Throughout the history of film, a great importance has been placed upon the movie trailer. While other forms of advertising are out there, the film trailer is the largest opportunity a producer has for getting word about the movie out there. With the film Love Actually comes a story that grasps the attention of the viewer from the moment the trailer comes on the screen.
According to Louis Giannetti, “Casting a movie is almost an art itself,” (Giannetti, 279). Richard Curtis, the director and writer of Love Actually played into the ethos of the audience by selecting actors who fit the part of the movie as well as played into popular roles and were well known worldwide. Love Actually had a big name cast with actors including, Alan Rickman, Laura Linney, Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Liam Neeson and Kiera Knightley. They picked these stars because of their worldwide prowess and did a great job of showing every one of them off in the trailer. By picking big name stars, they were able to capture the attention of the audience immediately by showing each individual star and by illustrating the main point of the movie.
The trailer begins by pointing out previous successes Richard Curtis has had in the Romantic Comedy genre. By pointing this out, the audience is shown how most of the actors chosen to be in Love Actually have already been in previous Richard Curtis films and how they are mostly type-casted in the Romantic Comedy genre. Giannetti also says that “In analyzing the acting in a movie, we should consider what type of actors are featured and why,” (Giannetti, 284). By casting characters such as Hugh Grant and Colin Firth and then displaying them prominently in the movie trailer, they are playing into the pathos of the audience. Because of the actors in the movie usually being cast in romantic comedy roles coupled with the back story about love and acceptance at Christmas, one can rightly assume the movie is primarily of the Romantic Comedy genre. This immediately hooks the emotional aspect of all audience members interested in movies that have a romantic side and plays into the pathos of the audience.
The trailer for Love Actually does a great job playing at the ethos and pathos of the typical audience, but it also does a fantastic job inserting logos into the mix. For instance, in the beginning, Richard Curtis’ many Romantic Comedy successes are listed off. This plays to the logos of the average audience member because they see his work and how well he has succeeded in the past, making this new movie another likely hit. According to Andrea A. Lunsford, “Writers can support their arguments with all kinds of human experience,” (Lunsford, 66). Curtis used his very remarkable past successes to appeal to the logic of the consumer and therefore used his human experience to aid in the advertising of the film. Another way logos is present in the trailer is by showing all of the stars in the movie. By showing all of the stars that are present and have significant roles, Curtis helps increase his chances at casting a broader audience and helps showcase that he has a lot of talent all in the same movie. The trailer was well thought out logically and really helped to define the movie’s purpose to the audience. The aim of the trailer was to reach the target audience of the film was women of all ages. They aimed at these women with couples of all ages in the movie. They also tried to target men through the use of typical action stars such as Liam Neeson and Alan Rickman.
Movie trailers are of the utmost importance in the cinema world. The movie trailer is the first experience that an audience member will have with a movie. Love Actually’s movie trailer does an incredible job showcasing the movie through ethos, pathos, and logos in order to entice movie goers to see this Romantic Comedy.