Actors Rachel Griffiths and Toni Collette starred in 1994 film Muriel's Wedding.
Actors Rachel Griffiths and Toni Collette starred in 1994 film Muriel's Wedding.

Why 1994 was the best year ever for movies

PLEASE can we make movies like it's 1994 again?

Richard Curtis, P.J. Hogan and Stephan Elliott, I'm begging you, can we have more of your happy magic in what was a golden year for feel-good films? We are in dire need.

Four Weddings and a Funeral is coming back 25 years later, in the form of a short film in aid of Red Nose Day, in the same way Richard Curtis got the stars of Love Actually to reunite.

This week they started shooting One Red Nose Day and a Wedding, which screens in March and stars Hugh Grant, Andie MacDowell, Kristin Scott Thomas, John Hannah, Rowan Atkinson, David Haig, Sophie Thompson, James Fleet, David Bower, Robin McCaffrey, Anna Chancellor, Rupert Vansittart, Simon Kunz, Sara Crowe and Timothy Walker. There are also surprise new cast members as the characters' lives are updated.

 

Kristin Scott Thomas and Hugh Grant are part of the cast reuniting for the Four Weddings And A Funeral sequel.
Kristin Scott Thomas and Hugh Grant are part of the cast reuniting for the Four Weddings And A Funeral sequel.

Movie stars or not, just like a school reunion, it is bittersweet to see how everyone has fared. Who has had the best career? Who has the most wrinkles? Although if you go by the behind-the-scenes photos, they all look amazing.

Richard Curtis said, "We're all definitely older - I suspect no wiser." Hugh Grant and Andie MacDowell are now 58 and 60 respectively.

We are certainly in need of a laugh with the relentless political misery abounding the world over. While we are at it, we could do with an update of the other smash hits of 1994 - wonderful quirky, charming, life-affirming movies that made us leave the cinema smiling.

Richard Curtis and Andie MacDowell behind the scenes of the Four Weddings and a Funeral sequel. Picture: Twitter
Richard Curtis and Andie MacDowell behind the scenes of the Four Weddings and a Funeral sequel. Picture: Twitter

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert came out then, as did Muriel's Wedding - which won Best Film at the AFIs. They were joined by Sirens, also starring Hugh Grant, and The Sum of Us. An epic year for Aussie movies.

They were so utterly joyous - why don't we make movies like that any more?

I know Stephan Elliott released Swinging Safari this year with Guy Pearce and Kylie Minogue and Richard Curtis brought out Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, but nothing compares to the volume of mood-enhancing movies we feasted upon in 1994. I remember leaving the cinema laughing after Four Weddings - my euphoria continued all that year, as that was when I first moved to Australia from the UK.

Hugo Weaving, Terence Stamp and Guy Pearce starred in 1994 hit The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.
Hugo Weaving, Terence Stamp and Guy Pearce starred in 1994 hit The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

It also saw the release of Forrest Gump, the ultimate uplifting tale that won Best Picture at the Oscars, The Shawshank Redemption, which nobody watched at the time and only afterwards realised was a masterpiece and Dumb and Dumber - the silliest story ever that is still impossible not to laugh at, which was joined by Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and The Mask, in what was in retrospect Jim Carrey's golden year.

But just as Jim Carrey subsequently disappeared from our screens, so did all those lovely, sweet and unashamedly funny films.

Toni Collette became a star after taking the lead role in Muriel's Wedding.
Toni Collette became a star after taking the lead role in Muriel's Wedding.

Sure, we still make plenty of comedies, but they're not the same.

It's no wonder Back to the Future recently topped a poll as the remake most Americans want to see - we want to crank up that flux capacitor and take us back to a time when there were no smartphones and no screaming mobs on social media - a year like 1994.

I heard there were some great movies out.

@KerryParnell



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