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I’ve never been tough to impress with films; anything with a bit of thoughtfulness will become my new ‘favourite ever’. Britcoms, however, are very hot and cold for me. I either love them or hate them. This one is at the top of the heap.

This is the second region two release for this disc, the first appearing more or less with the DVD format itself. It was presented in one of those terrible jewel cases I believe, so I'm thankful for the Amaray that encloses this edition. In the transition we've seemingly lost a music video ('Love Is All Around', I should think) but we now have a widescreen transfer, no matter how depressingly non-anamorphic it is...

The wild card
Movie
One of my favourite Britcoms of the nineties, ‘Four Weddings And A Funeral’ is perhaps the film that made Hugh Grant a household name. Grant plays Charles, a bumbling Englishman (surprise, surprise…) who is part of a group of people that always seem to get invited to the same weddings, but are never standing at the altar. The film revolves around two things: Charles getting himself into awkward situations, and Charles’ relationship with Carrie (Andie MacDowell). At the first wedding of the film, Charles meets Carrie, and of course, there is the immediate ‘spark’. They share an intimate night or two together, but Charles’ hopes of ascending out of the ‘unmarriables’ is dashed when he finds her engaged to another man.

Grant is delightful as Charles, and at his most bumbling Englishman-like, complimented wonderfully by the mystery and charm of Andie MacDowell. To be honest, I’ve never thought of Andie MacDowell as a convincing actress; she’s never persuaded me that her character has depth. But here, in an ensemble of caricatures and the wholeheartedly wacky, she simply shines. Indeed, the whole cast meshes together in a way that only British actors can, creating a sense of fellowship and family that aid the atmosphere of the film no end. Coupling this subtlety and talent with the sharp and intelligent writing makes for a tangy, hilarious classic.

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Goat…
Video
Unfortunately this title is non-anamorphic, which, uncharacteristically, annoyed me intensely on this particular film. As you know, watching a non-anamorphic presentation on a widescreen TV means you have to use the zoom function. This doesn't normally annoy me, but in this film there is a character that speaks in sign language. To make up for this, his actions are subtitled, however these are half cut-off on my screen, so I had to keep zooming in and out to see them. Perhaps they could have been burnt in to the image, rather than generated by the player, then it would not be such a problem.

Other than this, however, it's a nice transfer. There is very little grain. The film varies from vibrant and colourful to sombre and dark, and the transfer handles both with plenty of detail. Saturation is a little on the high side, but not annoyingly so.

Audio
To be honest, there's not a lot of need for Dolby Surround sound in this film. Apart from the traffic in the scenes when Charles is rushing to church, the only possible application for any kind of surround would be for the music. The dialogue is clear and crisp, but there is nothing remarkable here.

The Unmarriables
Extras
Not much to speak of, just the teaser and theatrical trailers (which, let's face it, barely count these days) .Also included is a featurette. Which, despite being an obvious promotional piece, is actually rather insightful. So, two marks just for that.

Overall
So, yes, a top film in my book. Running smoothly from comedy and romance to solemnity, everyone who had a part to play in the creation of this film seems to have given it their all. Even those with smaller roles stand out, especially Rowan Atkinson as the trainee priest.

The featurette indicates that the creators have a lot to say on it, so I’d have enjoyed a commentary, but just owning this film in widescreen is enough. As soon as I get through the discs I haven’t watched yet, this will be the first one I come back to, for the sheer number of giggles.


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