Death at a Funeral Reviews
"Last rites... and wrongs."
Death at a Funeral is a hilarious British black comedy. Most of the laughs come from how extremely serious the source material really is. That's what makes the black comedy genre one of my favorites. Movies like this know how to make us laugh even when we shouldn't be laughing. This one doesn't quite live up to the best of the genre because it does end up being another comedy of errors film. It's one of those movies where nothing goes right and when you think it can't get any worse; it does.
A family is gathering for a funeral and expect a somber affair. When a "small person" shows up wanting to talk to the son of the deceased, things turn from bad to worse. There's also a man running around after accidentally taking a hallucinogen. There's family qualms going on left and right. A father is mad his daughter is with a guy he doesn't approve of. A brother is jealous of his famous writer brother. A priest just wants to get the hell out of there. A wife wants a down payment on a flat. All this family shit is going on when they should be grieving over lost kin. It all adds up to make a rather funny mixture of obscene, disgusting, and rather gloomy film.
If there's one thing you'll learn from Death at a Funeral, it is that funerals, hallucinogens, and gay midgets don't mix well. A lot of the material is just piling onto an already terrible situation. There's little compassion for the characters, but that just makes it all the more fun.
I've seen the remake and actually like it more than most. It isn't as good as this one though. Death at a Funeral is a must watch film for the black comedy lovers out there. If you enjoy your comedy to be mean and dark, then this one is for you. It's not perfect, but the movies that populate this genre seldom are. It's just a good, little film. No more, no less.
And I could watch it again, and again, and again, and again! ^_^
Sandra: Tea can do many things, Jane, but it can't bring back the dead.
A funny ensemble comedy from director Frank Oz. It takes place at a funeral and mixes a lot of dry British humor with a little slapstick, and some sitcom aspects that keep it from being better. However, despite the many high/drug induced performances used for comedic effect, Alan Tudyk does a great job at being under the influence during the worst possible time.
The film is set during the funeral of the father of our lead character, Daniel played by Matthew MacFadyen. After getting the right coffin to arrive at the house, the majority of the film involves assembling all the characters, who are of course relatives or friends. Daniel in particular is very nervous about giving the eulogy of his father, mainly due to his hot shot brother Robert also arriving and not doing so, despite being a successful and popular author. The other characters include Daniel's wife, who must deal with the mother who doesn't like her and of course appreciates Robert more than Daniel, openly. Ewen Bremner pops up (downplaying his accent for a change) as a suave guy, trying to hook up with a one night stand of his, Martha, who is currently dating Alan Tudyk's character - Simon. Simon of course made a big mistake by taking a hallucinogenic drug instead of what he thought was Valium. Then you have Peter Dinklage showing up as a sort of "friend" to the deceased, with ideas of his own.
Basically, the film works with its premise to set up some funny sequences and gives all the actors a good chance to play with their characters, even if all the setups don't feel all that natural. Its still a good effort and certainly worth a watch.
Robert: What are you doing in my dad's coffin?!
Chaos ensues when a man tries to expose a dark secret regarding a recently deceased patriarch of a dysfunctional British family.
Funerals are serious business, where the mood is usually grim and sombre, and friends and family come together to commemorate the passing of their loved one. The proceeding is usually prim and proper, with some protocols to adhere to, for fitting tributes given in a dignified manner.
Death at a Funeral however, is a delightfully wicked black comedy of everything that can go wrong in a funeral. Daniel (Matthew Macfadyen) is preparing for the funeral of his dad, but my, there are so many things on his plate, such as bring trusted to provide the eulogy rather than his brother Robert (Rupert Graves), who is a best selling author, and having his wife constantly remind him about their deposit for their new home.
With the gathering of family and friends, expect the bizarre to happen, and it involves around, and this is not exhaustive, meeting the new prospective father-in-law when you're high on hallucinogens (Alan Tudyk in a scene stealing role here), a perpetually missing bottle of "Valium", a pastor who's in a hurry, an old senile uncle with a foul mouth, and a 4 foot tall stranger who seems to have a very shocking secret to reveal should he not get his way. There are multiple plot elements here all perfectly linked together like a well oiled stage play, and resolved in very satisfying outcome.
As a comedy, there are the big moments that are played out just for laughs, but what is commendable, is how it managed to sustain that laughter throughout the movie. It's not just laugh out loud moments, but little chuckles sprinkled along the way that had brought out smiles. And as you would already come to expect from a British production, the movie contains superb individual spoken lines that you would have to listen attentively to (and deserves repeat watching), but at the same time doesn't give you an inkling of a feeling that it's only for the linguistically-skilled, because hey, it does enjoy that occasionally toilet humour as well!
Some of the brashness works, like the midget extortionist, some make you roll your eyes, but has a better payoff (the drugged by accident dweeb), and some just don't work at all (the crippled uncle Albert, and the potty scene that accompies it).
In the final analysis, I laughed out loud many times, and there is one very "true" moment; while everyone at a funeral feels uncomfortable, mumbling empty platatudes "sorry for you loss" and all, there is a scene when the niece of the deceased confronts her controlling, pompous doctor father, telling him that he needs an attitude adjustment to prevent becomming a bitter, lonely old man. Just a throw away scene, and yet very, very true.
Its about a mans funeral and its ment to be a nice peaceful send off but ends up with secrets and drugs and a near death of a hobbit!!
its a good light hearted humourous movie really worth a watch and men in suits and the lovely keeley hawes!
This British gem, directed by Yoda aka Frank Oz, was a genuine proof of that, once in a while, a film can come out of nowhere and make you laugh so much that it actually hurts.
The story is funny, the subject may not be but "Death at a Funeral" will surely deliver some insane scenes. There is not a single dull moment in the film. There's a lot of various characters but basically everything evolves around a selected few.
The acting is very good with many really hilarious performances. Peter Dinklage once again steals the show. I've been somewhat of a fan of his ever since I saw his wonderful portrayal in "The Station Agent".
If you're into dark (British) humor, you'll probably like the movie just as much as I did. I recommend that you go and see "Death at a Funeral" now before the US remake. Don't we just hate remakes? The question is once again, why try to do a remake of something that is already that good? Go figure and go see it!