Four Weddings and a Discussion

I recently rewatched Four Weddings and a Funeral, and found it even more delightfully hilarious than I had remembered. So I recommended it to a friend, who had never seen it.

He reported that he found it very hard to watch. By about ten minutes into it, he was cringing in embarrassment for the main character.

Of course this was a classic case of Mel Brooks’ dictum: “Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die.”

I was seeing the main character’s plight through the prism of comedy. Somehow I was able to separate myself from the acute embarrassment he felt as he went from mishap to mishap.

My friend, on the other hand, was experiencing something closer to tragedy. He identified with the character so completely that he directly felt the character’s pain.

Of course it doesn’t need to be strictly one or the other. Some situations manage to be both ridiculously funny and unbearably tragic all at the same time.

Then again, I don’t feel like discussing national politics today.

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