'Four Weddings and a Funeral'

Deftly written by Richard Curtis and directed by the versatile Mike Newell, this cheerful and witty 1994 hit (up for a best picture Oscar this week) offers the kind of sly pleasure only British comedy seems to provide. It breezily follows a small circle of friends through every one of the events that the title promises. Three couples make up the core group, but one of them (Hugh Grant, pictured, and Charlotte Coleman) are good friends rather than passion's playmates. At the film's first wedding, Grant catches a glimpse of an American (Andie MacDowell) and becomes smitten. Grant's self-confident performance anchors the romantic comedy in good spirits, and the film emerges as a tasty, sophisticated romp (Showtime Saturday at 8 p.m.).

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