These Rom-Com References In Hulu's 'Four Weddings And A Funeral' Will Make You Want To Plan A Movie Marathon
Spoilers ahead for Four Weddings and a Funeral Episodes 1-4. Considering Hulu's Four Weddings and a Funeral is itself based on a '90s rom-com, it only stands to reason that the series would reference other classic movies within the genre. And boy howdy, does it! Not only does Ainsley (Rebecca Rittenhouse) throw herself a rom-com-themed birthday party in the pilot episode, but the show itself has several callbacks to the Richard Curtis film it's based on. In fact, there are so many rom-com references in Four Weddings and a Funeral, it's like one big love letter to the genre.
It's no secret that Mindy Kaling (co-creator of the Hulu reboot alongside Matt Warburton) is a fan of rom-coms. In fact, the opening scene of her comedy series, The Mindy Project, shows her protagonist watching When Harry Met Sally, You've Got Mail, and Notting Hill at different stages of her life while quoting them all word-for-word. Kaling's brought that same unbridled enthusiasm to her Four Weddings and a Funeral adaptation, which follows Kash (Nikesh Patel) and Maya (Nathalie Emmanuel) as two potentially star-crossed lovers. But despite their obvious chemistry and growing attraction, Kash is about to tie the knot with his American girlfriend, Ainsley, when they meet...although the wedding ends disastrously.
So far, only four episodes of the show have been released, but they're each chock-full of rom-com references — see for yourself.
1. 'Mamma Mia!'
Episode 1. During Maya and Kash's meet-cute at the London-Heathrow airport, she mentions that she loves the musical Mamma Mia! Kash hasn't seen it, so she takes it on herself to show him a clip from the Meryl Streep movie on her phone, which leaves him nonplussed. "What's the opposite of goosebumps?" he asks her. "I think I have that." She is, however, undeterred, claiming that it's Streep's best role — even above Kramer vs. Kramer and Sophie's Choice.
2. 'The Princess Bride'
Episode 1. Maya's best friend, Ainsley, throws herself a 30th birthday party, which requires its guests to dress up as characters from romantic comedies. She and her boyfriend, Kash, come dressed as Princess Buttercup and Westley from the 1987 film The Princess Bride, which they pull off with panache.
3. 'Love & Basketball'
Episode 1. Maya, on the other hand, has a bit more trouble getting people to recognize her Monica outfit from Love & Basketball. "I'm never going to a costume party again," she laments the next day. "Some guy thought I was Scottie Pippen!"
4. 'Say Anything'
Episode 1. Duffy's (John Reynolds) been in love with Maya for the past 10 years and plans to confess his feelings for her at Ainsley's birthday bash. So it only stands to reason that he chooses to portray John Cusack's character, Lloyd Dobler, from Say Anything. Unfortunately, his big boombox gesture is ruined when Maya forgets to join him out in the courtyard.
5. 'Coming to America'
Episode 1. Ainsley and Maya's friend, Craig, dresses as a convincing Prince Akeem (Eddie Murphy) from Coming to America.
6. 'Crazy Rich Asians'
Episode 1. Never one to shy away from the spotlight, Gemma dresses as Rachel (Constance Wu) from Crazy Rich Asians, even wearing that iconic, powder blue dress. Meanwhile, other partygoers in the background are dressed as characters from Clueless, Romeo & Juliet, La La Land, and even Pulp Fiction (which, do Quentin Tarantino films count as rom-coms? Who's to say!)
7. 'Love Actually'
Episode 1. While anyone could have guessed that Ted — Maya's married boyfriend and boss — would screw her over, she's still upset to discover that he's been cheating on her with his dog walker. So when Maya returns to London after the debacle, Ainsley meets her at the airport with a series of cue cards, Love Actually-style. A bystander mistakenly thinks she's just witnessed a marriage proposal, but it's really just a supportive message regarding her recent break-up.
8. 'Notting Hill'
Episode 4. This reference is a bit more subtle, but it's revealed after Quentin's untimely death that Gemma (and by extension, Ainsley) both live in Notting Hill, which is of course where the 1999 movie of the same name takes place.
9. 'Pride & Prejudice'
Episode 4. A lovestruck Duffy decides to buck up (again) and tell Maya how he really feels. However, he's chosen a particularly stormy day to do so, and when he arrives on Maya's doorstep, she exclaims, "English rain is dangerous! Haven't you read Pride & Prejudice?" While she's referring to the novel, there's also a scene in the 2004 Joe Wright adaptation in which Mr. Darcy confesses his feelings for Elizabeth while getting soaked in the rain.
That's just the first four episodes, so there's bound to be even more references as Four Weddings and a Funeral presses on.