Seeing as March 2015 marks twenty one years since the release of the film, Four Weddings and A Funeral (1994), I thought that it would be the right time to admit just how guilty I am of loving this film too much. In fact a year ago, I waited for the film’s twentieth anniversary with a ridiculous excitement and on the day tweeted actress Andie MacDowell, who plays the risqué Carrie in the film. In case you’re wondering, she did reply!
It is a simple plot, really. Charles and his friends are posh Britons who keep getting invited to other people’s weddings but never, it seems, get married themselves. Charles himself has commitment issues, if his ex-girlfriend Henrietta (one of a very many exes!) is to be believed. However, the time has come for him to fall for a girl (Carrie) so hard that she’s set his floppy-haired head reeling.
Now you might ask what makes me re-watch this British comedy so often. It’s simple really. I don’t believe I have ever seen another film as ingeniously and wittingly hilarious as this one. Not to mention that Rowan Atkinson here is at his very best and the younger Hugh Grant’s boyish looks and easy charm would win over any female viewer. Meanwhile, it is John Hannah’s recital of Funeral Blues that gives me goose bumps. Talking of which, I bought a copy of the film tie-in edition of Auden’s poems just for the sake of having memorabilia of this film.
It is the character of Fiona (Kristin Scott Thomas) that has to be my favourite. She is the staid character that suffers in eternal silence – or almost eternal that is. For when Charles (Hugh Grant) innocently asks whether she likes anyone, my heart aches for her every time as she admits, “You, Charlie.”
Knowing how much work and TLC went into the making of this low-budget but massive box-office achiever (with a budget just over four million dollars, it brought in over $245,000,000 and that’s a winner in my book) only adds to my reasons for loving it.
It took years for creator Richard Curtis and his producer pal Duncan Kenworthy to get the funding for their creation and they used the time to continue to perfect the script. At the end of it, filming took a mere thirty six days and even director Mike Newell was pretty uncertain as to what the outcome would be.
Their perseverance was rewarded at the premiere during the Sundance Film Festival, where it received a glowing review by Variety that sent the box-office stats into a frenzy.