One Wedding and How Many Funerals?

Sometimes I scroll down and re-read my recent posts as a way of finding out what I’ve been doing.  Life rushes by at such a rate of knots, and I’m losing neurons at a similar rate – so that when I look back to the previous week it’s often a blank.  I can check the calendar but the best way to find out, not only what I was doing but what I was thinking! is to read this blog.

And lo! other ideas pop up as a response to what I wrote.  Such as this: re-reading the post on ‘Watching the English’ on the subject of awkward conversations, it occurred to me that one of the films which most typifies stereotypical English manners is ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ -or, as Mac* calls it, Four Weldings and a Funnel.

I have watched this film so many times that I practically know it by heart, but I have to say it bears careful viewing: each scene is so well-constructed with stuff going on in the background, little hints that you don’t pick up on at first; not to mention the nice balance of excessive politeness and affectionate rudeness in the dialogue.  However what principally came to mind was this scene:

I can’t find a clip but here’s the man who, when asked the perfectly innocuous question ‘Bride or Groom?’ responds indignantly ‘It should be perfectly obvious I’m neither!  Great God!’ and later, when the hapless Charles (Hugh Grant) introduces himself, replies ‘Don’t be ridiculous!  Charles died twenty years ago!’  When Charles remonstrates mildly that it must be a different Charles, he snaps: ‘Are you telling me I don’t know my own brother?’

Now that I think about it, FWF is full of such encounters where people hamstrung by politeness are ripped apart by those who have no such compunction.  Actually, hang on – I’ve found a series of clips which includes the angry man:


It further occurs to me that the film of my life (whose soundtrack would definitely NOT be by Wet Wet Wet but You Know Who) would include one wedding and at least four funerals.  I’m trying to remember how many funerals I’ve actually been to and it has to be in double figures.

Kirk out

*Sadly I have to report that OH does not like the eponym Mac, so it may not last.


One thought on “One Wedding and How Many Funerals?

  1. I recently watched the film ‘Amour’ (which I would highly recommend). In one scene, when discussing a visit from their daughter and (English) son-in-law, an elderly woman expresses ambivalence about said son-in-law: ‘He’s hard to take. I can only stand his British sense of humour in small doses.’ Immediately, I understood what she meant.

    I think FW&AF is charmless, gooey and over-ingratiating: the reason so many Brits love it is because it confirms their own concept of themselves as soft-centred ironists.

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