Four Weddings and a Funeral is widely considered one of the classic romantic comedies of the 1990s. It’s also considered a movie that works in spite of, rather than because of, its leading lady’s charms. Fans and critics far and wide have swooned over Hugh Grant’s sweet, bumbling Charlie while expressing , let us say, a certain disdain for Andie MacDowell’s wooden and largely personality-free Carrie. Many if not most viewers have remarked upon the apparent lack of chemistry between the two leads, a shortcoming that is, all too often, laid directly at MacDowell’s slender feet.
You know what, though? The conventional wisdom is kind of unfair. Oh, no one is claiming that MacDowell delivers anything close to an award-winning performance. “Is it raining? I hadn’t noticed” surely ranks among the most cringe-worthy line readings ever. MacDowell’s performance is definitely A Problem. But it’s not the only problem with the movie, or even the worst problem. To the extent that the Carrie/Charlie romance falls short, it’s not totally Carrie’s fault. In fact, I would argue that the fandom’s beloved Charlie shares equally in the blame.