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Four Weddings and a Funeral

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Four Weddings and a Funeral TV Poster Image
Charming take on '90s romcom classic has swearing, sex.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

This series is so light and breezy that messages don't land with much force, but friendship and kindness are definitely in the mix. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

The cast is multi-racial, which is unusual in the romcom genre, and women are at the center of the action. Maya is a relatable character who makes mistakes but also suffers consequences and tries to do better. Kash's father Haroon is a particularly positive character, supporting his sons and giving them lots of affection and time. Gemma seems to be written into the show only to compete with Maya, a less-positive representation. 

Violence
Sex

Characters never stop talking about love and romance -- expect kissing, dating, lots of references to sex including about "hooking up" and a man who's described as "bangable." A man's bare backside is seen in a photograph. 

Language

Language and cursing includes "f--k," "bitch," "s--t," "damn," "sucked." 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters frequently drink at parties or gatherings; one character often drinks too much and is described as "overserved" and it's said he falls asleep in bushes. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Four Weddings and a Funeral is a retake on the 1990s romcom movie that centers on romantic complications between a set of friends taking place between ceremonial events. Mature content is fine for older teens, including many references to sex (in which characters talk about "hooking up" and a man being "bangable") and very brief nudity like a boudoir photo that prominently features a man's bare buttocks. Languge is usually in the context of humor: "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," "damn." Characters drink, including one character who refers to being "overserved" and whose antics while drinking are played for laughs. This series' multi-racial cast is unusual in the annals of romantic comedy, and though one character plays like a cliche of "competitive women" humor, she gets humanized eventually. Jokes are sharp and contain excellent points about race, class, sexism, and other issues. 

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What's the story?

FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL, a re-imagining of the 1994 movie of the same name by Richard Curtis, centers on Maya (Nathalie Emmanuel) who reunites with her three best friends from college in London after a difficult breakup: awkward Duffy (John Reynolds), smooth Craig (Brandon Mychal Smith), and vibrant Ainsley (Rebecca Rittenhouse), who just happens to be attached to Kash (Nikesh Patel), the very man that Maya's starting to suspect just might be the right one for her. As the friends make their way through their lives and romantic entanglements, it may just take -- you guessed it -- a grand total of five major events before everything's set to rights. 

Is it any good?

This sweet confection is as feather-light as cotton candy and melts away just as quickly, though it's lots of fun while it lasts. There will no doubt be many viewers and critics who write Four Weddings and a Funeral off as trite and treacly, and they're not wrong, exactly, but Richard Curtis' 1994 movie didn't get uniformly glowing reviews when it came out either, and emerged as a romcom classic. This series, with its easy-to-like characters and snappy dialogue, may just too, after reviewers and viewers alike stop comparing it with the movie. The multi-culti cast sure feels easier to embrace -- the romcom genre's unbearable whiteness deserves to be left in the past -- and the jokes are terrific. 

Of course, anyone who rewatches The Office (and everyone rewatches The Office) understands that Mindy Kaling knows her way around a joke, and has a deft hand with social commentary, too. In Four Weddings and a Funeral's first episode, when Maya awakens to desperate "My wife is on her way!" messages from her married boyfriend and has to rush around sweeping up rose petals and other mementos of their hot night, she castigates him hilariously later: "All those texts? I felt like I was in a horror movie! 'Get out, she's coming!' And the black people always get murdered first!" Maya is messy and imperfect and appealing; the quartet of best-college-friends that form the nucleus of this series is, too. Okay, so they're a little too glossy and their problems are a little too likely to be solved in one scene with a musical montage. Doesn't matter. Turn off your cerebrum for a while and just bask in feeling good. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Four Weddings and a Funeral s viewpoint on love and commitment. How does the show look at love? How do characters express love? How realistic is the way characters meet and relate to each other? What lessons do we learn about love from romantic comedies, and do the lessons differ for men and women? 

  • Mindy Kaling, who co-created this series with Matt Warburton (The Simpsons, The Mindy Project), is known for making movies and TV shows that have strong, central roles for women and men of color. Is this a new idea for romcom? 

  • Film critics say that if characters "meet cute" they'll be together by the end of the film, and if they "meet antagonistic" they'll be together by the middle. Does this maxim hold true for this series? Which characters meet cute and which meet antagonistic? 

TV details

For kids who love rom coms

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