Combustible Celluloid
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With: Hugh Grant, Andie MacDowell, James Fleet, Simon Callow, John Hannah, Kristin Scott Thomas, David Bower, Charlotte Coleman, Rowan Atkinson
Written by: Richard Curtis
Directed by: Mike Newell
MPAA Rating: R for language, and for some sexuality
Running Time: 117
Date: 03/09/1994

Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Doom and Groom

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This massive word-of-mouth hit comes from the pen of talented screenwriter Richard Curtis. Over the five sections of the film, we get to know Charles (Hugh Grant), his sister Scarlett (Charlotte Coleman) and their large group of friends. At wedding #1, Charles meets an American, Carrie (Andie MacDowell), and immediately falls for her. His fantasy love is juxtaposed by the real relationships around him, failed, unrequited, mismatched and otherwise, but director Mike Newell plays up the story's charm, making it more easily palatable. Likewise, Newell and MacDowell never seem to connect; her performance comes across as rather wooden, though she and Grant still share a delightful chemistry. The colorful cast brings it all home, and the film has become something of a minor classic in its genre. Rowan Atkinson has a very funny bit as a nervous reverend at one of the weddings.

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