Monday Movie: Four Weddings and a Funeral
Before I got married last year, I spent some time watching and re-watching movies about weddings. It’s not that I was looking for inspiration; it’s just where my mind was. Had I been hoping to be inspired to create the perfect wedding, though, Michael Newell’s acid-tongued romance Four Weddings and a Funeral wouldn’t have helped a bit. It’s a lovely and hilarious movie but its matrimonial settings aren’t exactly loaded with awe.
Four fifths of the movie may take place during nuptials and receptions but one of the film’s best jokes is how interchangeable they all feel. The most lively one is the one where someone dies, resulting in that other fifth of the story. Mostly, the ceremonies and parties are backdrops for caddish and scandalous behavior. Betrayals are revealed, off-color humor abounds and the bride and groom aren’t the only ones getting it on. It’s all pretty crude but it’s also all very charming and funny, fitting for a movie whose first dozen or so words of dialogue are all “fuck.”
What stands out in the end is that the central couple, when they finally get together, don’t participate in the traditions we’ve seen irreverently depicted for two hours. In fact, they vow to spend the rest of their lives together not being married. Four Weddings and a Funeral shows us that weddings are fun to have and fun to go to but that are not the only way to celebrate love. Love and marriage, despite what the song says, don’t necessarily go together. The Venn diagram may have a lot of overlap but they are not one and the same. Still, that doesn’t mean weddings aren’t occasionally a good place to get drunk and talk dirty to a priest.