DirkH’s review published on Letterboxd:
There are points in everyone's limited time on this earth where the various axioms of LIFE™ seem to converge on your very soul with one purpose in mind, to kick you when you're down.
February 4 1998 was one of those days. On that day one of my best friends died in a car crash on her way to the hospital to say goodbye to her mother who was dying of cancer. The bizarreness and unfairness of that day were and still are incomprehensible. We studied English together, shared an Anglophile's geekiness and a deep appreciation of literature and poetry. And in 1994, we surprisingly found the latter two in a film we watched, mainly spurred on by her unhealthy obsession with Hugh Grant.
Four Weddings and a Funeral's quintessential Britishness and that one scene with that one poem were a deal breaker for us, we loved it. We made it a habit to watch it at least once a year, finding levity in the witty banter and always dreading John Hannah's superbly delivered rendition of W.H. Auden's Funeral Blues.
Now, to say that this film comes with a big backpack filled to the brim with LIFE™ at its ugliest is an understatement. But as bittersweet as the memories attached to this film are, I still love it dearly because of them. I had vowed I would watch this every year on February 4. But alas, LIFE™ has a tendency to get in the way. I did watch it today, however, and I was happy to discover that the wit won out over any sense of grief and it provided a perfect niche of escapist splendour, a quality this film possesses like no other. Hannah's speech still hurt like hell though.
I am convinced that laughter and tears go hand in hand, because in the end LIFE™ is just a constantly changing state of mind, made a good deal better by cinematic delights such as this.