Mini-sequel to hit comedy is part of NBC’s Red Nose Day
Since “Love Actually” had a mini-sequel on Red Nose Day two years ago, maybe it isn’t surprising “Four Weddings and a Funeral” is getting similar treatment now.
Both movies were written by Richard Curtis, a co-founder of the Comic Relief-spawned fundraising effort to benefit children in need around the world. For the “Four Weddings” follow-up – already shown in England and airing during NBC’s fifth annual Red Nose Day special Thursday, May 23 – he regathered many of the original cast members including central stars Hugh Grant and Andie MacDowell plus the 1994 film’s director, Mike Newell, to tell the story of another wedding the characters attend.
Titled “One Red Nose Day and a Wedding,” the short subject seemed a natural to Curtis after the positive response to his revisiting of “Love Actually,” which he says “caused the question to be asked just around my house, as it were: ‘Is there anything else that we can do?’ The ‘Love Actually’ one was easier, because I could just move on with all those people and it only required a fragment of story.
“With this one, it was really only one story (initially), and I wasn’t sure I just wanted to hang around with Andie and Hugh in their kitchen. Then it came to me that it’s another generation and it’s been 25 years, so it would be time for another wedding. The moment I decided I could do that, it became fun.”
That’s also how MacDowell found it to reprise the part of Carrie, the American love interest of severely smitten Englishman Charles (Grant). “I was just excited to get to see everybody, and for such a positive cause,” the actress reflects. “To help those in need and also to all be together, it’s a beautiful idea. I was aware of Red Nose Day and the amazing work (those behind the event) have been able to do. They’ve raised so much money.”
Kristin Scott Thomas, John Hannah and Rowan Atkinson are among other “Four Weddings” returnees. “Everybody showed up,” marvels MacDowell, who also appears (“briefly,” she notes) in a forthcoming Hulu series the movie has inspired. “It was amazing.” However, two key cast members are absent from the Red Nose Day reprise: Simon Callow, alias “Gareth,” for a reason anyone familiar with the film will know; and Charlotte Coleman, who played Charles’ sister Scarlett and died in 2001.
As fans of Curtis’ movies might suspect, he’s also planning a Red Nose Day return to “Notting Hill.” He hopes that projected occasion will have a similar result as the “Four Weddings” reunion, which he describes as a group reliving “a defining experience. There was genuine warmth and genuine friendship and genuine delight.”