Death at a Funeral
Frank Oz’s newest film is a British ensemble that is full of laughs and was one of the funniest films of 2007.
The films entire run time takes place over the course of one funeral for the father of a pair of brothers, Daniel and Robert, when a collision of drugs, hidden agenda, and infidelity all culminate on the absolute wrong day to do so. The cast is huge and filled with a wide array of personalities and problems among the family and friends that are attending.
The issues that pop up at this funeral are many here is a small sampling, scandalous love affair, hallucinogenic drugs, nudity, geriatric bathroom issues, kidnapping, black mail, and this list could go on. I hate to spoil any more as the outrageousness and surprise of it all is half of the fun, so I will have to be brief on the plot.
The cast is enormous with a few familiar faces but the stand outs are brilliant among a great cast. First mention should be to Peter Vaughan as Uncle Alfie who is just great as the crotchety wheel chair bound old man. He is hilarious and sells the role perfectly. Peter Dinklage also deserves props for his excellent role as the mysterious attendee of the funeral that raises a lot of questions for everyone involved. Andy Nyman is also excellent as Howard a cousin of the family who has to deal with Alfie and a few of the other “messes” that come along.
The cake most really go to Alan Tudyk though, who plays the accidentally drugged fiancé of a cousin to the deceased that is trying to win over his future father in law. He is just absolutely amazing and must be seen to believe, and I will not dare to spoil anything he does.
Oz’s pacing and direction is wonderful, capturing the insanity of the day in a way that it feels like it isn’t such a farce even though it is incredibly ridiculous. And Dean Craig’s script is smart, unpredictable, and full of wit. The film is a perfect of example of how you should make a comedy, quick pace, variety of laughs, and doesn’t over stay its welcome.
My review is brief, but that is only because I wish not to spoil. I can not recommend this enough, even if you’re turn a nose to British humor. Rush out to rent this wonderful film that should have been on my best of 07 list and may have even cracked the top 10 had I seen in time.