Don’t invite me to your wedding, I’m just as sarcastic as Gareth but half as vocal. The ceremonies are dull and boring, no matter what your religion. If I’m expected to be in anything less comfortable than my Nikes, I’ll be barefoot before the first dance. I encourage groomsmen to hit on drunk bridesmaids cause soon I’m sick of seeing the happy couple kiss. And you have no idea what relief I feel that I no longer can be forced to join the throng of savage women willing to mud wrestle over a bunch of flowers. The best thing that can happen at a wedding is the unexpected, but alas, American bridezillas won’t let me have any fun. And I don’t dare test that wrath.
The way Four Weddings and a Funeral upholds the sanctaty of marriage is wonderful. In that first scene where Charles has forgotten the rings and dashes away from the alter to collect two hilariously mismatched rings to be used in the ceremony immediately let me know that I would love this movie. And I did.
Charles (Hugh Grant) is the kind of guy who isn’t good at any sort of commitment, so getting married has never been a good option. At the first wedding, he meets Carrie (Andie MacDowell) an American whom a friend immediately labels, “Slut.” Though she’s obviously out of his league, Charles manages to spend the night with Carrie. For one lingering moment, it seems they could have a future, but it’s dismissed as a one night stand. At wedding number two, which Charles is comically late again he finds Carrie and learns that she’s now engaged. The rest of that evening is a disaster with old girlfriends at every turn and an awkward scene being trapped in a room that the newly married couple decide sneak away from the party to consummate their marriage rather loudly. Wedding number three, where Charlie watches all hopes of being with Carrie disappear, is more somber as tragedy strikes. Then, as you probably guessed, is a funeral and another wedding.
Hugh Grant is one of those actors who is great at one type of character. Here, Charles is all those characteristics that Grant can bring out perfectly: awkward, unsure of himself and in need of the location of his balls. Yeah, he pretty much needs to man up and grow a pair in every movie. At times, I wish Grant would just go and spit out what he’s trying to say. What’s the worse that can happen? Sometimes he takes that befuddlement to a nearly annoying height. But he is a strong enough actor to keep the story rolling, I’ll give him props for that.
The thing that makes these mishaps even more hysterical is the fact that they’re British weddings. Just the feel of being married in some medieval cathedral or somewhere in the quaint British countryside is much different than our little clap board churches here in America. Mr. Bean performing the ceremony saying Holy Goat in a cathedral is a scream. And with all the stuffy British relatives behind the couple, you know the air is already thick.
The film can handle the tragedy well, unlike most films that are mostly comedic. It’s the mix between the laughter and loss that makes this film so wonderful. There’s no jokes at the funeral and for once, Charlie is on time. It’s serious business. But the film is set up, like how I hope all our lives are: you will laugh a whole lot more than you will cry.
“Fabulous dress. The ecclesiastical purple and the pagan orange symbolizing the mystical symbiosis in marriage between the heathen and Christian traditions?”