When streaming giant Hulu announced earlier this summer that it would be bringing a modern day remake of the classic British romantic comedy Four Weddings and a Funeral to its subscribers, fans of the original were skeptical—could the reboot even begin to capture Carrie (played by the vivacious Andie MacDowell) and her devil-may-care attitude or the forever lovesick nature of Charles (Hugh Grant)?
Despite our reservations, we tuned in when the first few episodes of the Mindy Kaling-helmed miniseries premiered in late July, and, to my surprise and delight, it was really good. Unlike that of the 1994 rom-com, the Four Weddings and a Funeral remake's cast is composed of a diverse group of actors from different backgrounds, all as interesting as they are attractive. Nathalie Emmanuel (most widely known for her role as Daenerys' right-hand woman Missandei in the HBO epic Game of Thrones) leads the pack as Maya, and Nikesh Patel is her Romeo, an investment banker named Kash with a secret dream of becoming an actor.
Rebecca Rittenhouse, John Reynolds, Brandon Mychal Smith, and Zoe Boyle make up the rest of the close-knit millennial friend circle balancing their own ups and downs in London. But the show adds one fun callback to the original film: the onscreen introduction of Andie MacDowell as the well-meaning but hovering mother of Ainsley (Rittenhouse). No sighting of Hugh Grant, but it's safe to assume that he's her dad. Also, Dermot Mulroney makes a cameo as a silver-haired billionaire with a strange Southern accent that I can still get behind (because duh, it's Dermot Mulroney!).
In addition to being more intentionally inclusive in its representation, Hulu's Four Weddings and a Funeral works hard to puts its ensemble cast to use; the remake makes more of an effort to explore the complex relationships of the leads' friends. Maya and Kash's connection is complicated by their respective histories with Ainsley (Rittenhouse), Duffy (Reynolds) is desperately in love with Maya but has a weird spark going on with Gemma (Boyle), and Craig...well, Craig just found out that he has a kid. And he's been keeping her existence a secret from everyone, including his girlfriend. So yeah, it's complicated, to say the least.
With all of its twists and turns, does the mini-series hold a candle to the 1994 original? If you ask the critics, it's not even close; The Hollywood Reporter wasn't exactly impressed ("Nobody here is particularly likeable"), and the characters didn't quite stick with Variety ("They're not likely to make a huge impression beyond their inevitably happy endings"). Still, as a lover of complicated lovelines and cheesy rom-com tropes, I *personally* enjoy the series. I like drama, especially the kind that leaves me shouting at the television screen in frustration, and I live to see people of color fall in love onscreen. The 2019 version of Four Weddings and a Funeral checks both of those boxes, setting up a narrative in which a black woman and a brown man are at the forefront of their love story and not at the sidelines as supporting characters to someone else's journey. It's not perfect by any means—Maya and Kash are pretty terrible people, if we're keeping it real—but it's fun. And messy! And you know we love mess over here.
The show has just two more episodes to go before the season finale, and many are wondering if Maya and Kash's story will come to a satisfactory end this season. Charles and Carrie ended up having a baby together after electing not to get married—can we expect a similar happy ending for the limited series? And will there be another season after the final episode airs next month? That, said creator Mindy Kaling during a July Television Critics Association panel, is up to the viewers. Her co-creator Tracey Wigfield was equally vague; though Four Weddings and a Funeral was "[written] as a complete story," a second season could possibly explore the fallout of Maya and Kash's forbidden loveline.
We won't know the fate of the series until after it ends in September, but who knows? It could get the Big Little Lies treatment and bring the gang back together for a whole new adventure. After all, even the original story had a follow-up.
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