In 1975 the French film "Cousin, Cousine" charmed a lot of Americans. In 1988 Joel Schumacher made an adaptation. It's rare for American copies of foreign films to work and the critics duly slammed "Cousins" for its lack of being an English version of the original. They missed the point. "Cousins" has its own slant on "Four Weddings", it has its own charm and wit and if it occasionally borders on farce I forgive it as its characters are equally as engaging as either of its English or French counterparts.
It's Ted Danson's finest hour as the sympathetic, free-spirited Larry who by his uncle's marriage and his wife's infidelity with his new cousin's husband... it's best you work it out for yourself. Rossellini, who couldn't possibly look plain though she tries hard, is cousin Maria, with whom Larry plays games to spite their errant spouses until realising the game has rebounded on them. It's a classic menage-a-quatre and you just ache for these two to get together. Patience, there's more fun along the way, not least from wonderful Lloyd Bridges who steals every scene as Larry's father, plying Larry's son Mitch - an aspiring "multi-media artist" with a sensationalist streak, with girlie mags and condoms.
Stephen Metcalfe's intelligent screenplay crackles, intercutting ample laugh lines (though let's avoid that so-American "hilarious" tag) with honest warmth and passion from the two leads. Ultimately, it's a film that will bring out that long "Aaaah" of satisfaction as you watch them ride off into the... Well, let's just say it springs no surprises.
Stylishly observed, nicely crafted, beautifully played. Some films you just grow to cherish.