'Tis the season, ah yes, 'tis the season to gather around the warming glow of the television as we sit and watch Love Actually for the 13th straight year in a row. Despite Richard Curtis's uplifting Christmas classic being released way back in the simpler days of 2003, according to the Internet, the world still can't get enough of the star-studded film. So, with the movie being closely examined on a yearly basis, I was surprised to learn about a lost plot line in the film involving Rowan Atkinson that I'd never heard about.
As all Love Actually fans will know, Atkinson makes a rather hilarious cameo in the film as the shop assistant, Rufus who has a real passion for wrapping presents. Watch Rufus's scene below to remind yourself:
While this scene was Atkinson's main appearance in the film, his character Rufus actually pops up again toward the end of the movie, when he distracts airline staff, allowing Sam to run after Joanna. Remember that?
Now, while it's not so weird that Rufus should pop up again in the film, after all, it's revealed through the movie that all the individual stories have some sort of link, what is weird is the little eyebrow raise of acknowledgement that Rufus gives Daniel on his way back to collect his "forgotten" tickets:
As a fan of Love Actually, I've always found that scene a little odd — how did Rufus know why Daniel and Sam were at the airport? Why did he care enough to cause a distraction, planting the idea for Daniel to encourage Sam to run through a post-9/11 airport? After all it's pretty clear that they're strangers to each other. While it's not a major annoyance for me (let's face it, the movie is great and this one odd scene couldn't possibly ruin it), I have always wondered, and as it turns out the DVD directors commentary reveals the reason! Rufus was supposed to be the "Angel of Love."
That's right, Rufus was originally a heaven-sent being, and if that sounds totally bizarre, then you'd be right. In the film, the original idea was that Rufus was going to help each of the characters find their love, and then at the very end he was supposed to walk into the distance and fade away mysteriously. Ultimately though, the writers found Rufus's storyline too complicated (and weird?) and cut it out, but kept him in these two scenes which both leant themselves to the story.
So there you have it, the real reason Rufus made a second appearance in Love Actually. Who knew!