BU Film School

Thursday, September 22, 2005

FT 540 Reading: Four Weddings and a Funeral

Screenplay info
Written by: Richard Curtis
Film info: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0109831


Wedding #1: Angus and Laura

Shots of people getting ready, intercut with shots of Charles asleep. Charles wakes -- o fuck. He wakes up Scarlett. They scramble. Speed in Scarlett's Mini Cooper. Fiona: "There is a greatness in your lateness." Charles, the best man, has forgotten the rings. Scarlett saves the day with heart, skull & crossbone rings. Carrie slips in late. Charles compliments Carrie's hat. Wedding photos taken.

Reception line. Comedy with friends -- humor, illustrates characters and relationships. Wedding cliches -- "You must be very proud."

Reception. Friends will meet in six hours. Tom (oblivious to trick) chosen to be designated driver. Charles looks out for Carrie, is headed off a couple of times. He is finally able to give her drink. Acquaintance shows up, Charles sticks foot in mouth by mentioning other man John's girlfriend -- now wife -- had been bonking. Carrie excuses himself.

Fiona talks to Gerald (introduces priest for next wedding). Serena asks Matthew about David, Charles' brother.

Wedding dinner. Food unappetizing (though Tom likes it). Charles watches Carrie at another table. Charles tgives speech. "I am, as ever, in bewildered awe of any couple who make the commitment that Angus and Laura have made this morning. I couldn't do it -- it's wonderful that they can. So anyway, back to Angus and those sheep."

Dancing. Gareth on floor. Matthew cathces Charles looking at Carrie -- love at first sight. "Quite -- three weeks is about my question-popping minimum."

Bernard and bridesmaid Lydia. She's depressed -- was promised sex, but hadn't gotten anything. Still not that desperate, though. Bouquet thrown -- Scarlett reaches, Fiona dodges, Lydia catches.

Charles -- Scarlett and I are at the Boatman. Tom -- everyone else is staying with me, come too. Carrie tells Charles she's at the Boatman. Friends leave, pass Lydia and Bernard kissing. Charles says to stop the car, walks back.

Charles enters the sitting room, Carrie's there. They chat. She hides when George, a total bore, enters looking for her. He thinks he's in (Carrie signals to Charles that he's not). Carrie crawls out, gets waiter to summon Charles to his wife. Carrie, Charles in her room. Joking about skulking. "How far do you think too far would be?" Peck on cheek, kiss on lips. Now this would definitely be too far -- they're in bed. Next morning, she's leaving for America. She jokes about marriage, momentarily spooking him.

Wedding #2: Bernard and Lydia

Charles and Scarlett late again. No taxis, her car's clamped. They run. The back of her dress falls off. Tom is best man, Scarlett one of bridesmaids. Gerald fumbles through ceremony, to the friends' amusement.

Reception. Gareth swaps cards on his and George's much larger gift. Business with people yelling at wrong father (it's the other one who's hard of hearing.)

Gareth's theory of marriage: the definitive ice-breaker. Carrie is at the wedding too. She introduces her fiancé, Hamish (who's 50 years old).

Dinner. Charles is at a table with four exes (Veronica, Martha, Nicki, Helena). Fiona to someone else: she's met the right man, but he doesn't love her. The exes trade embarrassing stories of Charles' love life, and say he was very indiscreet. Charles: "I seem to be stuck in the wedding from hell. Ghosts of girlfriends haunt me at every turn." Henrietta is there too.

Serena approaches David and talks to him in sign language (awwwww). They dance.

Charles, wanting to be by himself, finds a bedroom. However, he's trapped when Bernard and Lydia enter and hop in bed. He escapes, and promptly bumps into Henrietta. She says he's turned into a serial monogamist, and must give people a chance.

Carrie runs into Charles and says that Hamish had to catch a sleeper train -- keep me company? They go to her flat and end up in bed again. Love theme and montage -- Bernard and Lydia in limo, Gareth and Matthew cuddling, Tom sleeping (with pajamas buttoned up to the chin), Fiona reading, Scarlett drunk under a table.

For once, Charles and Scarlett don't have to go to a wedding. Charles gets a wedding invitation ... it's from Carrie.

Charles runs into Carrie at an expensive gift store. He helps her pick out a wedding dress. They have tea, and talk about their lovers (he was #32, just lovely). Charles: "I'd wish I'd rung you ... You ruthlessly slept with me twixe and then never rung me." He was supposed to meet David at the movies, and is terribly late. He goes in with David, then runs out after Carrie and blurts out, "I think I love you ...", then halts himself. He adds that he was willing to step in if she was being forced to marrying Hamish.

Wedding #3: Carrie and Hamish

Charles, depressed, gets there very very late, just in time for the "if anyone objects ..." part. The friends meet up. Gareth exhorts everyone to "go forth and conjugate ..." Gareth dances. Scarlett introduces herself to someone who introduces himself, jokingly, as Rhett (his real name's Chester).

Charles runs into Henrietta, who introduces him to her "divine new boyfriend." Fiona admits to Charlie that she loves him, but says that, "Friends isn't bad, you know. Friends is quite something." More dancing, especially from Gareth.

Carrie gives her speech at dinner, mentioning (to Charles, though no one knows) that she'll keep him posted about his offer to step in. Hamish starts talking. During his speech, Gareth falls. The friends take out into the hall, where Gareth dies. Charles tells Matthew.

Gareth's funeral

Carrie is there. Matthew recites W.H. Auden's poem "Funeral Blues". Carrie and Charles talk, both feel awkward. He apologizes for blurting out that he loved her, but she says she liked it.

Wedding #4: Charles and Henrietta

There are 14 alarm clocks around Charles' bed. Matthew is there with him, and tells him it's 9:45. They race to the church. Charles asks what time it really is -- it's 8:50. The friends have breakfast, and Fiona makes a toast: "To Charles ... and Duckface." Scarlett spots Chester at the wedding, and rushes to him. Angus and Laura are there, with their four kids. Tom, who earlier had told Charles he didn't believe in love at first sight, falls in love (like a thunderbolt) with Deidre, a distant relation.

Charles bumps into Carrie, who reveals that she and Hamish have separated. She'd thought about ringing him, but heard about his wedding. Charles, wanting to talk to her as long as possible, escorts her to her seat (even though it's getting late), and tells her that she probably should have rung, despite what she'd heard.

Charles, having found someplace to hide, vents his emotions: "Bugger! Bugger! Bugger! Bugger!" Matthew finds him, and says that Henrietta's coming. Charles: "... here I am on my own wedding day, and I'm still thinking." Charles tells David what's happening. David can think of only two choices: go ahead with the wedding, or call it off.

The wedding starts. All goes smoothly until the minister reaches "if anyone objects ..." part, and David stands up. Through Charles, he states that he thinks the groom has doubts, and that he really loves someone else. Charles confirms that he does. Henrietta slugs him.

The friends are at Charles' and Scarlett's. Charles has a black eye. The doorbell rings. It's Carrie, standing out in the rain. Charles stands outside with her. She says she just wanted to make sure he was OK, and starts to go. He stops her. He declares his love, and asks if she would agree not to marry him, and to stay unmarried with him for the rest of his life? She says, "I do," and they kiss.

My notes
-- different relationships -- gay couple completely in love. Fear of commitment. Love as falling for someone, just like that.
-- British humor, particularly Charles (self-deprecating). Comedy of character. Verbal, some physical (Charles, Scarlett racing). Pokes fun at weddings.


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