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Film / Four Weddings and a Funeral

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Four Weddings and a Funeral is a 1994 British romantic comedy film directed by Mike Newell, written by Richard Curtis, and starring Hugh Grant in his breakthrough role.

Charles is a charming but gaffe-prone thirtysomething whose friends are getting married one after the other, with him as the most likely candidate to be best man. He has come to find attending weddings unbearably tedious, and he himself remains single (or, as an ex-girlfriend of his puts it, a "serial monogamist"). One day, at yet another wedding, he meets Carrie (Andie MacDowell), and he has a one-night stand with her.

When he meets her again at another wedding, he begins to think she might be the right one. Unfortunately, she's now engaged to someone else...


Contains examples of:

  • Author Appeal: Oh, Richard Curtis, with your clumsily adorable Hugh Grant characters and your alluring American women and your quirkily awkward dialogue and your minor social crises.
  • Babies Ever After: Charles and Carrie, in the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue, as well as the couple married at the first wedding, seen briefly at Charles'.
  • Best Woman: Scarlett is wearing a tuxedo at Charles' wedding, indicating that she's one of his groomsmen.
  • Bilingual Backfire: Surprisingly averted when Charles and David converse in sign language in front of Carrie, making derogatory remarks about her fiance and complimentary ones about her breasts. One watches the scene expecting that any minute now, Carrie will reveal that she also knows sign language and has understood everything, but this never happens.
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  • Birth/Death Juxtaposition: Gareth suffers a fatal heart attack at Carrie's wedding.
  • Bury Your Gays: Guess who gets the funeral?
  • But Not Too Bi: Fiona. "Well, I was a lesbian once at school, but only for fifteen minutes."
  • The Cameo: The bumbling priest at the second wedding is played by Rowan Atkinson.
  • The Casanova: Inverted. The one who happens to have done the most sleeping around (and is quite casual about it) is Carrie rather than Charles.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Dropped rather... curiously by Charles. See the main article.
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: Gareth. "The recipe for 'Duck à la Banana' fortunately goes with him to his grave."
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Fiona, to some extent.
  • Disposable Fiancé:
    • Henrietta is psychotic and so Charles is apparently right to ditch her at the altar.
    • Hamish is a pompous stiff and much older than Carrie. Good riddance.
  • The Ditz: Scarlett.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Henrietta punching out Charles at the fourth wedding of the film, her and his wedding, after he confesses that his love is still for someone else. Charles may have had it coming, no doubt, but imagine if genders were reversed however and ask, would it have been nearly as funny? Slightly toned down by the fact that it's not played solely for comedy and Henrietta is portrayed as being in the right to do so, as even her in-universe detractors (like Fiona) point out how spurning someone at the altar is an unforgivable thing to do.
  • Dreadful Musician: The amateur duo at the first wedding. They're even listed as "Frightful Folk Duo" in the credits.
  • Empathic Environment: It's gloomy and rainy the day of the funeral and pouring after Charles' aborted wedding, though that later turns romantic.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: There are four weddings and a funeral.
  • Fairytale Wedding Dress
  • Foreshadowing: At the fourth wedding: "When someone asks you a question, just say "I do."
  • Fourth Date Marriage: Bernard and Lydia hook up at the first wedding. Theirs, the second, takes place only three months later. (Though this is tempered by the fact that they've apparently known each other for years, just not romantically).
  • Friendship Moment: Several of those take place among Charles's circle of friends.
  • Gilligan Cut: Paired with Sexy Discretion Shot. Charles escorts Carrie back to her hotel after the second wedding. She invites him in for a drink, with them both swearing that that's all that will happen. Cut to a sunrise and the two of them lying in bed.
  • Hollywood Heart Attack: Gareth.
  • Hooked Up Afterwards: Every couple who was dating or just met towards the film's conclusion is shown getting married in the epilogue.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: A rare non-animated example: Scarlett is about two-thirds the height of her eventual boyfriend.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: Tom finishing his drink at the third wedding.
  • I'm Standing Right Here: Charles and his exes are joking about one of his other exes—"Miss Piggy and her mother was Mrs. Piggy!"—when the woman in question—who's been sitting next to Charles the whole time—angrily snaps "We've both lost a lot of weight since then!"
  • Insatiable Newlyweds: Bernard and Lydia.
  • Inspirationally Disadvantaged: Averted with Charles' brother David. Despite his deafness, he's portrayed as completely normal, just as snarky and raunchy as his hearing counterparts (if anything more so, because he and Charles can be incredibly rude about people who are standing in front of them, by means of sign language.) He's also Charles' confidant and guide, but it's not his deafness that makes him smart; he's just like that.
  • Ironic Echo: About to be married to Henrietta, Charles is advised "When someone asks you a question, just say "I do." Later, at the altar:
    David: [signing] Because, Charlie - this is for the rest of your life. Finally, you've got to marry the person you love with your whole heart. And by the way, your flies are undone.
    Vicar: What's he saying?
    Charles: He says...he suspects the groom loves someone else.
    Vicar: Do you? Do you love someone else? Do you, Charles?
    Charles: [long pause] ...I do.
    [Henrietta shrieks with rage and punches him in the face.]
  • It Always Rains at Funerals: Played straight.
  • Kissing Cousins:
    • One of Carrie's lovers was her cousin.
    • At the end, Tom ends up married to a distant cousin.
  • Last-Second Word Swap:
    "Bit of a poor show you not having a stag night."
    "We did! We did... We didn't think it was a very good idea in this day and age."
  • Life of the Party: Gareth.
    "I remember the first time I saw Gareth dancing. I feared lives would be lost."
  • Lost Wedding Ring: At the first wedding, Charles, as the best man, realizes at the last minute that he's forgotten to bring the rings.
  • Malaproper: The priest at the second wedding makes a number of verbal blunders ("awful wedded wife" for "lawful wedded wife", etc.).
  • Master of the Mixed Message: It's really hard to tell what Carrie wants from Charles during the movie, between sleeping with him, leading him on and marrying another man.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Tom fully admits to this. "The great advantage of having a reputation for being stupid: people are less suspicious of you."
  • Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: Henrietta. The rest of Charles' former girlfriends look like this from his perspective when he has to sit with them at the wedding, in his personal circle of Hell. However, they're only repeating his previous indiscreet comments, so it can be seen as Laser-Guided Karma.
  • Really Gets Around: Carrie lists all her former lovers (more than 30), which takes quite some time.
  • Romantic Rain: The movie ends with the lovers finally getting together in the pouring rain.
    Charles: There I was, standing there in the church, and for the first time in my whole life I realized I totally and utterly loved one person. And it wasn't the person next to me in the veil. It's the person standing opposite me now... in the rain.
    Carrie: Is it still raining? I hadn't noticed.
  • Running Gag: Charles oversleeps and shows up late at every wedding he's invited to. His friends make absolutely sure he's on time for his own.
  • Schoolgirl Lesbians: Fiona. "I was a lesbian once at school, but only for about fifteen minutes."
  • Second Love: Matthew is seen with a new partner during the closing montage, obviously very happy.
  • Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace: Played straight by David at his brother Charles's wedding. David is actually deaf, and Charles must translate for everyone else what he says in sign language. Cue an Armor-Piercing Slap from the spurned bride.
    • Averted at Carrie's wedding; Charles walks in right when the priest says the line, and Carrie turns her head in anticipation, but perhaps because he didn't hear the line, Charles doesn't say anything, and the wedding goes on as planned.
  • Sympathetic Adulterer: Despite apparently being happy with her fiancé, Carrie cheats on him with Charles without a second thought or a shred of remorse, which the viewers are supposed to be okay with as Charles and Carrie are the end game plan. The only person to call her out on her behavior is Charles himself, and even that's more about how she treated him.
  • Tactful Translation: When Charles and Carrie run into his deaf brother while out shopping. Charles and his brother proceed to converse in sign language, with Charles making derogatory comments about Carrie's fiance (he's in love with her) and his brother making complimentary ones about her breasts. All the while, Charles is telling her that they're offering congratulations.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Tom.
  • Wedding Day: Four of them, three hilarious in one way or another.
    • No rings, trainee vicar, groom having second thoughts.
  • Weddings for Everyone: Everyone, interestingly, but Charles and Carrie.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Showing all of Charles' group of friends—even Henrietta!—as Happily Married and he and Carrie with a baby.