Blu-ray Review: Four Weddings & A Funeral (25th Anniversary Edition)



Hugh Grant was scientifically designed to be the ultimate romantic comedy star. Somewhere deep in a biological weapons lab they twisted the DNA to make a man who was utterly disarming with charm, casual with his clumsiness and sophisticated with a slightly shaggy edge to give the illusion that he’s human. He’s the guy ladies dream about being swept up in a topsy turvy cute meet and guys mistakenly imagine as their wingman. Hugh Grant did not intimidate on the screen. When the discussion of “The next James Bond” comes up, there’s no overwhelming demand that Hugh Grant must be 007. People don’t want to see Hugh packing heat with a license to kill. They didn’t want to see him as a junky squatting in Scotland. They want to see him making a bumbling attempt to woo the heart of woman who isn’t perfection, but is perfect in Hugh’s eyes. Grant immediately dominated cinema as this new leading man that was irresistible because his even his flaws were so alluring. Four Weddings and a Funeral: 25th Anniversary Edition takes us back to when Hugh Grant sprung out of the screen and redefined the romantic comedy.

When you get out of college, there’s a chance you’re still hanging out with the core group of friends from your studying days. But as the years grow, you find yourself hanging with them less at random parties and more at various weddings and sometimes a funeral. Such is the case for Charles (Grant) and his pals. They all have to race out to the English countryside for the wedding of Angus and Laura. Charles is the best man, but he barely shows up for the ceremony and isn’t quite prepared for the big event. But he’s able to bumble his way through the day and look smooth enough. He’s not a stiff guy from Oxford. While he jokes that marriage is not for him, he finds himself drawn to Carrie (Sex, Lies and Videotape‘s Andie MacDowell). She’s an American and during the reception and afterward he gets to know more and more about her. While it seems like the duo are set for life, Charles screws things up and Carries heads back to America solo. The next time they meet it’s another wedding. Carrie’s circumstances have changed, but somehow the duo carry on a bit of a tradition set at their first wedding. However the romance is now tangled up so there’s no clear path to an altar without a lot of cutting away. No need to give away the other two weddings and especially the funeral except to say that it does keep you guessing.

The power of Hugh Grant is felt when he hooks up with Carrie the second time because the audience doesn’t immediately revolt against him as a massive cad. If an uptight character had done what Charles did, we’d see him as a horrible person and almost view him as the most horrific figure in English movies since Pinhead emerged from Hellraiser. But Hugh Grant makes it all fine. Just a case of misunderstanding twisted with his ability to not complete resist an obvious chemistry. The audience semi-forgives Charles with a “how can he help it?” People aren’t racing to the concession stand to refill their popcorn and buy fresh torches and pitchforks. Guys aren’t questioning why their date made them go to a film about a creep who can’t keep his hands off a woman in a relationship. It’s just Hugh Grant. No need to worry. Four Weddings and a Funeral was a charming night out no matter what your date felt about Hugh Grant.

The video is 1.85:1 anamorphic. The 1080p transfer was made from a 4K scan of the original camera negative so the weddings look sharp. The audio is DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround and the original 2.0 Stereo mix. You get a bit intimate with the 5.1 mix. Hugh is all around you. The movie is subtitled.

The Wedding Photographer (26:31) is an Interview With Director Of Photography Michael Coulter. He breaks down what he and his crew do during a shoot. He recounts filming all the weddings and even the funeral.

Audio Commentary With Director Mike Newell, Producer Duncan Kenworthy, And Writer/Co-executive Producer Richard Curtis reunites the key creative team members to talk about the magic of working with Hugh Grant.

The Wedding Planners (29:41) interviews cast and crew including Hugh Grant about making the little film that conquered the hearts of millions.

Four Weddings And A Funeral …In The Making (7:34) is an early featurette since it’s all 1.33:1. We get Hugh Grant talking from a location.

Two Actors And A Director (5:33) focuses on Mike Newall, Hugh Grant and Andie McDowell.

Deleted Scenes (9:58) includes an explanation of why they were snipped. Nothing too major was sliced except more footage of Hugh and Andie making out.

Promotional Spots (3:27) includes footage taken on location to promote the film.

Theatrical Trailer (2:08) lined us up for the charms of Hugh Grant. The world would never be the same.

Shout! Factory Four Weddings and a Funeral: 25th Anniversary Edition. Directed by Mike Newall. Screenplay by: Richard Curtis. Starring: Hugh Grant, Andie MacDowell, Kristin Scott Thomas, Simon Callow, James Fleet, John Hannah, Charlotte Coleman, David Bower, Corin Redgrave & Rowan Atkinson. Rated: R. Running Time: 118 minutes. Released: February 12, 2019.

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