Set in England, “Death a Funeral” revolves around Daniel who, with his wife Jane, is planning and hosting the funeral of his father. Daniel deals with his mother, Sandra, who is a wreck, his brother Robert, a famous writer who is much better liked than Daniel, his cousins Troy and Martha and her fiancée Simon, who is high on Troy’s hallucinogenic drugs, and Peter, a dwarf who had a sexual relationship with Daniel’s father and is blackmailing Daniel for 15,000 pounds about it, all the day of the funeral. It is a black comedy with just a little death.
“Tea can do many things, Jane, but it can’t bring back the dead”
“Death at a Funeral” is a mad brilliant exercise in the ludicrous, but somehow it all feels so possible. It is an amazing comedy with great performances and sure direction. From the opening joke to the last, it is just laugh-out-loud silly and downright fun — one of the funniest movies to come out of England.
“Death at a Funeral” mixes a truly awful situation, the death of a father, with silly antics that range from two brothers arguing about funeral costs to a gay midget, played by Peter Dinklage, blackmailing them for 15,000 pounds. When a movie opens with a mortuary bringing the wrong body to the service, you know you are in for some laughs. It has a wonderful way of mixing death with life. Daniel, Mathew Macfadyen, is trying to organize his father’s funeral but his wife Jane, Keeley Hawes, pesters him about putting a down payment on a “flat.” Something so trivial becomes humorous by the mere fact that they are at a funeral; the whole movie is filled with these little bits.
“Death at a Funeral” has so many characters, each with their own little story that weaves so seamlessly with everyone else’s. It is amazing how writer Dean Craig was able to introduce each character naturally in this world. The audience is able to understand who each character is to the others without anybody flat-out saying it. Thirteen characters are able to have their own stories in a 90-minute movie without being rushed or leaving things out, and every actor does a spectacular job.
In a movie filled with spectacular performances, that are both humorous and honest, one particular actor stood out. Alan Tudyk’s performance as Simon, the accidentally drugged fiancé of the deceased’s niece, is out of this world. Before this movie, I didn’t think it was possible to have heartfelt conversation about having a baby with a naked, high man on the roof of a building, and make it work. Somehow Tudyk can be high and still have something more going on with his character.
“Death at a Funeral,” with an amazing script by Dean Craig, is not only one of director Frank Oz’s best comedies, but best movies. It is in the ranks of other Frank Oz comedies, “Dirty Rotten Scondrals,” “What About Bob?” and “Bowfinger.” It may even be the best. It is just too bad Hollywood decided to remake it. So, if you are out this weekend and want to see “Death at a Funeral,” don’t. Instead rent a great movie from 2007, “Death at a funeral.”
“Death at a Funeral” was an exceptional movie. It may not have been a perfect movie, but it was a good movie, and it loved us.
I give it 4/5 drugged, gay midgets.
— The 'Jack
“Death at a Funeral” is a tough film to explain, as there’s something like 12 intertwining storylines among 13 notable characters that all go on during the funeral of the father of the central character, Daniel, Matthew Macfayden. There’s extortion, accidental intoxication, winning a love interest, hiding a body, money issues, hypochondria, homosexuality, grief, living in somebody’s shadow — just to name a few. However, as European movies do so well, and American cinema can’t seem to comprehend, the more underlying issues are presented with subtlety instead of insulting viewers with direct and hammy dialogue.
All these issues and characters never come across as forced or unimportant, but rather complement each other and keep the pace of the movie consistent and constantly funny. And since this is a true British black comedy, the subject matter is always serious and controlled, and nobody smiles, but the absurdities of the situations are brilliantly funny.
Since black comedies are usually pretty slow, there’s an amazing “Kramer” character in an inebriated Simon, Alan Tudyk, to liven things up. And, holy crap, is it ever good. Just watching Simon is one of the best parts of the film, as Tudyk embodies the phrase “tripping balls.” He somehow balances being incredibly silly, while still maintaining the sense of fear and desperation, and has a deep character that’s fighting his own brain to stay in reality.
“Death at a Funeral,” 2007, is very good, and I highly recommend seeing it. Unfortunately, it didn’t do exceptionally well in the U.S., so it’s been remade from a black comedy to an African-American comedy.
The very idea of the remake is just so wrong on so many levels:
-First, you don’t remake a film from only three years ago that had a U.S. release.
-Second, you especially don’t do it if it’s in the same goddamn language as the original.
-Third, you don’t steal nearly every line, scene, joke, character, and even one of the original actors, Peter Dinklage.
-Lastly, you don’t dumb it down this hard to try to appeal to the lowest common denominator of moviegoers.
Oh well. I’m sure the new version will go on to make obscene amounts of money and will spawn a new frontier of raping good foreign films until there’s nothing left but fart jokes and men in fat-old-lady suits.
If you’re a bad person and plan on seeing the new version, do yourself a favor and watch the original first. But if you saw the trailer for the new version and thought to yourself, “Man, I’d rather remove my eyes with a salad fork than see that atrocity” — That’s the appropriate response.
Now, I need to go see about a discoloration on my wrist.
I give it 4/5 drugged, gay midgets.
— Capt. Awesome