The movie, Four Weddings and a Funeral, is an enjoyable yet predictable film to watch. Most romantic comedies of the recent past tend to over use foreshadowing and symbolism elements, which in turn leaves nothing to surprise or make the audience think. In all fairness, this is a funny movie with a happy ending but the glossy Hollywood approach to this feature makes it a bit bland.
Foreshadowing is an important part of all films. Without the skillful use of this filmmaking element, plot lines in movies would be hard to follow. In the case of Four Weddings and a Funeral, the director made these elements just a bit too obvious. Not only were they obvious, they were also repeated a few times to really pound the idea in the viewer's head. For example, shortly before Gareth dies they show him drinking and smoking a lot while he coughs and looks to be in overall bad health. Therefore, when the commotion at the wedding reception starts and we find out that someone has died, it was no surprise to me that it was Gareth. Leaving things to the audience's surprise is key to making a movie stand out from others in that genre of films as well as making it more exciting to watch.
Another important filmmaking element is the use of symbolism. These elements in films are usually harder to pick out and are generally used to help support the plot line of the movie. Again, in Four Weddings and a Funeral, the symbolism element was simply over used. For example, I noticed many of the characters in the film smoked cigarettes when they felt depressed, frustrated, or anxious. This is repeated throughout the film and kind of spoon-feeds feelings and thoughts to the audience which can make them become complacent / non-active thinkers.
Movies are supposed to invoke thoughts, excite, and surprise audiences. When symbolism and foreshadowing are over used, the result tends to be a somewhat boring and predictable film.