Four Weddings and a Funeral ★★★★★
Four Weddings would appear to be an almost cynically schematic, five-act British romantic comedy, with a matrimonial guarantee of hearts and flowers. But it’s actually cleverer than that. Writer Richard Curtis – at this stage leaving the heavy directorial lifting to seasoned Mike Newell – introduces into a well-ploughed comedy furrow the novel concepts of pop references, a gay couple to fall in love with and strong language from the start, and the result is compulsive movie magic. Hugh Grant gives a career-defining turn as the umm-ing and ahh-ing hero, Andie MacDowell made the presence of a US actor statutory for all future Brit-coms, and John Hannah’s reading of Auden floored us all. There’s a reason we never tire of it.
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