Despite being a huge fan of Notting Hill I've somehow never watched Four Weddings. Although, I suppose I'm also a huge hater of Love, Actually so perhaps shouldn't hold Richard Curtis in too high esteem. Still, I've only ever heard good things and (generally) Hugh Grant can do little wrong, so I was quite excited to finally see the career-defining flick. The result: it was pretty enjoyable.
Curtis does small, interpersonal relationships extremely well and it's incredibly refreshing to see a '90s movie with a real mixture of representation. Pair that with an exemplary cast of comedians and comic actors, some extremely British slapstick humour, and a dash of absurdity and the result is a very Anglo-centric delight. Or at least, the Anglo parts are. Unfortunately, the core relationship at the heart of Four Weddings – that between the American Andie Macdowell and Hugh Grant – is just a little weird. They're both likeable enough (just), but at the end of the day, you have a relationship built on lies, adultery, and absolutely zero character development. Whilst Grant is at least foppishly entertaining, there isn't much to like about Macdowell's character, who comes across as manipulative, aloof, and a complete gold digger (despite assertions in the script that she isn't). On the other hand, Grant's relationship with his friends paints the picture of someone at least well-liked, but the consistent overlap between him and his exes just serves as a reminder that, at heart, he's at best a fool and at worst equally as manipulative.
At least the cast that surrounds the ill-fated romance are largely likeable, albeit entirely one-dimensional, with the notable exception of John Hannah. As the only person with an arc that isn't simply "let's just ignore the one character trait I have by the end of the movie and that makes all my worries go away", Hannah shines extremely brightly. His grief, unwavering friendship, and subtle relationship is a wonderful thread throughout the story and brings some genuine heart to proceedings.
Overall, then, I definitely enjoyed Four Weddings. Parts made my laugh, parts made me cry, and I'll even admit to feeling a little triumphant at the ending (despite the rational side of my brain screaming that it was all a terrible idea and they're clearly terrible people 😂). It may be feeling its age a little bit, but it stands up surprisingly well given the pedigree it holds.