Sunday, November 30, 2014

Four Weddings and a Funeral

Movie Name: Four Weddings and a Funeral
Year of Release: 1994
Director: Mike Newell
Stars: Hugh Grant, Andie MacDowell, Simon Callow, John Hannah, Kristin Scott Thomas, David Bower, Charlotte Coleman, Rowan Atkinson, David Haig, Sophie Thompson, Corin Redgrave, Anna Chancellor, James Fleet
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7

Director Mike Newell has had a long career, and when "Four Weddings and a Funeral" premiered in 1994, he was coming off from two well received films, namely "Enchanted April" and "Into the West" (he started his career on TV in the 60s, directing "Coronation Street" show, amongst many others). "Four Weddings and a Funeral" follows the story of Charles, a young bachelor, who alongside his group of friends, attend a series of weddings where the eccentricity of their participants allows for some good laughs amongst everyone. In one of these weddings, Charles meets the American Carrie, whose attitude towards romantic affairs surprises, thrills and attracts him. What follows is a game of courtship between these two seemingly different people.
"Four Weddings and a Funeral" was a huge success in 1994, establishing the career of Hugh Grant as a leading actor, and further defining the careers of Kristin Scott Thomas and to a certain extent, Andie MacDowell (who was at the time coming from the successes of both Steven Soderbergh's "sex, lies and videotape" and Harold Ramis' "Groundhog Day"). The film benefited from a funny, emotional and witty screenplay from Richard Curtis (who had at the time worked with Rowan Atkinson on the TV shows "Black Adder" and "Mr. Bean"), who mixed all those ingredients perfectly and allowed for all the supporting characters to have enough room to expand their quirks and add the right amount of interest to balance the romantic leads. Though the film isn't particularly original in what it presents, it's nonetheless a sweet comedy that allows for the actors to build interesting and engaging characters. Hugh Grant would trademark this character for a series of following films (with mixed results), and Kristin Scott Thomas would go on to a more diverse array of features such as Anthony Minghella's "The English Patient". A film worth watching!