New movie portrays life and death events

By Maggie Trinkle

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Fuuuuu-dge. For the number of times Hugh Grant says a variant of this slang word in Mike Newell's "Four Weddings and a Funeral," one would think his delivery of this poetic line would get old. Yet every time it was rather fresh, and, well, sincere.

Grant's performance was much like his role in "Sirens" _ the shy minister who blushes when things get too intense. This film gives him a slight twist on the earlier character, since he plays the bachelor who blushes when things get too intense.

Grant was in "Remains of the Day" and "Maurice," but has just recently been thrust into the world of dashing lead roles. Although "Sirens" and "Four Weddings and a Funeral" do not challenge his acting ability, it is not because he has none. The potential is obvious even if he doesn't have the crazy eye google that Australian counterpart Mel Gibson has.

"Four Weddings and a Funeral" deals with just that _ four weddings and a funeral, and a group of friends who get together for these occasions. But, the movie is mainly about Grant's character, Charles, and his attraction to Carrie (Andie MacDowell).

Charles first sets eyes on Carrie at the first wedding. He is immediately entranced by her beauty. Of course there is a freeze frame of the elegant MacDowell in her huge hat and pretty dress. They meet up here and there, (it's amazing that they've never met yet somehow she is surfacing at all his friends' weddings) and by the time Charles is able to finally commit, it's too late. Fuuuuu-dge.

Unfortunately, MacDowell does not really act. The viewer is never sure exactly what MacDowell is trying to do with the Carrie character. Basically she serves the purpose of a pretty girl who is the object of Grant's affections. She delivers her lines dry and lackluster, and her odd southernish drawl which she relies on does not carry her in this movie _ especially when performing along side of Grant.

The most refreshing comic relief of any movie in the theaters today comes with Simon Callow's character Gareth. A robust, joyful and funny-faced elderly man who is the realistic crystal of "Four Weddings and a Funeral."

All in all, it's a bearable romance to sit through _no Winona crying and sniffling, no Julia Roberts sniffling and crying. Just a bunch of average looking joes figuring out what they want to do with their lives.

"Four Weddings and a Funeral" is playing at El Dorado Cinemas (745-6241) and Century Park 12 Theaters (620-0750). Read Next Article