Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: Over the course of five social occasions, a committed bachelor must consider the notion that he may have discovered love. Runtime: 117 mins Release Date: 15 Apr 1994
There is no movie that I enjoy watching over and over. This is absolutely the best film of Hugh Grant's career. Andie MacDowell is stupendous as his American Love interest. These two belong together like butter and jam on toast.There were so many great performances in this film that it is hard to point out anyone without offending another or going on all day. Rowan Atkinson was simply marvelous as a priest. Auden's poem. read at the funeral, had me in tears. This film was such a celebration of life that even death was remembered fondly.I just cannot imagine that anyone would not find <more>
Wonderfully funny, warm and emotional - the perfect romantic-comedy (by grantss)
We see the lives of a group of friends, largely through scenes at four weddings and a funeral. In this group is Charles who has a unhappy past with relationships. Then he meets an American woman, Carrie, at one of the weddings and it seems like his luck has changed. However, things are not so simple. As with almost everyone in his group of friends, it appears that the Right One is out there but never available.Wonderfully funny, warm and emotional - the perfect romantic-comedy. Written by Richard Curtis, of Blackadder fame, and directed by Mike Newell, this movie works on so many levels. As a <more>
comedy it is superb - very funny and intelligently so. Then there's the friends aspect, which creates a great warmth and engagement and a feeling of camaraderie. Characters have depth and complement each other well.Lastly, it works very well as a romantic drama too. Not your usual schmaltzy, formulaic romance but an intelligent examination of the subject.Hugh Grant is great as Charles. The role pretty much locked in his character in future roles - the shy, hesitant, stammering yet charming type. He has played that in about every role since.The group of friends are well cast and give spot-on performances: John Hannah as Matthew , James Fleet Tom . Kristen Scott Thomas Fiona , Simon Callow Gareth and Charlotte Coleman Scarlett . Rowan Atkinson has a minor part but is responsible for possibly the funniest scene in the movie.The only negative thing about the movie is the performance of Andie McDowell as Carrie . Not terrible, just a flat, aloof delivery and thus quite unengaging. This is made more obvious by the fact that the other characters exude such warmth and vibrancy, making her seem quite cold. She doesn't wreck the movie but it would have been even better with a better actress in that role.
Four Weddings and a Funeral was a smash hit on release and it's easy to see why. A brilliant British cast and a funny clever and witty script make this a must see. It follows a myriad of characters as they intertwine as the title suggests four weddings and a funeral. What's great this film is that it is full of great characters. Hugh Grant leads the way as the charming Charles who finds it hard to settle down. Whilst Grant is superb he is by no means the only one with plenty of pitch perfect performances from the likes of Simon Callow, John Hannah and Kristin Scott Thomas. The only <more>
real weak link is Andie MacDowell but even though she has been slated for her performance it's not the worst in the world. This is a film full of genuinely funny moments but also some sad ones. The funeral is genuinely touching and uses the poem 'Funeral Blues' to great effect. This is a film that is entertaining from start to finish and as well as Grant's finest moment, for me is the best Rom-Com ever made. Highly recommended.
Droll romantic comedy showcases Hugh Grant in his best role. (by jckruize)
Richard Curtis, author of Rowan Atkinson's sublime Blackadder TV series, here contributes a romantic comedy screenplay which is actually romantic AND actually funny. American hacks should take note: it's possible to write comedy based on the battle of the sexes that doesn't rely on misogyny and gross-out humor.Hugh Grant at his most charming leads a talented ensemble cast in this warm-hearted tale of unrequited and requited love that so impressed stodgy Academy voters it actually got a Best Picture nomination. I won't quibble with those who say it was undeserving -- although <more>
some of the other user comments are ridiculously hostile to such a lightweight romp -- but I will defend its makers for crafting a genuine crowd-pleaser that relies on story, character and witty dialogue for its appeal. The essence of good romantic comedy is what Curtis and director Mike Newell capture particularly well in this film more effectively than Curtis' other Grant hit, NOTTING HILL and it's this: love makes us do stupid things. We err in choice, we blunder in execution, we make utter fools of ourselves, and yet we don't give up. We still strive. We still search for that perfect someone. And the glory is -- sometimes we get lucky.Going along on this quest with Grant and friends is as enjoyable an entertainment as you're lucky to find in your local DVD section.
The effects of personal want, need, love and desire on the friendships of a circle of eclectic individuals is examined with a spot of humor in the witty, clever and oh-so-British comedy of love, romance and finding that special someone, `Four Weddings and a Funeral,' directed by Mike Newell. Hugh Grant and Andie MacDowell head a delightful ensemble cast in this story of a group of long-time friends, all single, who watch and participate over a period of months as one by one those amongst them step up at last to the altar. Of them all, Charles Grant seems the most likely-- and at the <more>
same time the least likely-- to be next. Young, handsome and charismatic, Charles has no problem developing a relationship he's had a number, in fact, as we learn in one particularly hilarious scene , but sustaining one is seemingly beyond his grasp. Until, at the wedding of one of his friends, he meets Carrie MacDowell , an American, and she quickly enchants him. It is not the end of the story, however; for Charles, Carrie and the audience, it's only-- as they say-- the beginning. Set in contemporary England, one of the aspects of this film that makes it so engaging is the propriety with which the humor is presented. Refreshingly subtle, there's more of Noel Coward than Tom Green or Rob Schneider to it; a matter of manners, mores and innuendo taking precedence over gross-out, in-your-face, shock schlock humor. And though Grant and MacDowell are at the forefront of the piece, Newell does an excellent job of developing all of the characters, succinctly supplying enough detail to each individual to give the film some depth and dimension, without having to actually go too deep. He never lets you forget that first and foremost, this is a comedy. There's some insight provided, but this is not an in-depth commentary on human nature, though there are some overtones and implications in that direction Charles is always late to the weddings, for example; perhaps a subconscious denial of the impending nuptials? . Most importantly, the characterizations are rich, and the story is involving and presented with an even flow that allows you to effortlessly be swept away with it. Certain actors make a career out of playing a variation of the same character in film after film, striving for that definitive portrayal. W.C. Fields played the hen-pecked husband in a number of films, finally perfecting that particular character in the person of Harold Bissonette in `It's A Gift.' For Hugh Grant, it's the retiring, somewhat self-conscious and stammering, eyelid fluttering charmer, of which he's done a variation in such films as `Sense and Sensibility,' `The Englishman Who Went Up A Hill, But Came Down A Mountain,' Notting Hill' and `Mickey Blue Eyes.' But Charles is his definitive portrayal of that character, the one in which he achieves the balance and honesty that makes the character so believable. It's a good bit of work by Grant, and definitely one of his most memorable performances. Andie MacDowell, meanwhile, gives a rather composed performance as Carrie, the quiet American with a reserved bluntness who captivates Charles. MacDowell brings a sense of quietude to the role that is sensuously seductive, which lends credibility to Charles' infatuation with her. It's a role for which MacDowell is perfectly suited, as it allows her to play effectively to her naturally calm demeanor and exquisite beauty and femininity. In a part that has to be an actor's dream, Simon Callow is absolutely exuberant as Gareth, one of the fixtures of Charles' circle of friends. More than just an effervescent character, Gareth is something of the conscience of the film, laughing away and laying bare any and all pretense or hypocrisy like a modern day flesh-and-blood Spirit of Christmas Present. It's a character that gives needed balance and perspective to the film, and he's wonderfully played by Callow. Also turning in especially noteworthy performances are John Hannah as Matthew; Kristin Scott Thomas, who is quite alluring as Fiona; James Fleet as Tom, a character very reminiscent of his Hugo in the TV series `The Vicar of Dibley,' and very effective here ; Charlotte Coleman, memorable in the role of Scarlett; and Rowan Atkinson as the hapless Father Gerald. Rounding out the supporting cast are David Bower David , Timothy Walker Angus , Sara Crowe Laura , Anna Chancellor Henrietta , Simon Kunz John , David Haig Bernard , Sophie Thompson Lydia Jane and Corin Redgrave Hamish . There's enough twists and turns along the way to keep this film unpredictable, including one scene near the end that initially seems so mean-spirited that it may have you biting your fist and crying, `Oh, NO!' But, not to worry, Newell provides an instant resolution consistent with the rest of the film, and it not only works but gets a good laugh to boot. Entertaining, pleasant and funny, `Four Weddings and a Funeral' makes for a satisfying, feel-good cinematic experience that just seems so wonderfully civilized amid the seemingly endless rancor abounding in our world today. It's what's known as the magic of the movies. I rate this one 9/10.
I'm blind to the alleged charm of Andie MacDowell myself. That's why I think that casting her in this film was a stroke of genius, for so far as my senses tell me she perfectly fits the character she plays: a dull beauty who casts a spell over one out of every twenty men she meets, leaving the remaining nineteen cold and completely baffled. Charlie Hugh Grant is surrounded by MUCH more desirable female friends - even Duckface has something going for her - but instead of so much as noticing them he falls head over heels for an unattainable woman who is, on top of everything else, <more>
boring. Would have been as good as it is if Charlie's passion had made SENSE? Of course not.Anyway, everyone I know with a low opinion of this film begins the case for the prosecution with an attack on Andie MacDowell. Is there anything else to dislike? I can't see it myself. This is one of the world's few perfect comedies, devoid of longeurs - perhaps the funeral didn't have quite the desired effect - with true comedy and a nice selection of characters. One has no difficulty keeping the dozen or so members of the main set mentally separate. How many romantic comedies can you say THAT about?
A British Romantic Comedy as Good as Hollywood at its Best (by JamesHitchcock)
Richard Curtis's films have sometimes been criticised for giving a too cosy, conservative view of British society. "Four Weddings and a Funeral" seems to take place in an England of eternal summer, a land which consists almost entirely of green and pleasant countryside and the more exclusive districts of London and which is populated solely by members of the upper and upper-middle classes. The script does cross the border into an equally idealised Scotland of mists, tartans and Highland flings, but even these scenes were actually shot in Surrey. Such criticism contains an <more>
element of truth, but is largely irrelevant when it comes to assessing the merits of the film because it ignores the fact that most romantic comedies in other media as well as in the cinema are set against a relatively narrow background in terms of social class, often enabling the writer to satirise the manners of that class. Jane Austin, for example, the most successful writer of romantic comedy in nineteenth-century England, set all her works among the wealthy landed gentry or prosperous bourgeoisie of the day.Most of the action of the film takes place either at, or immediately before or after, one of the four church services mentioned in the title. The main character, Charles, is a well-to-do young man, probably educated at public school, and clearly a member of the professional classes, although we never actually discover what his job is. The film starts with a wedding at which Charles is best man to Angus, one of his old friends, and at which he meets Carrie, an attractive young American woman. The film then traces the ups and downs of the relationship of Charles and Carrie, via two more weddings the second of which is Carrie's own, after she and Charles have split up , the funeral of Gareth, another friend of Charles who suffers a heart attack while dancing at Carrie's wedding, and one final marriage ceremony.Hugh Grant, as Charles, gives a very good performance. Grant has a relatively narrow range as an actor, but he is capable of some excellent work within that range. There are some subtle differences between Charles and William, the character Grant played in "Notting Hill", another romantic comedy written by Curtis. William is a shy young man who uses ironic, self-deprecating humour as a cover for his shyness and lack of self-confidence. He is very much in love with Anna, that film's heroine, but is afraid to declare his love because he cannot believe that a beautiful and successful film star would take any interest in the owner of a small bookshop. Charles, by contrast, is less shy than William and enjoys more success with women. His humour is also ironic, but for a different reason. He is afraid of his emotions and of commitment and uses irony as a means of distancing himself from life and of avoiding having to commit himself.The film can be seen as the story of Charles's journey to emotional maturity. He has had a number of brief affairs, all of which have petered out precisely because he is afraid of his emotions. His relationship with Carrie initially goes the same way and she marries a richer and older man. The change in Charles's character is partly due to the fact that he sees his carefree bachelor world disappearing as most of his friends get married, but the event which seems to have the greatest effect on him is Gareth's funeral, at which a moving eulogy is read by Matthew, Gareth's gay partner, touchingly played by John Hannah. Charles realises the strength of the love that Gareth and Matthew shared for one another and comes to appreciate that such a relationship is something to be valued.Grant does well to make Charles a sympathetic figure, despite his having many failings quite apart from his ironic distancing of himself from the world. He is clumsy, accident-prone he manages to lose the ring at Angus's wedding , much given to profane language and can be appallingly tactless, especially about his former girlfriends. The other main character, Carrie, can perhaps be seen as a female Charles, someone who is on the same journey as him but who has travelled slightly further. It is significant that her name is short for Caroline, the feminine equivalent of the name Charles . She freely admits to having had over thirty previous lovers, but she is the first to want to bring emotional commitment to their relationship. Am I, incidentally, the only one to have liked Andie MacDowell's performance?- she has come in for a lot of criticism, in my view undeserved, on this board.The film is, however, more than simply a study of relationships- it is also very funny with some superb lines. Hugh Grant can be very amusing, and there was a great cameo from Rowan Atkinson as a bumbling, nervous trainee priest who keeps fluffing his lines during one of the weddings. "Awful wedded wife", or "Holy Goat" for "Holy Ghost" . I also liked David Bower as Charles's deaf brother David, the late Charlotte Coleman as his impudent younger sister Scarlett and Anna Chancellor as his ex-girlfriend Henrietta also known as Duckface , whose embarrassing emotional incontinence perhaps explains why Charles is so keen to distance himself from his feelings. I was less impressed by Simon Callow as Gareth, loud, extrovert and excessively hearty like most characters Callow plays .To sum up, this was a very good film indeed; proof that the British cinema can produce romantic comedies as good as Hollywood at its best. 8/10
In this movie, Hugh Grant creates the role he does best. OK, let's be honest, the ONLY role he does!. The dialogue is sharp and funny, the various characters are on the whole realistic and interesting Andie McDowell's is the weakest , and the story works well as a simple vehicle for the characters to reveal themselves in. The pathetic attempt to do a sequel Notting Hill - gimme a break! pales in comparison to this movie. The two gay characters are especially well done; no-one notices they are gay until the funeral. Simon Callow is brilliant as Gareth, and John Hannah's eulogy <more>
had people flocking to bookstores in Britain to buy copies of Auden's poem. The ending is kinda obvious and I thought a little too drawn out, but that is minor. A comedy the Brits can be proud of.
There is a greatness to this film's sweetness !!! (by avik-basu1889)
Generally I get repulsed by the term romantic-comedy. On 75% of the times, the films belonging to this genre, specially the ones that are made in the Hollywood system, tend to come across as very shoddy and utterly artificial products made by money-making committees. However 'Four Weddings and a Funeral' is an exception. No matter how many times I watch this film, I find myself getting charmed by the inherent and inescapable sweetness of it.One of the reasons why it works could be the fact that the film is extremely British in an almost unapologetic way. All the characters exude this <more>
Victorian charm that works on me every time. Hugh Grant himself plays this awkward character that I can in a sense relate with. Although like other romantic-comedies, the primary theme of this film is finding love, but 'Four Weddings and a Funeral' is also very much about friendship. This is an ensemble piece and every character apart from Charles also gets his/her fair share of presence. I believed the friendship between them. I have to mention Kristin Scott Thomas. She is brilliant as Fiona. She expresses so much with her eyes. It's her emotional vulnerability that she expresses through her eyes even though her outward appearance remains as assured,confident and elegant as ever throughout the film.It is very intelligently directed by Mike Newell. He knows exactly when to cut to which face to get a particular reaction. His sense of comic timing is also brilliant. The screenplay by Richard Curtis is certainly not short of clichés, but there is a sweetness to it, that Newell elevates to the next level through his directing.'Four Weddings and a Funeral' is certainly not a 'great' film in the artistic sense of the word. It has some of the clichés that you would expect a romantic-comedy to have. But the British charm, elegance and Hugh Grant's lovable awkwardness works every time I watch it. It is a feelgood film that makes you want to get together with our friends and enjoy yourself.