Stars: Hugh Grant, Andie MacDowell, Kristin Scott Thomas, Simon Callow, James Fleet, John Hannah, Charlotte Coleman, David Bower, Corin Redgrave, Rowan Atkinson. Written by Richard Curtis. Directed by Mike Newell. Rated R for adult themes, profanity.

Fans of British comedy (and you know who you are) will instantly recognize the style of humor that permeates "Four Weddings and a Funeral". Subtlety and dryness are the norm, but the way the material is presented is no less comical than it would be in a good Hollywood-born comedy.

Living up to its name, the events in the film take place predominantly at four weddings and a funeral, all attended by a close knit group of friends. The first wedding is marked by the misplacement of the wedding bands. Charles (Hugh Grant), the best man at that wedding, meets an American woman named Carrie (Andie MacDowell) at the reception with whom he quickly becomes smitten. The second wedding takes place a few months later and is between a bridesmaid from the first wedding and her conquest from that fateful day. This wedding is marked by the poor memory of the novice priest (Rowan Atkinson) who forgets parts of the ceremony as well as the participants names. Charles and Carrie meet each other for the second time at this wedding and it is then that she reveals her engagement to another.

The third wedding, as you well might imagine, is between Carrie and her fiance. Charles attends this wedding, although he is heartbroken that the woman he is in love with is marrying another man. This wedding is marked by the sudden death of one of Charles's friends. His funeral takes place shortly thereafter and it turns out that the deceased had been living with a very big secret.

The fourth wedding finds Charles ready to wed someone who is a mystery to the audience, but this mystery woman does not turn out to be Carrie. Charles is ready to settle down and he has chosen someone merely because he doesn't want to go through life alone. Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, Carrie arrives at his wedding before the ceremony starts and announces her recent divorce. This leaves Charles in an understandable quandary.

Hugh Grant, a dashingly handsome yet boyish Englishman, gets the lion's share of the credit for making "Four Weddings and a Funeral" so unabashedly enjoyable. His performance is flawless and his comedic timing is sublime. Andie MacDowell and the supporting cast are also engaging. Credit must also be awarded to Richard Curtis and Mike Newell, the film's writer and director, respectively. In addition to some original laugh-out- loud scenes, they also recycle some overused jokes and manage to make them funny.

Review Menu | Main Menu