Four Weddings and a Funeral: 25th Anniversary Edition – Blu-ray Edition

Twenty-five years ago? No way!  It cannot be!  But it is true as this film was released in 1994. At the time it was a surprise hit, one of the biggest UK films ever at the box office and launched Hugh Grant as a star.  A simple concept/story about a young man and his group of friends in their search for love and marriage.  Done only the way Brits can with the self-effacing wit and plenty of stammering (in a cute way) by Hugh Grant.

Charlie (Hugh Grant – Bridget Jones’ Diary, Nine Months) has once again woken up late for another wedding.  He and his flatmate Scarlett (Charlotte Coleman – Map of the Human Heart) are scrambling yet again to the ceremony.  It is another wedding where they will neither be the bride nor the groom.  The hunt for true love continues.

At this particular wedding the hand of fate deals Charlie a good one.  He meets Carrie (Andie MacDowell – Groundhog Day, Sex, Lies and Videotapes), an American woman, and it might well be love at first sight.  Charlie falls head over heels.  Unfortunately he seems unable to tell her how he feels, so a relationship never starts.  Though they do spend the night together, but the next morning she leaves on a plane for America.

Wedding number two, which Charlie and Scarlett are once again late for, is that of Bernard (David Haig – Two Weeks Notice) and Lydia (Sophie Thompson – Emma, Gosford Park), a couple who got together at the first wedding.  Charlie is delighted to see Carrie is at the wedding.  That is until she introduces him to her fiance, an obnoxious and much older Scotsman, Hamish Banks (Corin Redgrave – In the Name of the Father, A Man for All Seasons).  Miserable, Charlie’s night gets only worse when he finds out he is sitting at a table with four ex-girlfriends.  After Carrie’s fiance leaves for Scotland, she and Charlie sleep together again.  What’s a guy to think?

Just before her wedding to Hamish, Charlie and Carrie spend a lovely day together, but still he is not really able to tell her of his feelings.  And so they part.  At this the third wedding, Carrie and Hamish’s, much happens.  Scarlett hits it off with a Texan named Chester (Randall Paul – Eyes Wide Shut, Mission: Impossible), friend Fiona (Kristen Scott Thomas – The English Patient, I Have Loved You For So Long) reveals that she has always loved Charlie and everyone’s friend Gareth (Simon Callow – Amadeus, Ace Venturea: When Nature Calls) has a heart attack and dies.  Never a dull moment around this group.

The funeral is Gareth’s.  Carrie is there.  A sad time for everyone.

The fourth wedding is for Charlie and his slightly off ex girlfriend, Henrietta (Anna Chancellor – The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, What a Girl Wants).  Carrie is there yet again.  Before the ceremony she tells Charlie that she and Hamish have split.  Charlie is torn.  He is to be married (very shortly) to Henrietta, but loves Carrie.  Quite a dilemma.

Mike Newell has proved himself a director that is able to be comfortable in almost any genre.  While this was a romantic comedy, he has also done action (Prince of Persia), fantasy (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), cult favourite (Donnie Darko), and, of course, your typical slow paced Brit film (Enchanted April).  All very different and all quite good.  Ok, Prince of Persia is not fantasic, but definitely not the worst action film.  This is not a guy who feels out of his element telling any kind of story.  Give him a good script and he convey the message of the story like the pro that he is.  Newell gets us to see and then agree with the idea that love makes us do stupid things.  You make mistakes and fail, but you never give up.

In this Newell has constructed the perfect romantic comedy.  Not many have been immune to its charms.  All the characters are sublime in that they are completely natural and we all know someone like each of them.  The friends in the film are like our friends.  Completely normal and full of quirks.  We come to love each and every one of the them for a different reason.  Nothing intimidating or unattainable about this lot.  We relate to them and see ourselves in them.

This is a part that is tailor made for Hugh Grant.  Anything that requires him to fidget, stammer, use dry wit, and play with his hair will bring out the best in him.  This was the role that introduced him to an international audience.  He did have a bit part in “The Remains of the Day”, but nothing that really would have caught your attention.  With this film he exploded onto the scene. Newell and the casting director were also smart enough to surround Grant with a wonderful supporting cast that included Kristen Scott Thomas and Rowan Atkinson.

Special Features:

  • NEW The Wedding Photographer
  • Audio Commentary With Director Mike Newell, Producer Duncan Kenworthy, And Writer/Co-executive Producer Richard Curtis
  • “The Wedding Planners” Documentary
  • “Four Weddings And A Funeral …In The Making”
  • “Two Actors and a Director”
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Promotional Spots
  • Theatrical Trailer

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