Four Weddings And A Funeral Deluxe Edition (1994)

MGM

Cast: Hugh Grant, Andie MacDowell, Kristin Scott Thomas, Simon Callow.

Rating: R.

Run time: 118 mins.

Genre: Comedy

Verdict: Brilliant (see rating system)

Hugh Grant toiled for years in near anonymity making European art films before this hilarious comedy propelled him to international stardom overnight.

Made on a shoestring budget with an ensemble cast of British character actors, the movie hit all the right comic notes as it told the story of a group of friends seemingly spending every weekend going to a wedding together. It didn't hurt that the title music by Wet Wet Wet - Love is All Around - became a smash hit.

Charles (Grant) is late again for a wedding - and he's the best man. He makes it to the groom's side with seconds to go, then realizes with horror he's forgotten the ring. Fortunately his circle of close friends - Tom (James Fleet), Matthew (John Hannah), Gareth (Simon Callow), Fiona (Kristin Scott Thomas) and Scarlett (Charlotte Coleman) are able to improvise a replacement.

The wedding is also notable for the presence of an American guest, the gorgeous model Carrie (Andie MacDowell), with whom Charles is instantly smitten. However, being a shy Englishman he doesn't much rate his chances.

Surprisingly, Carrie and Charles do get together later that night, but their subsequent relationship proves brief and frustrating and Charles despairs of ever finding true love - and attending his own wedding.

Screenwriter Richard Curtis (Love Actually), based the movie on many of his own awful wedding experiences and there are classic embarrassing moments from meeting old girlfriends and terrible best man speeches to the happy couple sneaking off for a brief encounter in a hotel room during the reception. Watch out for a funny cameo from Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean) as a scared priest conducting his first wedding.

Nicely directed by Mike Newell and featuring some surprisingly tender, even tragic, moments among the knockabout comedy, this is one of the best comedy movies of the 1990s.

The deluxe edition features several featurettes on the making of the film plus some deleted scenes.

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