Release Date: March 11th, 1994
Running Time: 1 hour and 58 minutes
Written by: Richard Curtis
Directed by: Mike Newell
Starring: Hugh Grant, Andie MacDowell, Kristin Scott Thomas, Simon Callow
By: Michael “MovieBuff801″ Dennos
To any filmmakers out there in Hollywood who may be considering tackling something in the romantic comedy genre, I think I might have a few words of wisdom to share, if you’ll indulge me: get the help of Richard Curtis. If you do, then you’re already guaranteed a screenplay full of heart and general warm fuzziness. This guy has clearly made a career out of working in this genre, and he seems to have all the inner trappings of it down pat. His 2003 holiday-themed romantic opus Love Actually (which I reviewed last Christmas) alone is proof enough of that, and so is his first film in the genre, the equally charming and witty 1994 effort, Four Weddings and a Funeral. I’m no conspiracy nut, but I can’t help but notice that Curtis’s initials are curiously the same as the ones of the term ‘romantic comedy.’ Coincidence, or am I just reaching too far here? No need, no need, I already know it’s the latter.
The center of attention here is a group of six British friends, but namely Charles, played by the resident romantic comedy star Hugh Grant. Charles is one of those debonair womanizers (what else would Hugh Grant be playing?) who has yet to be in a serious romantic relationship. It’s not so much that he figures, “I’m so damn good-looking, why would I want to be tied down?” rather than it is he feels that he hasn’t met the right woman. He and his group of friends seem to be going to an unusual amount of weddings recently, which prompts them all to muse on their eligibility as mates to any possible significant others. But at the latest wedding, Charles crosses paths with a beautiful and intriguing woman named Carrie (Andie MacDowell), and from that point on, Charles just can’t seem to get her out of his head … and them sleeping with each other on the night when they first meet obviously doesn’t help any in that department, either. The two don’t run into each other again until another wedding (as the title promises, there are four of these in the film) soon after, but Carrie is now engaged and Charles is still his single self. What follows are even more chance encounters that show that while their timing may suck, Charles and Carrie seem destined to keep coming together. Whether or not it’s meant to be permanent is the pressing issue.