A washed up singer is given a couple days to compose a chart-topping hit for an aspiring teen sensation. Though he's never written a decent lyric in his life, he sparks with an offbeat younger woman with a flair for words.
This movie follows the fortunes of Charles (Hugh Grant) and his friends as they wonder if they will ever find true love and marry. Charles thinks he's found "Miss Right" in Carrie (Andie MacDowell), an American. This British subtle comedy revolves around Charles, his friends, and the four weddings and one funeral which they attend.Written by
The filmmakers were under contract to produce a version suitable for American TV. So instead of overdubbing, EVERY scene with harsh language - no matter how complex - was re-shot and less offensive words substituted. Most noticeable are the following (among others): 1) the beginning, where "bugger" has replaced "fuck" (and does so for the duration of the film); 2) George, the reader at the first wedding, is talking to Charles about having gone to school with the groom's brother, "Bufty" (which is slang for homosexual). His theatrical "Buggered me senseless" line has been toned down to "Beat me till my bottom turned blue"; and 3) the scene during Carrie's wedding, where "fuck-a-doodle-doo" has been replaced with Charles sighing and saying, "Well, that's that, then". There is much more alternate footage used. See more »
Quirky Characters Shine in Touching, Funny, Romantic Comedy
The lead character in this film, Charles, says at one point that, while his friends were busily obsessed with marriage, two members of their group were, for all intents and purposes, married to each other. In those days before Britain had a civil partnership law, he was referring to Gareth and Matthew, played by Simon Callow and John Hannah. "Four Weddings and a Funeral" was among the first major films to feature a gay couple without any comment, moralizing, or stereotyping. Considering all of the absurd controversy generated by "Brokeback Mountain," this English comedy may be considered subversive in some quarters, because it portrays the union between the two men to be as loving and enduring as any between the men and a women in the same film. The two gay men are among a circle of idiosyncratic friends that orbit around Charles, who suffers from relationship avoidance. Played engagingly by Hugh Grant, Charles attends the weddings of others, but manages to avoid any commitment of his own. One of the film's funniest scenes involves Charles at a wedding reception where he has been seated at a table with several of his ex-girlfriends. With that one scene, screenwriter Richard Curtis wittily fleshes out Charles's character as each woman remarks on her past experience. The episodic comedy is broken down literally into the five events of the title, and the core characters attend these events as spectators who each hope for a wedding of their own. Many of the lines and situations are extremely funny. Rowan Atkinson steals his brief time as a novice preacher who blesses a couple "in the name of the Father, the Son, and the holy goat." Although Hugh Grant plays Charles as, well, Hugh Grant, several other actors create some fine comic turns. The ravishing Kristin Scott Thomas is touching as the lonely Fiona, and her timing is impeccable when she recovers from an indelicate question with a snappy comeback. Of course, why anyone as beautiful as Kristin Scott Thomas should be unwillingly single is a minor casting flaw in the film. Unfortunately, Andie MacDowell plays the American, Carrie, and, although she looks great in a hat, she fails to generate the necessary charisma to convincingly be Charles's object of desire. However, the low wattage generated by the two leads does little to dampen the hilarity or the pathos of this excellent film. While, at nearly two hours, the movie is long for a comedy, the structure and quirky characters easily sustain interest throughout. With "Four Weddings and a Funeral," director Mike Newell has made one of the best romantic comedies, and the film holds up to repeated viewings.
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