There once was a film from Great Britain
With which everyone was so smitten.
I, of course, had my doubts
towards this rom-com louse…
But by the end, I’d been bitten.
Shenanigans aside, I was expecting to be utterly disgusted having to sit through Four Weddings and a Funeral, the British film that largely put Hugh Grant on the map. I expected it to be mostly a vehicle for Grant to act awkward in front of the camera, and to otherwise have some standard rom-com tropes and conventions and very little else to offer. Boy, was I ever wrong; this was so well written that I started having flashbacks of When Harry Met Sally. Dare I say that this is the British When Harry Met Sally? Screw it, I’m saying it anyway.
Charles, a very British man, acts as best man in his friend’s wedding, during which he meets an American woman, Carrie, and they are pretty much instantly attracted to each other. After spending the night together, Carrie abruptly leaves to America, and their on-and-off meetings correspond to the weddings (and funeral) of the title. What I first noticed was that the film was irreverently tongue-in-cheek, in the way that only the British can be. The film was billed as an “awkward comedy”, which immediately sprang to mind images of Bridesmaids, and it was thus that I initially wasn’t looking forward to this one. Then it started, and I found myself laughing. And then again. And again. And the film wasn’t even half over. And it was then that I realized that this was the film that Bridesmaids so desperately wanted to be; it does just about everything Bridesmaids did, only far better, far funnier, and it knew to keep the actual awkward moments into just that: moments. Hugh Grant pretty much nails it as, as one cartoon show put it, a charmingly befuddled man, and indeed he would be typecast as this role for years to come thanks to this film. His opposite, played by Andie MacDowell, could’ve been a little more than just the romantic foil for Grant’s character, but I guess it worked well enough, even if in retrospect I had wished there were more to her character.
God damn, was this a surprise. I really was not expecting to even like this one, let alone end up loving it as much as I did. It’s not perfect, by any means; aside from what I’ve outlined above, there’s really not very much else to this one, especially in terms of technicals, but the script was so excellent and the acting of the script was so dead-on that I found myself warming to it even against my wishes, until my resolve said, “To hell with it,” and it finally let me genuinely enjoy the film. I can only hope there are a few more surprises like this one left on the list, so I’ll have a little something to look forward to; if there are, they’ve got quite a standard to live up to.
Arbitrary Rating: 9/10