Back in the mid-90s, shortly after I saw Four Weddings And A Funeral – when I, along with half the females in this country, developed a profound soft spot for Hugh Grant – I went to see the adaption of Beryl Bainbridge’s novel An Awfully Big Adventure, purely because he starred in it. The rest of the cinema audience had clearly come for the same reason, and we all made a collective excitable giggle when he appeared on screen. But those giggles died down pretty fast, because this was no Four Weddings. Grant plays a predatory, charismatic gay theatre director named Meredith who callously toys with the minds of women and the bodies of men. “What he wants is hearts,” someone explains to one of Meredith’s devastated victims.
For too long, it seemed this was Grant’s problem: all he wanted was hearts. He was terrific in An Awfully Big Adventure, and yet afterwards he reverted to romantic comedy landfill, playing dippy Englishmen who had tics instead of personalities, with diminishing returns: Nine Months, Two Weeks Notice, Mickey Blue Eyes, Did You Hear About the Morgans? (No, and for good reason, too.) Richard Curtis tried to help by writing increasingly washed-out versions of the character he played in Four Weddings, resulting in the execrable Love Actually.
Movies - Grant - Ones - Characters - Bridget
As of 2016, the only movies Grant had made in which he was clearly enjoying himself were the ones in which he played unlikable characters: Bridget Jones’s Diary, as the emotional fuckwit Daniel Cleaver; and About A Boy, as the emotionally stunted adult who lives off Daddy’s riches. But when you’re young(ish) and pretty, playing the villain means you are not the star. And anyway, the foppish English chap shtick worked so well for Grant that, even after he was arrested in 1995 for getting a ****...
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