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Four Weddings and a Funeral Movie Review

awards grant newell film

Like 1992's Strictly Ballroom, Four Weddings and a Funeral is the sort of delicious confection that actually improves with repeat viewings. It's the story of a dashing bachelor named Charles (Hugh Grant) who goes to wedding after wedding, screwing up left and right (he loses vital wedding paraphernalia LIKE THE RING, has a severe case of foot-in-mouth disease, is forever at the wrong place at the wrong time, et cetera), until he finally comes to terms with how he can slip into the whole system with the least pain and effort. Four Weddings was a hit in England and an even bigger hit in America. The reasons for this transatlantic phenomenon are obvious: there are many flattering references to American cultural symbols; American songs galore on the soundtrack; and, of course, Gaffney, South Carolina's own Andie MacDowell as Carrie, the object of Charles’ desire. This satire of love and death, moreover, is warm and affectionate. Lovely touches abound, like Simon Callow sticking his finger down his throat at a gloppy folk song during one ceremony, the picture-perfect casting-against-type of politically radical Corin Redgrave as an aristocrat, the bride who kisses total strangers and tells them how much she loves them to the accompaniment of the groom's assessment of her alcoholic intake, bridesmaid Lydia (Sophie Thompson) who doesn't want to scrape the bottom of the barrel with Bernard but engages in some lusty wedding-bound necking with him anyway, Charles’ endearing roommate Scarlett (Charlotte Coleman) who dreams of meeting Rhett at one of these functions, and Charles’ sharply observed friend (Kristin Scott Thomas), who calls his ex-girlfriend Duckface and who is, of course, madly in love with Charles. And these represent a very small fraction of my favorite sequences. (Two words more: Rowan Atkinson!) Four Weddings and a Funeral is a keeper, to savor during those hours when the world seems dreary and depressing and you really need a movie filled with laughter and wit.

1994 (R) 118m/C GB Hugh Grant, Andie MacDowell, Simon Callow, Kristin Scott Thomas, James Fleet, John Hannah, Charlotte Coleman, David Bower, Corin Redgrave, Rowan Atkinson, Rosalie Crutchley, Kenneth Griffith, Jeremy Kemp, Sophie Thompson; D: Mike Newell; W: Richard Curtis; C: Michael Coulter; M: Richard Rodney Bennett. Australian Film Institute ‘94: Best Foreign Film; British Academy Awards ‘94: Best Actor (Grant), Best Director (Newell), Best Film, Best Supporting Actress (Scott Thomas); Golden Globe Awards ‘95: Best Actor—Musical/Comedy (Grant); Writers Guild of America ‘94: Best Original Screenplay; Nominations: Academy Awards ‘94: Best Original Screenplay, Best Picture; Directors Guild of America Awards ‘94: Best Director (Newell); Golden Globe Awards ‘95: Best Actress—Musical/Comedy (MacDowell), Best Film—Musical/Comedy, Best Screenplay; MTV Movie Awards ‘95: Breakthrough Performance (Grant). VHS, LV, Letterbox, DVD

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