The initial trailer set us up for what we could expect from many of the characters that viewers loved and hated from the original movie (with the exception of Emma Thompson’s character, who didn’t appear after her movie husband Alan Rickman passed away last year), and there were plenty of familiar faces. And in Red Nose Day Actually, the characters don’t stray too far from what we saw more than a decade ago.
Mark (Andrew Lincoln) has even more cue cards for Julia (Keira Knightley), although this time he’s seemed to have moved on. David (Hugh Grant), who’s Prime Minister again, is still dancing, except he’s not as limber as he used to be. Billy Mack (Bill Nighy) made another single and shows his true colors on the air. Daniel and Sam (Liam Neeson and Thomas Brodie-Sangster) are having another conversation about love.
It’s a happier look at where these characters have gone with hints of what they’ve been through. Characters who weren’t paired off by the end have found love with entirely new characters, while other relationships have flourished. It’s longer than your average Red Nose Day video, at 17 minutes, but it’s a fitting way to tie a bow on these characters’ lives without putting them (and us) through a bloated, full-length sequel. And if you’re going to reunite the all-star cast of a beloved holiday movie together, charity is a good reason to do it.