Love Actually: What happens to Harry and Karen after the film ends?

Heartbreaking revelation about one of Britain’s favourite Christmas films

Roisin O'Connor,Jack Shepherd
Friday 24 December 2021 08:57
Heartbreaking Love Actually scene where Karen confronts Harry over his affair
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Love Actually is back on our TV screens for Christmas, and it has reminded us of something we learned about the film back in 2015.

Director Richard Curtis’ wife – scriptwriter, author and broadcaster Emma Freudlive-tweeted a midnight screening of the film she was watching with her family.

By doing so, she revealed a lot of detail about the film that viewers probably won’t have known before.

One of those revelations was what happens to Karen and Harry, played by Emma Thompson and the late Alan Rickman, after the film ended.

In the film, the audience can only watch on as Harry, who has two children with his wife Karen, engages in a flirtation with his secretary Mia (Heike Makatsch), to the point where he buys her a gold necklace for Christmas.

Karen accidentally discovers the necklace and thinks it’s for her, only to realise the heartbreaking truth when he gives her a Joni Mitchell CD instead. It leads to one of the most tearjerking scenes in British film: Karen listening to the CD in their bedroom, weeping and wondering what she’s going to do next.

Rickman was one of the best things in Richard Curtis's over-egged Love Actually

When she confronts him at their childrens’ school play he admits it, telling her he’d been “such a fool”, but the audience are never told what happens to the unhappy couple after the film ends.

Luckily during the screening  a fan asked that very question, and Freud said: “They stay together but home isn’t as happy as it once was.”

Which is actually more heartbreaking than if they had broken up.

This article was originally published in 2018

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