Four Weddings and a Funeral: "The problem with the script was that it was too funny"

Four Weddings and a Funeral: “The problem with the script was that it was too funny”

The comedy starring Andie MacDowell and Hugh Grant celebrates its 30th anniversary on Arte this weekend. As well as on DVD and Blu-ray in a new edition filled with bonuses.

Released in spring 1994, Four weddings and a funeral by Mike Newell hasn't aged a bit. César for best foreign film in 1995, this romantic comedy has confirmed over the years that it is one of the most attractive in the history of cinema.

She returns this Sunday evening on TV, precisely at 9 p.m. on Arte. It is therefore the opportunity to see or rewatch the birth of an impossible love for Charles (Hugh Grant), a bachelor who fell under the spell of Carrie (Andie MacDowell). Above all, don't miss the beginning, where the guests of the first wedding, who are late, unleash a string of insults while preparing hastily. Even Leonardo DiCaprio in The wolf of Wall Street don't throw around so much “fuck” Minute !

To learn more about what goes on behind the scenes, don't miss its reissue on DVD and Blu-ray. To properly celebrate its 30th anniversary, the distributor BQHL released it at the start of 2024, accompanied by interesting bonuses: a presentation by Marianne Lévy, author of the book Romantic Comedies: A Love Story (Hoëbeke editions), but also a 30-minute making-of devoted to “Wedding planners”or to all those who participated in the creation of Four Weddings and a Funeral : its screenwriter Richard Curtis, its director Mike Newell, its main actors…

We learn, for example, that Richard Curtis was inspired by one of his own memories of flirting for the scene of the meeting between his two main protagonists, and that Hugh, not being able to “find” the character before filming, began to simply imitate the author of the film. “Basically I understood that Charles was him”he jokes during one of his interviews at the time.

They all recognize that the crazy success of this comedy, particularly in England and the United States, changed their lives: for a budget of 4.4 million dollars, it earned 242 worldwide! In France, no less than 5.7 million people made the trip, which placed it on the podium for the biggest hits of the year 1994 behind The Lion King And An Indian in the city.

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Here is an extract from our review, written by Sophie Cherer and published in First at its output : “The arrival of the bestman (witness) in disaster (with forgetting the alliances) marks the beginning of a series of gags, blunders, mutterings, mishaps, facial expressions and grimaces, encounters and failures, mischief, toasts and wild dances. And, for our part, the first of an incalculable cascade of laughter which will only be interrupted to give way to tears. (…)

“The problem with the script, if I dare say,” says director Mike Newell, “is that it was too funny; the humor left no room for emotion. So I asked the author (Richard Curtis ) to rework it in order to introduce some dramatic elements which would give it greater human depth.”

Suffice to say that the film now contains everything we like to find in cinema: first and foremost, it is a very successful specimen of a genre of which we will never tire of – the buddy film a la Peter's Friends and others. Friends first -, with its procession of delightful discoveries, impossible loves, entirely possible loves, fulfilled sexuality, babbling priests, ravishing women, irresistible men, hilarious dialogues and sudden shocks. revolting fate.”

Brief, Four weddings and a funeral is a cult comedy to watch and rewatch.

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