3 of 11 people found the following review helpful
That This Was Nominated for a Best Picture Oscar Shows Just How Arbitrary the Standard is for those Awards,
This review is from: Four Weddings And A Funeral  [DVD] (DVD)***SPOILERS UNAVOIDABLE***
If you're a budding Anglophile then you're liable to fall for this charmless and, quite frankly, mean-spirited film. A gang of smug friends habitually attends weddings (which they despise) of other friends (to whom they seem indifferent). Each of the smug friends - apart from two of the men, who are a couple - is single because either their lovers have left them or they themselves are indecisive. The male-male couple seems genuinely happy together, but they, like their smug friends, cannot refrain from relentless mockery of the weddings no one forces them to attend. But even the married couples are prompted to wed out of a desperate fear of being alone. It's all very cynical.
The tension of the central romance is acceptable only if the viewer somehow blots from his/her memory the fact that in the '90s domestic partnerships not based on marriage were not only commonplace but, on the whole, successful. The hero (Hugh Grant) is a perfect specimen of repugnant insipidity. The heroine (Andie MacDowell) is a sinister mannequin with nymphomaniacal pretensions. Somehow these two grotesques find each other irresistible. Two tragedies arise. The first is the death of one of the men of the male-male couple. (But he ate pans of sausages for breakfast and was unpleasant to nearly everyone except his boyfriend. So for me his heart attack was well-deserved.) This forces what's left of the smug gang to re-examine their smugness and, in shocking defiance of romcom conventions, to slowly pair off with non-smug persons. The second tragedy is that Grant learns that MacDowell is already engaged to another man who is equally grotesque. But he has lots of money so she marries him. With everlasting loneliness looming over his head, Grant decides to marry Henrietta, a woman he had previously jilted. But just before the wedding begins MacDowell arrives at the church to tell Grant that she has divorced her gruesome husband. A befuddled Grant rejects Henrietta before witnesses, and Henrietta makes do by punching him in the face. Later Grant and MacDowell meet in the rain and agree to compromise on "not being married." They bring their lips together and thereby provoke a thunderclap straight out of Rocky Horror Picture Show, a far superior film for which this surely must have been a sequel that lost its way.
Absent any other merit this film does have the purely anthropological/sociological value of being set in the early '90s. So if you find it worth your while to be relentlessly assaulted by floppy hair and outlandish fashions then Four Weddings and a Funeral will be momentarily distracting.
Otherwise Anglophiles would be better off reading Jane Austen or watching an RSC production.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 17 Apr 2013 09:24:26 BDT
O. Buxton says:
I don't agree with your assessment of the film (which I haven't seen in 20 years, but remember enjoying enormously at the time), but I greatly enjoyed your review in any case, which was well stated and entertainingly expressed. Good show!
In reply to an earlier post on 21 Apr 2013 00:39:18 BDT
Thank you for your kind opinion of my review. I've now read some of your own reviews, within which I have found, here and there, several sentences unfavorable to the film A.I. Since these sentences gave no elaborate explanation for the source of their disdain, I went in search of a fuller review, but with no success. Those reviews which I did read I greatly enjoyed, so I'd be very much interested, if it is not inconvenient, to know your particular reasons for disliking A.I.
In reply to an earlier post on 21 Apr 2013 08:10:39 BDT
O. Buxton says:
It was a long time ago and Amazon seems to have deleted the review - at any rate can't now find it. As I recall I thought it was a hugely ambitious film which just didn't quite come off - and the bigger the ambition, the large the crater when things go wrong.
Posted on 28 Oct 2013 21:34:01 GMT
G. Brookes says:
You appear to be a snob of the first rank you do not like films of this type do not buy them
In reply to an earlier post on 29 Oct 2013 07:45:22 GMT
Last edited by the author on 29 Oct 2013 07:50:02 GMT
And you appear to be an admirer of the second-rate. Not that it is any of my business, of course. I see that you have not yet written a review defending this mediocre effort. By all means do so, and by all means use it to contest the points in my own review with which you clearly take issue. You obviously like this movie, and clearly nothing that I have written in my review is going to stop you from liking it. But if you are so sensitive that you cannot cope with reviews criticizing the things you like then do not read those reviews. You invalidate nothing I've written by accusing me of being a snob. Rather, you give yourself away as being both easily pleased and easily offended.
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