients that you know work well in a Christmas movie, and the result is bland films," says Hannes Fossbo.