Four Weddings and a Funeral is a 1994 British romantic comedy film directed by Mike Newell. It was the first of several films by screenwriter Richard Curtis to feature Hugh Grant. The film was an unexpected success, becoming the highest-grossing British film in cinema history (now second) with worldwide box office in excess of $244 million.
The film follows the adventures of a group of friends through the eyes of Charles, a debonair but faux pas-prone Englishman, played by Grant, who is smitten by Carrie, an attractive American played by MacDowell, whom Charles repeatedly meets at weddings and at a funeral.
The first wedding is that of Angus and Laura (Timothy Walker and Sara Crowe). Charles and his collection of single friends are concerned that they will never get married. At this wedding, Charles meets Carrie for the first time and spends the night with her, but he regards it as a one-night stand. Carrie teases him that now they have slept together, they will also have to get married, but it is clear that she too sees their liaison as a one off.
The second wedding is that of Bernard and Lydia (David Haig and Sophie Thompson), a couple who got together at the previous wedding. This sequence features Rowan Atkinson in a cameo as an inexperienced priest. The reception is not an enjoyable one for Charles, who finds himself seated at a table with several ex-girlfriends, as well as bumping into Henrietta (known by his friends as "Duckface"), with whom he had a difficult relationship in the past, and finally finds himself forced to hide in a wardrobe in a room where Bernard and Lydia are having sex. His terrible evening is completed when he hears that Carrie is engaged to Hamish, a wealthy Scottish politician. Charles and Carrie still spend the night together.
During the interim period, Charles meets Carrie while searching for an affordable wedding present and ends up helping to choose her wedding dress. Carrie also astonishes him with a list of 30+ sexual partners. He later confesses to her that he loves her, and if her wedding is unsuccessful, he would like to have a relationship with her, an offer she politely declines.
The third wedding is that of Carrie at a Scottish castle. Charles attends, depressed. At the reception, Charles's friend Fiona (Kristin Scott Thomas) confesses that she has always loved him, but Charles does not requite her love. At the wedding Charles's friend Gareth (Simon Callow) dies suddenly of a heart attack: Gareth's partner, Matthew, is called but does not reach him before he dies.
The funeral is that of Gareth. At the funeral, Matthew (John Hannah in one of his first screen roles) recites the poem Funeral Blues ("Stop all the clocks...") by W. H. Auden, commemorating his relationship with Gareth. Charles and Tom (James Fleet) have a discussion about the nature of true love.
The fourth wedding is that of Charles, who has decided to marry Henrietta out of desperation. However, at the wedding, he meets Carrie, who has separated from her husband. At the altar, when the vicar asks if anyone knows a reason why the couple should not marry, Charles's deaf brother David (David Bower) uses sign language to announce that Charles doesn't love Henrietta. Henrietta punches Charles and the wedding is abruptly halted.
At the end, Carrie visits Charles, who is recovering from the debacle, to apologize for attending. Charles confesses that he has finally realized the person he would like to spend his life with is not the woman he was about to marry. He doesn't want to get married at all, but he does want Carrie to be his partner. The couple then vow that they will never, ever, marry.
The end credits include a montage of photographs documenting the futures of other characters in the film. All are shown on their individual wedding days, except for Fiona, who is shown (satirically) with Prince Charles. The happily-unmarried Carrie and Charles are pictured with their baby boy.