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The 90s romcom - it hits different in the digital age!

Updated: 2 days ago

Four Weddings and a Funeral is one of those films that I know like the back of my hand.

Having seen it more times than I can recount, the plot holds few surprises- which I guess, maybe, is part of the appeal.

It’s predictable, familiar and demands the minimum of brain power - and what more could you ask for at 9pm on a Thursday evening?

This said, when I found myself re-watching ‘Four Weddings’ for the umpteenth time last week, something suddenly struck me as different…

I was gripped, primarily, by what I can only describe as the ‘pre-mobile-phone aesthetic’. It’s seemed to be encapsulated, in the main, by the movie’s  communicationally-challenged relationships (like when Hugh forgets to meet his brother, and has to RUN to make up time… in the absence of being able to ‘just send him a text!’)

The other-worldly-ness of it all resonated more this time, I think, because I had been reading earlier that day, about the plight of the last ‘Analogue generation.’

The last generation that remember a life without today’s digital conveniences.

I am part of this generation, and what this film did, was remind me of a time that it is all too easy to lose sight of, when you’re acclimatised to today’s one-tap existence.

What I’ve found, is that aspects of this film seem to have fresh significance, when viewed through the lens of today’s ‘norms.’

Watching it, therefore, evokes a kind of Solastalgia (a feeling of nostalgia mixed with powerlessness, about a place that once brought solace which has been destroyed.)

I can appreciate the irony, of bemoaning the internet era, via the medium of the internet.

However, the purpose of this post is not so much a plea to go back in time, as it is an exploration of how (or if) it might be possible to use more old fashioned ways of being, to mitigate at least some of the negative effects of the communication era on health.

It might look like:

Resurrecting the old cameras.

Letter writing.

The digital alarm clocks.

Not necessarily as a way of denying the present, or resisting ‘progress’, but rather as a way of keeping a finger on the pulse of the ‘imagination era’, when reading the back of the cereal box was the ultimate in breakfast-time entertainment.

Let’s not lose sight of those days, nor forget the delight that is Hugh Grant in this peak floppy-haired, bumbling heyday!

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