As Four Wedding stars reunite for Red Nose Day - how to survive a reunion

15th Mar 19 | Lifestyle

So much awkwardness, so little time.

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Ah, the dreaded reunion. The catalogue of disastrous mistaken identities; the superficial nostalgia for teenage traumas; the who’s earning what career catwalk that nobody likes but everyone engages in…

We never intend to go, but out of a sense of misplaced solidarity somebody persuades us every decade or so and off we trundle in our Sunday best, deciding whether or not to apologise to all the people we weren’t particularly nice to.

Hugh Grant will be sampling these delights for the Comic Relief Four Weddings and a Funeral 25-year anniversary comedy sketch, as he reunites with original cast members Andie MacDowell, Kristin Scott Thomas, John Hannah and Rowan Atkinson – with presumably hilarious consequences.

For the rest of us though, a low-key reunion is probably a good reunion. Here’s how to mentally prepare yourself for an evening of weirdness with your formers, and maybe, just maybe, enjoy it.

1. Don’t turn up trying too hard to impress 

In the film American Reunion, typecast nerd Paul Finch arrives at his school get together in full leather, weaving between cars on a Ducati motorbike, greeting his old chums by casually quipping: “Gentlemen.”

It later emerges that he’s an assistant manager at Staple’s, and stole the bike from his boss.

2. Avoid the braggarts

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The only thing worse than being a Paul Finch, is having to put up with one. If anyone starts using phrases like “equity”, “net worth” or “house in the country”, we advise a sharp dose of see ya’ never.

3.  Don’t analyse the past too much

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“We used to such good friends, what happened?” The answer is simple: Something. And whatever that something is, asking this question will do no more than reveal it one ugly detail at a time. Cue escalating tension and then tears in the loos.

4. Accept that people change

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We know, we know, Johnny Quarterback used to give you wedgies behind the bike sheds and you’ve always secretly plotted your revenge. But he’s now a charity worker with two young children, so you starting on him in the corridor really isn’t a very good look.

5. Don’t say: “Oh my god, can you believe it’s been X years?!”

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Yep.

6. Don’t engage in conversation about your (or their) relationship status

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They haven’t seen you for 20 years, but they’re just dying to know when you’re planning to settle down. How nice.

7. Don’t hold out hopes for romance

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First of all, if this is a school reunion then your crush is almost certainly taken, and secondly you don’t fancy them, you fancy a teenage version of them.

You’re a grown-up. Don’t be creepy.

8. No one wants to see pictures of your children

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To the rest of us, that is a random picture of a random child. We’re happy to hear about your kids (up to a point), but the photo in your wallet just makes us wonder what you’re trying to prove.

9. Dance the night away

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If there’s something people really connect with at a reunion it’s not your impressive credit rating, it’s the ability to channel a little bit of the fun you had when you were young. Hit floor, throw some shapes, and remember that a bit of shameless confidence never stopped being cool.

Your younger years weren’t actually fun of course, but you can pretend that they were for a night.

10. Be yourself

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We know, it’s the most useless advice on the planet, but it keeps being given because it keeps on being true. Anyone who comes to a reunion and tries to project perfection is definitely secretly miserable, and the older we get the better we are at realising that.

© Press Association 2019

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