July 10, 2018 posted by admin
The iconic film, Four Weddings and a Funeral, is a landmark British romantic comedy, featuring Hugh Grant in the role that catapulted him to international stardom. When the floppy-haired, socially-awkward Londoner, Charles (played by Grant) first appeared on the big screen in 1994, the character seemed to strike a chord with audiences.
His bumbling personality shines through as he keeps bumping into bubbly American Carrie at four consecutive weddings and a funeral, hence the title. He is attracted to her right away, but his shyness and awkwardness make relationships hard. Cinema-goers everywhere can relate to Charles’ ongoing frustration, as things don’t seem to be working out as planned.
Screenwriter Richard Curtis admitted he based the plot of Four Weddings and a Funeral on his own experiences attending weddings over the years.
He described how he started to write the script when he was 34, on realising he had attended 65 weddings during the past 11 years! He admitted the idea for Charles and Carrie’s stuttering romance was based on his experience at one of the weddings, when he was “propositioned” by a fellow guest. He said he forever regretted turning her down.
It took him a massive 17 drafts before he reached a version of the script that he felt happy with, as he wished to make the characters as realistic and rounded as possible, rather than just scratching the surface and making them simply humorous.
Grant was 34 when he portrayed Charles in Four Weddings and a Funeral. He had earlier starred in the Merchant-Ivory Edwardian drama Maurice in 1987 and The Dawning in 1988, along with some minor TV roles, but it was the role of Charles that instantly made him a household name.
Charles is good-natured, but flawed when it comes to relationships. He seems to have let Carrie slip through his fingers when one of the weddings he attends is her marriage to wealthy politician Sir Hamish Banks.
Carrie is played by Andie MacDowell, aged 36 at the time. A financially independent American, she often visits the UK and never lacks male suitors, as she is beautiful, intelligent and witty.
Although she’s attracted to Charles, something always stands in their way, including the physical distance between them. Unlike Charles, Carrie is cool, calm and collected – but they do say opposites attract!
The movie also features Rowan Atkinson as Father Gerald, who pops up when he presides over the ceremonies. The rather bumbling vicar has a habit of getting his words mixed up – including calling one blushing bride her groom’s “awful wedded wife” at one of the ceremonies!
What are the cast up to now?
Grant, aged 57, has said that Four Weddings and a Funeral inspired him to carry on with his acting career, when he had been on the verge of giving up. The role of Charles won him a Golden Globe and a BAFTA award, both for best actor. He became founder and director of his own production company – the UK-based Simian Films Limited.
He has also starred in many more hit films, including the period drama Sense and Sensibility in 1995, the romantic comedy Notting Hill, opposite Julia Roberts, in 1999, Bridget Jones’ Diary in 2001 and The Man from UNCLE in 2015. He also supports various charities, including Marie Curie Cancer Care and the Fynvola Foundation, assisting adults with learning disabilities.
Andie MacDowell, now aged 60, has acted mainly in television roles and independent films since the mid-1990s. She has starred in the ABC Family series Jane by Design and in the Hallmark Channel series, Cedar Cove. She has also become the face of cosmetics and hair care company L’Oreal.
Rowan Atkinson, aged 63, has continued to be one of the UK’s most enduring and best-loved comedy talents. He has starred in the Johnny English comedy films as a bungling British spy and has appeared in many comedies, including Rat Race in 2001, Scooby-Doo in 2002 and Love Actually in 2003.
He has also starred in the Mr Bean comedy films and has continued to appear in theatrical productions, including the West End revival of Oliver as the cunning thief Fagin in 2009. He has also appeared in many television comedies and remains one of the UK’s busiest actors.
Four Weddings and a Funeral was a massive commercial success. Made on a budget of £2.8 million, it has grossed a massive £186 million at the worldwide box office.
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