Mindy Kaling’s love of rom-coms shines through in Hulu’s new re-imagining of the 1994 film.
If you love romantic comedies, you will enjoy Hulu’s new interpretation of Richard Curtis and Mike Newell’s Four Weddings and a Funeral. Hell, if you enjoy Mindy Kaling’s love of romantic comedies, you will find something to enjoy in this new iteration. Instead of trying to recreate the original story or recast new actors as Hugh Grant and Andie MacDowell, creators Kaling and Matt Warburton focus on a group of young people who are trying to untangle their own lovelorn complications. And, yes, there are weddings.
The first episode of Weddings plays like an homage to the movies Mindy Lahiri worshiped on The Mindy Project. If you were hankering to turn on Love Actually (but feared that your friends would judge you), rest assured that the first song we hear in the pilot is “Love Is All Around” and there is a recreation of the scene where Andrew Lincoln professes his love for Keira Knightley. Some may wonder why there would be another version of Weddings, but it fills a sweet spot if you are dying for something surprisingly earnest.
Maya (Nathalie Emmanuel) seems to be the focus of Four Weddings even though it has a core ensemble of other young people. She’s sleeping with a married politician (played by a handsome and slimy Tommy Dewey), and she travels to the United Kingdom to visit her college friends. Rebecca Rittenhouse plays Ainsley, Maya’s best friend who is dating Kash, a charming Nikesh Patel. Duffy (Stranger Things and Search Party‘s John Reynolds) has always pined for Maya, and Craig (Brandon Mychal Smith) is dating Zara (a pouty Sophia La Porta), who has jealousy issues all her own. Still with me?
The complications involving the characters of Weddings may not be considerably deep, but there is a glossy sheen to it all that would delight any rom-com fanatic. Does the traditional, 90’s version of this genre need revived? Probably not, but Weddings doesn’t dwell on the problematic elements that make those romantic comedies so potentially cringe-worthy. There is no Kate Hudson winning over Matthew McConaughey’s family over a bullshit game of…well, Bullshit.
Emmanuel is a charming lead whose plight is easy to connect with. Out of the main cast, her and Reynolds are the seemingly most aware and willing to deliver the material. Early on, there is a party where you have to dress up as your favorite romantic comedy character, and Reynolds offers up a dopey Lloyd Dobler. Zoe Boyle, however, was my favorite part of the series. She’s equal-parts Lysette Anthony and Rose Byrne from Bridesmaids. No, seriously, she tries to one up the maid of honor in a purple dress on the mic. She’s quick and delightfully proper and petty.
Is Four Weddings and a Funeral novel or bonkers fresh? No. Does it revitalize the romantic comedy genre? Not necessarily. Is it harmlessly fun and frothy? Absolutely.
Four Weddings and a Funeral debuts on Hulu on July 31.