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Why ‘Four Weddings’ is in my 10 most overrated movies ever

PUBLISHED: 10:56 08 December 2018 | UPDATED: 13:00 08 December 2018

A promotional DVD cover for Four Weddings and a Funeral   Photo: Archive

A promotional DVD cover for Four Weddings and a Funeral Photo: Archive

Four Weddings and a Funeral has got so much to answer for.

First, it has cemented many other nations’ view of the English - posh, keen on japes, smug and sickly-sentimental.

I’d rather cut my toenails with a combine harvester than endure the torture of watching it again.

Second, it launched Hugh Grant’s career, playing the epitome of all of the above, time and again.

Third, it featured the Wet Wet Wet song that ruined 1994.

Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory  Picture: Warner BrosJohnny Depp as Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Picture: Warner Bros

Fourth, like a Gremlin spewing its offspring from its blistered skin, it spawned a series of supercilious films hewn from the same stone - including Love Actually and Notting Hill.

The one redeeming feature of Four Weddings and Funeral is that it is in the past, 24 years ago, and only occasional haunts my dreams.

Except it’s not. For most of the awfully jolly cast is reforming for a short sequel that will be aired next year as part of Comic Relief.

If anything can take Four Weddings and a Funeral down to the next circle of Hell, it’s Comic Relief.

The Wizard of Oz  Picture: EDP archiveThe Wizard of Oz Picture: EDP archive

The causes are great, and I am a big supporter of charity (but I don’t like to talk about it, mate).

But I’d rather not have my arm twisted by rich celebrities taking us on guilt trips, while comedians - and James Corden - punctuate the “serious bits” with skits and pastiches that barely raise a chuckle.

I’ll give generously if you promise to leave me to my comfortable state of general dissatisfaction.

Anyway, back to the ghastly weddings and funeral abomination, any criticism of which is akin to dissing Winston Churchill and cups of tea.

It has got me thinking about the films that are the most overrated of all time (of those that I’ve watched, of course).

Here is my top (bottom) 10:

1 Four Weddings and a Funeral: see above.

2 The Wizard of Oz: A sinister, whingeing lion, a creepy scarecrow (all scarecrows are creepy), the perma-shocked Judy Garland and a nightmarish witch, all combining to mask the absence of a decent plot.

3 Forrest Gump: A perfect example of sickening Hollywood schmaltz. So damned right-on, so American it hurts. Worse though, it beat Pulp Fiction and Shawshank Redemption to Best Picture in 1994. Life is like a box of chocolates - and this time we picked the one containing ground glass.

4 Titanic: The English rose, the working class American hero, the utter predictability, and My Heart Must Go On by Celine Dion. That sinking feeling.

5 Casablanca: Old doesn’t always mean gold. Shallow characters and a pretty thin plot make this a classic...example of an overrated movie.

6 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (both): I know Roald Dahl was the master of the sinister, but both the Gene Wilder and the Johnny Depp movies were skin-crawling, lacking any of the warmth that glowed from the pages of the book.

7 The Hobbit trilogy: The Lord of the Rings is a trilogy, therefore it warranted three Peter Jackson movies. But The Hobbit is one wonderful, self-contained book, not deserving to become three bloated films, with the plot pillaged and Orlando Bloom inexplicably included.

8 2001: A Space Odyssey: It’s a classic, isn’t it? Well, I think it’s all Emperor’s New Clothes. It’s the done thing to admire it, but it’s downright dull, overlong, tedious.

9 Ghostbusters: Not funny, just silly. It was a B-movie that got lucky because an army of geeks liked pretending to shoot ghosts with plasma.

10 Mrs Doubtfire: Robin Williams was a comic genius. But he also cornered the 1990s market for sentimentality. Mrs Doubtfire joined Jumanji, Hook and others in his collection of oh-so-sincere, oh-so-patronising films.

No doubt you’ll disagree with my selections, so email steve.downes@archant.co.uk with your choices.

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