Arts and Entertainment

Cutie and the Boxer (E) Zachary Heinzerling, DVD (82mins)

FILM / A marriage made in heaven: Four Weddings and a Funeral (15); Blink (18); A Dangerous Woman (15); My New Gun (15); The Puppetmaster (15)

THE LAST joke in Mike Newell's Four Weddings and a Funeral (15) is climatic, as well as climactic. The happy ending takes place in a storm, the characters' hearts opening with the clouds. It's ironic since this is the sunniest of films, bathed in golden rays of good humour. It would sooner dress a bride in black than lend a dark hue to a joke or sound a note of satire. Its beau monde is ripe for the sort of broadside Robert Altman launched in his sour, rather dreary A Wedding. But Richard Curtis's screenplay is a celebration, and the film's success is that we end up celebrating with it. The movie itself resembles a wedding - put on with such style and good cheer, that it would be churlish not to enjoy oneself. Our laughter is slightly indulgent, as it would be for a best man's speech.

FIRST NIGHT: No gimmicks needed for comic hit: Four Weddings And A Funeral: Odeon, Leicester Square

NOW the really revolutionary way to organise a first night for this film would have been to celebrate the second half of its title and have everyone come dressed as undertakers. But that may have detracted a little from the feelgood factor.

As others see us

The joy of class

Made here. Big over there: The word from Houston: 'If you've ever thought, gee I love British humour, this is as good as it gets.' Sheila Johnston on a home-grown US hit

Let us start with some statistics. Four Weddings and a Funeral cost pounds 3.75m. It was shot in 36 days. Many of the film-makers deferred 'large chunks' of their salaries, according to the writer, Richard Curtis. Corners were cut, he says: 'For instance, four weeks before filming we realised we couldn't afford Scotland, so we had to find Scotland outside Woking. We had to find somewhere with heather. After the film was over the cameraman took a camera on his holiday and got a shot of the lake, and sent it back down to be put into the edit. This was rather than take an entire crew all the way to Scotland and spending three days waiting for the weather. There was not one night in a hotel for anybody.' Is it necessary to add that Four Weddings and a Funeral is a British picture?

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