Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

More fun than funny (although it's that too) Brit-flick which does exactly what it says on the title card.

Ah yes, the title - a bit ingenious that. When you've been so well primed at the outset for each of the movie's five acts, the time just flies by. After all, none of them can last much longer than 15 minutes, ensuring that each segment is fairly packed.

And more than anything else, this film is packed with characters.

Charles: "How do you do, my name is Charles."
Old man: [aghast] "Don't be ridiculous. Charles died 20 years ago."
Charles: "Must be a different Charles, I think."
Old man: [outraged] "Are you telling me I don't know my own brother!?"

With such a catalogue of crazy individuals on display, many of them only enjoying a few lines, we can only wonder just how much priceless material author Richard Curtis had to cut.

Fiona: "There's a sort of greatness to your lateness."
Charles: "Thanks, it's not achieved without real suffering."

I guess it's no coincidence that Curtis is best known as a six-part TV sitcom writer…

Charles: "I seem to be stuck in the wedding from Hell - ghosts of girlfriends past at every turn. Next thing I'll bump into Henrietta and the nightmare will be complete."
Henrietta: "Hello Charles."
Charles: "Hello Hen, how are you?"
[Hen bursts into tears]

There were only two characters who didn't work for me:

1. Rowan Atkinson's over-the-top performance as Father Gerald. Just too silly for a film that depends upon believability.

2. At the other end of the spectrum, Andie MacDowell's generic lead female Carrie has - oddly - no originality. Surrounded by so many more distinct personalities, she comes off as rather boring by comparison. Well, maybe that's what Hugh Grant's Charles sees in her.

Afterwards I rewound the tape to check the odd actor who I thought I'd recognised (Kenneth Griffiths!), and found myself getting drawn into it again.

Although the plot is quite simple, I guess it's the characters who make the whole thing so watchable, so it's no wonder that it's gone on to become so popular.

Available here.


0 comment(s):

Post a Comment

<< Back to Steve's home page

** Click here for preceding post(s) **

** Click here for following post(s) **