tek's rating: ½

Four Weddings and a Funeral (R)
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streaming sites: Amazon; FandangoNOW; Google Play; iTunes; Vudu

Caution: potential spoilers.

This came out in 1994. I didn't see it until 2017, but among the countless movies I've long wanted to see "eventually," this is one of the ones I've sort of vaguely had the most definite desires to see. Why? I'm not sure. Maybe because one of the stars was Andie MacDowell. To a lesser extent, maybe because one of the stars was Hugh Grant. Whatever the reason, I'm glad I've finally seen it, although I'm afraid I didn't like it quite as much as I'd hoped I would. It was okay. Certainly it had some decent humor. And decent acting all around. And plenty of characters I expect I would have liked to get to know better. Honestly, the title of the film is extremely apt... we don't see or get to know much about any of the characters outside those five events, and I can't help but feel there's so much more to life (and friendship) than that. So the story is really a very small microcosm of their lives, and it might have been interesting to get to know them in more routine situations. Maybe. I dunno.

Anyway, the movie is set in England. There's this group of friends, and the movie focuses on one of them, Charles (Grant). And I guess another of the friends is his roommate, Scarlett. And they have a friend named Matthew (John Hannah). And a guy named Gareth, who was the most lively member of the group. And a woman named Fiona (Kristin Scott Thomas, whom I wish I would have recognized). And I guess some other characters who made less of an impression on me. (Though Charles has a deaf brother named David; I'm not really sure if he was technically a member of the group of friends or not.) Anyway, the movie starts out with a wedding, at which Charles is the best man. He meets an American woman named Carrie (MacDowell), with whom he shares an immediate attraction. They end up sleeping together, but immediately after that, she has to return to the States. The next time they see each other is at another wedding, but by then she's engaged to a Scottish man named Hamish. Theirs will be the third wedding in the movie. Then there's a funeral, but I don't want to say for whom. Later still is the fourth wedding, and I don't want to spoil anything about that, either.

So... there's a lot I'm not saying. Like whether the movie has a happy ending or not. And all kinds of stuff, really. I gotta say, it's hard for me to really feel strongly about the central romance between Charles and Carrie, since they only met a few times, and never really had a chance to get to know each other, but we're supposed to just accept them as soulmates, or whatever. Nevertheless, I'm generally okay at suspension of disbelief, so it's not like I have no feelings about the outcome of their story. I do have considerably less feelings about the outcomes of any other characters' stories, though there are some snapshots at the end of the movie about how things turn out for each of them. Which I appreciate in theory, but in practice I don't really care (especially considering I couldn't manage to even recognize all of the characters). Honestly, I think the most affecting part of the movie is the funeral. That was pretty sad. But otherwise, the movie was both funny and awkward, in a very British way. And... I guess now I never have to worry about seeing it, again. Check one thing off my bucket list.


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