Like A Horse And Carriage

HUGH GRANT, WHO HAS GRACED THE margins of many an English film, gets to step front and center in the romantic comedy Four Weddings and a Funeral and proves himself a deft and debonair leading man. He plays Charles, a handsome, diffident bachelor with a lethal wit who's dated every woman in his set without finding a proper mate. What Charles does for a living we never find out. What occupies his leisure hours is his friends' incessant nuptials. True to its title, Mike ("Enchanted April") Newell's movie follows Charles and six friends through four elaborate, very funny wedding ceremonies. At the first, Charles is smitten by the beautiful, elusive American Carrie (Andie MacDowell). But after they spend a blissful night together, she vanishes back to the States.

We know he's found the woman of his dreams. But the sophisticated screenplay by Richard Curtis piles clever comic roadblocks in their path, not the least of which is the third wedding Charles attends-Carrie's marriage to another man. If this breezy and bawdy tale has a flaw, it's in the depiction of its enigmatic heroine. Actually, she's incomprehensible, and the winsome MacDowell hasn't enough resources to flesh her out. Fortunately, there are too many other delicious distractions to' make this a serious bother. There is Rowan Atkinson's priceless farcical turn as a bungling novice priest. There is Simon Callow's rude, acerbic gusto as the gayest member of the set; Charlotte Coleman's punkish ebullience as Charles's flatmate Scarlett, and the unexpected poignance of that one funeral. Fluff with an edge, "Four Weddings" brings a venerable old genre delightfully up to date.

Like A Horse And Carriage | News