It’s raining here. Like epically raining. While part me just wants to re-recommend Monsoon Wedding and call it a day, I can’t ignore that precipitation brings us many good romances, including today’s selection: Mike Newell’s Four Weddings and a Funeral.
As the title explains, it’s a film about a series of big gatherings and the emotions and complications they bring. At the first wedding, a confirmed British bachelor (Hugh Grant) meets an American girl (Andie MacDowell). After a series of hilarious interactions, they spend the night together…and then she goes back to America. When they meet again, at the second wedding, she’s engaged to somebody else.
The film introduces a host of tropes that would go on to become cliches — the cast of kooky friends, the big event gone bad, the highly structured narrative — but here, they’re fresh. I think it’s the unabashed emotion of Four Weddings, a movie that never fails to make me cry and to read Auden, that makes it work, that makes it seem original even on the twelfth viewing.
Hugh Grant had quite a run there with romantic comedies in the 90s and 00s, but this might very well be my favorite. (Or should I say, favourite?) He’s adorably awkward. And Andie MacDowell is smart and warm — you want to be friends with her, which is what sets the 80s and 90s romantic comedies apart from those of the present. So if somehow, you’ve avoided it, or haven’t seen it in a while, my recommendation for tonight’s fine romance is Four Weddings and a Funeral, perhaps paired with something hot and rum-y.