Four Weddings and a Funeral

Year: 1994
Studio: Channel Four Films
Director: Mike Newell
Cast: Hugh Grant, Andie MacDowell, John Hannah, Rowan Atkinson, Kristin Scott Thomas
Now Hugh Grant has been through some major troughs and crests in his career, it's hard to remember how fresh his clumsy, floppy-haired, huge-grinned appeal was way back in 1994.

As he's appeared mostly in middle of the road rom-coms since, it's also easy to forget it did have something of an edge to it; gay lovers, lots of swearing (the profane intro upon waking up late for wedding number 1) and a wildly shifting tone from very happy to very, very sad.

The plot concerns a bumbling, lovable Brit (Grant) who becomes enamoured with a charming American (MacDowell) over the course of attending (as the title suggests) four weddings and one funeral of various friends and acquaintances.

The theme is surprisingly downbeat - the point essentially being that marriage is a failed institution that puts too much social pressure on people, and that we're all going to die.

But the charm and the script play it all for big laughs, and the reputations of all concerned were further cemented with the filmmaking its money back close to forty times over.

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