Four Weddings and a Funeral Reviews
"Four Weddings and a Funeral" is a high point for both, a classic in its own right. Written by Curtis, the film is filled with his most noticeable trademarks: the abundance of silly characters, the unexpected tragedy, the shining exchanges between the two leads, and more. I've come to enjoy Curtis' films ("About Time" was a favorite of mine last year), and I feel somewhat familiar with his style. Though it feels as though he has a secret formula or template to make the perfect romantic comedy, he does in such a way that makes it nearly impossible not to enjoy yourself, even if it is just a little bit.
Grant plays a typical Grant character, the kind that stutters when he's nervous, has the hair that looks like he just woke up (but you know it took him hours), and doesn't realize why women seem to pass out at his feet. He portrays Charles, an Englishman. We first meet him as he rushes to a wedding, severely late and, coincidentally, the best man. He forgets the rings and causes quite a disturbance, but once he delivers a breezily witty speech, it's impossible to not want to see what antics he'll be up to next.
At the wedding, he meets Carrie (Andie MacDowell), a beautiful American. They spend the night together, and after she goes back to the U.S., it leaves both Charles and us feeling a bit empty inside. But true to the title, the story is weaved in-between four weddings and a funeral. And, unfortunately, at the next wedding, Charles and Carrie are both guests, but this time, she has shown up with her ... fiance. Surprisingly, the next two weddings have Carrie and Charles at the head, but not together. And if you're wondering, yes, there is a happy ending (if there wasn't, the film wouldn't be nearly as popular), but the film is worth a watch just to see how.
Sometimes you have to remind yourself that the characters in "Four Weddings and a Funeral" don't just go to weddings and funerals for a living. The film doesn't want to bore us with the mundane details, and we're grateful for it. Grant is the leading man, but he attends the ceremonies with a delightful group of people that have the rapport of the cast of "Friends", even if we don't get to know their relationships quite as well.
They feel at ease with each other, and like Curtis' other films, Charles' friends make for many good laughs. Curtis' writing is sharp, and the weddings really do feel like weddings: the awkward laughs are there, the meet-and-greets, and the "sorry for bumping into you"'s. Even Carrie and Charles' touch-and-go romance begins with that uncomfortable quality.
"Four Weddings and a Funeral" is a winner, plain and simply, even if it doesn't present anything new for our cynical, modern times. It's a distinct reminder as to why Grant was such a huge star in the '90s and how MacDowell could drift between glamour girl sensibilities and girl-next-door lovability.
One thing that was strange was that some bits in the film were top notch. The scene with Rowan Atkinson as the struggling priest was hilarious, the scene when Charles is forced to watch the bride and groom on their wedding night (second wedding) was hysterical, and the funeral scene was heartfelt as well as the overall friendship of the main characters.
However, this film did a very brave move. That move is love at first sight, when a character that we already know a bit falls in love with a character that we don't know a single bit about. Mike Newell was probably thinking, "Ok, Andie's smile is probably enough to win over the crowd." but when I was watching it, I thought, "Wow, she's really 90s. Her hair annoys me." The only time in which her character appeared interesting was the recounting scene with Charles. Appart from that, she's ordinary and frankly ... boring. Although I did find her boring, she did in a way redeem herself in the end of the film. I loved the ending since it broke the rules.
Overall, this film is certainly in a completely different league from most romantic comedies, the more recent ones. Apart from the obvious faults, it's a good film.
I generally hated both protagonists because the majority of their relationship happens because they are cheating on their current partners. They never seem to question their actions or think "hey, maybe what I'm doing isn't right and I should wait until I'm unattached." Also, they both settle for people that they don't like, as if it's better to be in a relationship than single for even a second. There was no chemistry or even a reason for Carrie to be with her older husband (except maybe money) and I felt the same way with Charles and Duckface. Also, Carrie, unlike Charles, who is at least a somewhat interesting person, is as dull as dry toast and the scenes with her mostly consisted of her saying hi and smiling and talking in her "exotic" American accent. There were also a few painful scenes (like the generic trying on wedding dresses montage) where she desperately attempted to be interesting. I did however enjoy Charles' talent for getting into extremely awkward situations.
Sure, it's isn't Valentine's Day, but I would not call it a classic or even a good quality romantic comedy.