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It was every bit as saccharine and self-indulgent and toe-curling as we expected, but the unexpectedly touching vignette from Hugh Grant as the bewildered-but-beaming parent made this an amiable enough trip down memory lane. If Richard Curtis ever wants to do his own remake of Father of the Bride … Grant is his man.
The set-up was that Charles (Grant) and his partner Carrie (a close-to-non-speaking cameo for Andie MacDowell) have a daughter (Lily James) who is adorably marrying the daughter of Charles’s old friend, the one who was secretly in love with him the whole time: Fiona (Kristin Scott Thomas). Lily’s bride is played by Alicia Vikander. It’s a super daring and modern same-sex thing that utterly flusters the comedy vicar played by Rowan Atkinson. His inability to get words right is now made worse by his evident astonishment at the idea of gay marriage.
And who is Fiona married to? Well, the comedy montage that closed the original Four Weddings back in 1994 implied she’d got together with Prince Charles. Did Richard Curtis approach His Royal Highness and ask for a cameo, like the one his mum did with Daniel Craig for the Olympics? Surely Charles wasn’t such a bad sport as to say no?
Possibly. In any event, much time has gone by and very sadly there have been real funerals: those of Corin Redgrave, who played Hamish and who died in 2010, and Charlotte Coleman, who played Charles’s wacky flatmate Scarlett and died in 2001. The script gracefully alluded to her absence.
Otherwise, the old gang were there: Matthew (John Hannah) who read aloud from Ed Sheeran rather than WH Auden, Tom (a bearded James Fleet) and Lydia (Sophie Thompson). Anna Chancellor was back with her Duckface turn, and a strange gag about who she was married to now. Nicola Walker reprised her embarrassing wedding singer routine, this time opposite Sam Smith. Grant’s rambling and useless but emotional speech was weirdly authentic. This, I suspected, is exactly the way he might choke up in real life. That legendary stammer was earned.
In truth, Four Weddings Reloaded wasn’t very funny – but then really none of Red Nose Day ever is. Something about the seriousness of the proceedings make everyone there, even Romesh Ranganathan, look like a well-meaning geography teacher sportingly joining in with the school’s end-of-term Christmas show.
But there was something genuinely tender about Hugh Grant in greying middle age, looking even more baffled by life than ever.
Source: The Guardian
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