Earth 2 – Four Weddings and a Funeral – tape 2098

First on this tape, an episode of Earth 2. Another show which loved VR. Here’s virtual Terry O’Quinn.

Terry O'Quinn

One of the women is ‘having thoughts about another man’ and when she even dares to broach it with her oafish husband he practically sues for divorce. They’re remarried by the end of the episode.

Next, it’s Four Weddings and a Funeral. I know Richard Curtis’ rom-coms aren’t to everybody’s taste – one look at Twitter over Christmas at the reams of people who are baffled that anybody might enjoy watching Love Actually will tell you that.

Four Weddings was his first really huge hit, and made Hugh Grant a star. I prefer to think of their earlier work, though. For Curtis, apart from his TV comedy work, his first movie was The Tall Guy, with Emma Thompson and Jeff Goldblum, and I think is probably the better movie.

I almost met Hugh Grant on the set of one of his breakthrough movies, Lair of the White Worm. Had I known he was going to be a huge megastar I might have said hello, but I was more interested in talking to the director, Ken Russell, who was a lot of fun. That film also featured Peter Capaldi and Amanda Donohoe, so it was great value for big stars.

Four Weddings is still funny, and there are plenty of lovely performances from the ensemble. Hugh Grant, of course, is at his floppy-haired peak.

Hugh Grant

Charlotte Coleman is lovely, and it always makes me a little sad to think of how young she was when she died.

Charlotte Coleman

Simon Callow is brilliant as the slightly older partner of John Hannah.

Simon Callow and Hugh Grant

For me, the huge flaw at the heart of this movie is the casting of two crucial parts – Carrie and Fiona. Fiona is Grant’s friend, who’s desperately in love with him, but he doesn’t notice. Carrie is the glamorous stranger that Grant falls in love with at the first wedding, and keeps meeting. Carrie is played by Andie MacDowell.

Andie MacDowell

Fiona is played by Kristen Scott Thomas

Kristin Scott-Thomas

My big problem is that they are cast in precisely the wrong order. I can’t imagine anyone preferring MacDowell over Scott Thomas, so the film falls apart a bit over that.

It’s especially baffling when, later in the film, after Carrie has married the much older politician Corin Redgrave, Grant ends up at his own wedding, to former girlfriend Anna Chancellor (“Duckface”) who has already been established as being slightly neurotic. But Grant has decided to marry her, rather than the still single and still bonkers for him Kristin Scott Thomas. But, of course, if he had gone that route then he wouldn’t have been quite so able to duck out of his own wedding for the returning MacDowell.

Despite all these quibbles, I still enjoy the film, although after Bill Nighy in Love Actually I can no longer hear ‘Love is All Around’ non-ironically.

This is followed by an episode of Rory Bremner – Who Else? Rory does an impression of Ian McCaskill. Does that qualify as enough for contributing to the blog’s Death Watch?

After this, recording continues with the start of Moviewatch. The tape ends shortly into this programme.

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3 comments

  1. Andie MacDowell is always problematic. Thank goodness her daughter Margaret Qualley didn’t inherit her lack of talent.

  2. Andie MacDowell is fine in Groundhog Day. Apparently she’s a bit cold in real life, which does come through her performances, maybe that’s why people find her offputting?

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