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"Death at a Funeral"
Reviewer:
Grady Harp
Studio: MGM
Genre: Comedy
Release:
February 26, 2008
Credits:

Cast: Matthew MacFadyen,Keeley Hawes,Rupert Graves

Written by: Dean Craig

Directed by :Frank Oz

Review:

Like so many others this viewer avoided the theatrical release and deferred to the DVD release of DEATH AT A FUNERAL, thinking that a comic take on a potentially morbid subject might not be very entertaining. Couldn't have been more wrong! This is the kind of humor the Brits do so well - intelligent, expertly delivered dialog and action that can make even the most unlikely situations hilarious. Writer Dean Craig and Director Frank Oz have created a farce and have put this tongue in cheek situation in the hands of some the best of the British actors. The result is a spinning top that only gradually allows the viewer to breathe from laughing during the clever final credits.***

The father of a very dysfunctional family has died and son Daniel (Matthew MacFadyen) and his wife Jane (Keeley Hawes) have agreed to host the funeral. After the mortuary first delivers the wrong corpse the tone is set for all the wrong things to happen. The arriving family is a bizarre clan of characters - a novelist living beyond his means in New York (Rupert Graves), a man who unwittingly mistakes an hallucinogen for Valium and ends up on a trip that entertains all, a 'drug distributor', a crotchety old man with toilet problems, and the usual stuffy and goofy associates that so often populate the British comedies. And when it seems as though little else could support sanity, up pops a figure form the US (Peter Dinklage) with a secret about the deceased and proceeds to cause a situation that becomes the focal point of this zany funeral.***

Final Words:

Saying too much about each of the characters diminishes the surprises that abound. Were it not for the fact that each of the actors in the film is 'top drawer' this little movie could have become mawkish or tasteless, but this cast and director have produced one of the most refreshingly funny films of the past year.***

Grady Harp, February 08

 

 
 
 
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