In Britain, slightly bumbling and always tardy Charles (Hugh Grant) and his closest group of friends seem always to be attending weddings, but are never the bride nor groom, and as such, each, with the exception of gay couple Gareth (Simon Callow) and Matthew (John Hannah), is looking for love. At the wedding of their friends, Angus (Timothy Walker) and Laura (Sara Crowe), where Charles is acting as best man, Charles meets an American woman named Carrie (Andie MacDowell). For him, it's love at first sight. She too is attracted to him. Although they spend a memorable evening together, that's all it ends up being. Over three more successive weddings - some of the brides and grooms who are very near and dear to Charles' heart - and one unfortunate funeral, Charles runs into Carrie, but something always seems to prevent the two of them from getting together. He also runs into a plethora of old girlfriends, one of whom he may believe is really the one he was meant to end up with, ...Written by
During the second wedding when Charles finds himself trapped in the room with the bride and groom, he is crossing the room, the lights are turned on you the door to his right is open. The next scene shows him reaching toward it and it is closed. See more »
[wakes up and looks at his bedside clock]
Oh... *fuck*! Fuck!
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OK but not worth the reputation it has surprisingly held with it over the past decade
Charles' habit of being late to pretty much everything he does and attends doesn't stop him being best man at a friend's wedding. While there he meets (and beds) the delightful American Carrie and finds himself quite attracted to her and regrets that she flies back to America the same day. At another wedding he meets her again but finds that she has gotten engaged to a rather rich Scottish man and is off the market although that doesn't stop her sleeping with Charles again. As her wedding approaches, Charles begins to realise that his marrying days are fast passing him by and the woman that he loves may never be his.
Despite this film "the best British film ever" it has been many years since I last saw it so I decided to watch it again. With a simple plot, a lot rests on the central "romance" and the characters and for me it doesn't totally work on this level. The group of friends are reasonably well written but they are very much a public school crowd that are rather aloof and therefore failed to engage me it spoke volumes to me that Scarlet was the only one I liked, partly perhaps because she was just a down to earth character. Without this emotional hook in the people, I never got that into it and just let it wash over me as a comedy. However on this level it didn't set the world on fire; sure it was amusing and had some very funny moments but not enough to be worth the reputation it has gained over the years.
The lack of characters are helped by what I consider to be two rather uninspiring performances from the lead. Grant does his usual "bumbling Englishman" stuff and back in 1994 it seemed fresh; now it appears to be pretty much all he has done and this cannot fail to colour it looking back. He isn't helped by a total lack of chemistry with MacDowell who, lets be honest, is pretty insipid and poor for most of the film. Her lines sound unnatural and I just didn't like her at all. The support characters are colourful enough; Callow is great value, Hannah is the only one that manages to bring some real feeling into the film, Coleman is cool and the others are nice. Smaller roles are also good from Walker, Bower and a funny cameo from Atkinson. None of them can really consistently lift the material but they are pretty good the problems are not with the support, it is with the leads.
Overall this is an OK film but it is certainly nothing more than that. The comedy is sporadic and it produces a few laughs but not enough often enough. The romance falls flat because the dialogue is clunky and the two leads have little chemistry a fact not helped by MacDowell's roundly poor performance. Worth a look if the genre appeals to you but not really worth the reputation that the media hype and shock of a profitable English film earned it at the time.
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