17. Four Weddings and a Funeral


Movie: Four Weddings and a Funeral

Release Date: May 13, 1994

Director: Mike Newell

Starring: Hugh Grant, Andie MacDowell, Kristin Scott Thomas, Simon Callow, James Fleet, Josh Hannah, Charlotte Coleman, David Bower, Corin Redgrave, Rowan Atkinson.

Tag Lines: “He’s quite engaging. She’s otherwise engaged.”

“An Outrageously Funny Affair.”

“Five good reasons to stay single.”

“Love is in the air, run for cover.”

Relevance: I know I have said this numerous times on this blog about countless movies, but ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ really was a film that made me smile from beginning to end the first time I saw it. It has continued to do so over the last twenty-six years since its release. First shown in theaters in January of 1994 at the Sundance Festival, opening wider that May, ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ was immediately adored by critics. Nominated for numerous awards, the film was also a hit with audiences, eventually becoming the eighth highest grossing movie that year. It was a film everyone was talking about, including many of my friends. Unfortunately, I was not lucky enough to see it in theaters.

I was finishing up my first year of Graduate school when ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ finally reached American theaters. I definitely knew about it from trailers as well as many of my friends talking about it. Most of them loved it and told me it was a “must see.” My friends knew how serious I was about movies, so their reviews were carefully worded. Unfortunately I was more wrapped up with ‘The Lion King (see 19. The Lion King), and I missed it when the film played around me. However, as soon as it became available as a rental, I was one of the first ones in line to check it out.

My friends were one hundred percent correct, ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ was a must-see. I loved everything about it and as mentioned above, smiled from beginning to end. I don’t remember when and where I actually saw the film, but I do remember how thrilled I was after watching it. The movie introduced me, and the world, to Hugh Grant, and I immediately fell in love with him. His awkward charm was infectious and his performance made a great movie even greater. I loved the realistic look at love that the screenplay portrayed and the refreshing, real-life, yet quirky characters inhabiting this world. I became obsessed with the film and was rooting for it throughout awards season.

‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ was a movie that I recommended to everyone, even strangers and people I didn’t like. I just wanted everyone to see it. I rented the film numerous times and watched it with every family member and friend that would sit down with me. My mom was one of those people that never minded sitting down with me to watch the movie as it became one of her favorites as well. Being a romantic comedy, her all time favorite genre, it was an easy sell. She eventually added the VHS to her movie collection, as did I. We watched it together and alone over and over again.

In 2010, a very good friend of mine passed away after a year long battle with colon cancer. The poem that was read at the “funeral” in ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ was used at his services as well. “Funeral Blues” or “Stop All the Clocks” by W. H. Auden is a very moving piece and was a moment in the film that always made me cry. Hearing it at my friend’s funeral was devastating, but also very beautiful. Because of that the film became even more important to me than it already was.

My love affair with ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ never ceased. It remained one of my favorite movies from 1994 (my actual favorite is tomorrow’s movie) and remains my favorite romantic comedy of all time. I was even a huge fan of the soundtrack and owned it on CD. Some of the music can still be found on my iPhone Music Library. Because of the film, I also became a huge fan of Hugh Grant and has followed his career closely. As wonderful and fantastic as he was in a countless number of his films, my heart will always belong to Charles, that bumbling, always late, fool in love from ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral.’

Today’s Thoughts: “The great advantage of having a reputation for being stupid: People are less suspicious of you.”

Today I watched ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ with my husband. I couldn’t think of a better person to watch this movie with for a few reasons. One, it’s always interesting watching a movie with my husband as he offers colorful commentary throughout. Two, my husband cries at the drop of a hat (not a quite crier either) and it always makes me giggle. This movie makes him (and me) cry quite a bit. Three, it is a romantic comedy and no one could possibly love that man more than I do.

I love, love, love this movie. Beautifully directed by Mike Newell with a gorgeous Oscar nominated screenplay by Richard Curtis, ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ is such an entertaining, often hilarious romantic comedy. It has its heartbreak as well, and I always reach for the Kleenex box when I watch it, including today, but it is just filled with so much joy. A smile appeared on my face as soon as it started today and left me in the best mood after it was over. And to me, that is the greatest complement I could ever give a movie.

‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ is a magnificent movie and in my opinion a classic romantic comedy. I adore the entire cast and love watching this movie whenever I can. It has been watched a lot over the years, and will continue to be watched until the day I die. I recommend this film to everyone that hasn’t seen it yet, simply saying like my friends once said to me, it’s a “must see.”

Awards: Academy Award for Best Picture (nomination), Academy Award for Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, Richard Curtis (nomination), Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical, Hugh Grant (winner), Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical (nomination), Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical, Andie MacDowell (nomination), Golden Globe for Best Screenplay – Motion Picture, Richard Curtis (nomination), BAFTA Award for Best Film (winner), BAFTA Award for Best Direction, Mike Newell (winner), BAFTA Award for Best Actor, Hugh Grant (winner), BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Kristin Scott Thomas (winner), BAFTA Award for Best Music, Richard Rodney Bennett (nomination), BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Simon Callow (nomination), BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Josh Hannah (nomination), BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Charlotte Coleman (nomination), BAFTA Award for Best Costume Design, Linda Hemming (nomination), BAFTA Award for Best Editing, Jon Gregory (nomination), BAFTA Award for Best Screenplay – Original, Richard Curtis (nomination), Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures, Mike Newell (nomination), National Board of Review Award for Top Ten Films (winner), Writers Guild of America Award for Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, Richard Curtis (winner).

Ways to Watch: Hulu, Sling TV, Starz, Amazon Prime, YouTube, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, DVD Availability.


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