All-star cast - Hank Azaria, Zooey Deschanel, Famke Janssen, Rip Torn, Ray Romano, Piper Laurie, Debra Winger - yet even they cannot lift this movie beyond the mundane and inane. Casting Hank Azaria and Zooey Deschanel as father and daughter was odd, as he hardly looks old enough, and isn't old enough, to be her father.
Yet despite all this, these aren't the absolute worst thing about the movie. The worst thing about the movie was the twins. Probably the most irritating kids ever to appear in a motion picture (no mean feat, as there have been heaps of irritating kids in films).
No wonder Michael Clancy has never written nor directed another movie.
VERDICT: "High-Quality Stuff" - [Positive Reaction] This is a rating to a movie I view as very entertaining and well made, and definitely worth paying the full price at a theatre to see or own on DVD. It is not perfect, but it is definitely excellent. (Films that are rated 3.5 or 4 stars)...
As is often the case when a eulogy gets involved, there has been a death in the family. Edmund Collins (Rip Torn, who appears only on a television set and as a corpse), has finally kicked the basket, leaving his family to mourn. Except that's not what they do. Nobody seemed to care too much about the death, as most of them weren't too fond of the man. It's decided that his eldest granddaughter, Kate (Deschanel), will be the one to give the eulogy, as none of his four children can be bothered to do it. Man, he must have been a terrible father, or maybe this family just has far too many problems both related and unrelated to the newly deceased.
As the film progresses, we learn that this is almost certainly the case. Eulogy isn't really about Edmund or about what's going to be said about the dead man. No, it's far more concerned about dealing with the family of the living and all of their issues. And let me tell you, there are a boatload of them. In fact, for a film that plays for around 90 minutes, there are probably too many. I actually had trouble keeping track of each character and their thoughts and feelings toward everyone else.
It would be futile to list the characters, nor do I think I'd be able to. There are too many to properly count; there are four children of the dead, his wife, and then their multiple grandchildren. Personalities are abound, and it'll take you a while to get adjusted to the sheer amount of stuff that's going on at any one point. You'll initially be overloaded, and I think it's worth watching the film a second time just so that you'll be up to speed during its earlier portions.
And, of course, it's also wickedly funny, assuming you're okay with a little dark comedy. I laughed out loud several times throughout its running time, and chuckled even more frequently. This is just my kind of movie, and while I know it's not for everyone -- comedies almost never are -- I know that I enjoyed it because I found it hilarious. Explaining why would ruin part of the fun, so you're just going to have to trust me on this one. Hopefully you won't be disappointed.
Even if you're not laughing, there's at least enough going on to hold your attention. You'll want to learn all there is to know about these characters, and since there certainly is a lot, you'll always have something occupying your mind. This is beneficial even for those of you who will find it funny, as it gives the picture added depth, but if you're not laughing, at least you have something to watch for. There are so many different personalities at play here, and you'll probably see one or two that your recognize from your own family.
I think that's why Eulogy will end up resonating with a lot of people: There are so many characters all with unique personalities, making the odds fairly high that you'll be able to pick out some that you know. You'll laugh as they act so similarly to the people that you know and (hopefully) love that you'll just have to be having fun. And if that doesn't happen, the dialogue and the deadpan delivery from some of the characters will have you in stitches.
Eulogy does have one major problem, and that comes from the characters all seeming to exist on different planes, leading to a lack of chemistry. They all have different personalities, sure, but they frequently come off as existing in their own little world. While there are definitely a ton of arguments and fights that go on, it's hard to really believe in them because none of the characters feel like they're in the same world together. It's like they really don't know each other, and are just meeting the rest of their family for the first time -- and this is in spite of all the past issues that get brought up; it's a really weird feeling.
Thankfully, it still works because of the actors, most of whom have great comedic timing and all fit their character's personalities to a T. I don't know many people who would turn down watching Deschanel, Azaria and Romano all together in the same movie, and they, unsurprisingly, end up being the stars. There are two profane twins that play Romano's kids, and they're quite funny, too, so be on the lookout for them.
Eulogy is a funny black comedy with a ton of interesting personalities and performances scattered throughout its brief but effective runtime. It doesn't all gel together perfectly, and it's hard to take everything in at the beginning, but once both you and the film click into a groove, it's smooth sailing from thereon in. I laughed a ton during this movie, and when I wasn't laughing, I was genuinely interested in these characters. If black comedy is your thing, and you want to see a family in disarray, Eulogy is the film for you.
The movie was just a complete mess from start to finish. Stay FAR away.
The Trouble With Harry meets the all American dysfunctional family.
The Story: A dysfunctional family is brought together for the funeral of their father/husband/grandfather. The story is actually centered around the granddaughter. It's her job to eulogize her grandfather, but she doesn't seem to know where to start, and no one really has much to tell her about him. It's a decent black comedy that moves along at a decent pace. The characters are all pretty interesting for the most part, and the intricacies of their lives is almost astounding. They way some of the characters interact with each other is great, while other times it's not so great. The cinematography isn't anything amazing, and there's no real sense of style, as there was with Trouble With Harry, but it's still not bad to look at.
The Cast: Hank Azaria, Ray Romano, Zooey Deschanel...There's actually a pretty big cast here, but these are the ones that most people are going to watch this for, or that really matter...Hank Azaria, is one of my favorite actors, I love his work on The Simpsons, and love his work on the HBO series Huff...But this is not The Simpsons and this is definitely not Huff. His acting isn't all that amazing, but he's humorous none-the-less. Zooey Deschanel is probably the best player here. She's surprisingly believable as the granddaughter of the deceased. She doesn't know much about her grandfather, and is selected to give the eulogy. Ray Romano is one of the children of the dead man. Don't expect an outstanding performance, as it's not Everybody Loves Raymond. His part isn't really the biggest, he kind of comes and goes, as does most of the other characters.
One to Five Scale: 3
The characters all for the most part have a pretty decent amount of back story, but for some reason or other there's no real connection made with too many of them. In other words, despite the amount of information you learn about them, you might still feel yourself more distant from any of them than really connected to them.
"vag in a town. what's a vag?" wicked!