Death at a Funeral (2007)
From director Frank Oz comes the story of a family that puts the F U in funeral.
British accents and humor are a great thing. Sure, not everyone will appreciate it as much as others, but then again I don't find myself gravitating towards everyone else's sense of humor all the time. Quite the cast - at least two of which who's names I recognize - delivering their skills and all manner of shenanigans to follow. Will your sides wish for death as a release from the pain laughter has granted them, or is it more of a funeral parlor waiting for it's next victim?
When a father dies, his family gets together at his estate to mourn his passing. The family is - as many are - a bit on the dysfunctional side and getting them all in the same place brings forth it's own set of problems. Daniel (Matthew Macfadyen) wants to get a flat with his wife Jane (Keeley Hawes), and the deadline for the payment is closing fast, but his hot-shot writer brother who suddenly seems short on cash to help pay for the funeral might put a cement shoe on his plans. Cousin Martha (Daisy Donovan) also plans to reveal to her father that she and her fiance Simon (Alan Tudyk) are getting married while at the event as well, but her plans get quite more complicated (and the funeral in turn) when she accidentally gives Simon a home-brewed form of acid her brother made thinking it was Valium.
The entire situation gets even more silly and complicated when a stranger named Peter (Peter Dinklage) shows up and requests a private chat with Daniel. As it would turn out, him and Daniel's now-deceased father were lovers, and Peter has the photos to prove it. As if that's not a big enough shock, Peter then demands 15,000 pounds (British currency, for those who didn't know) as he feels he's entitled to it due to what him and his father shared. Peter than talks to his brother about it, and when things start going even further wrong the two start to tie Peter up in an effort to prevent him from revealing his fathers secret to the entire gathering. Meanwhile, Simon is still on the trip of his life and has retreated to an upstairs bathroom after accidentally spilling open the coffin, with Martha waiting outside to make sure he's okay.
Back in the other room, two more folks have walked in on the situation with Peter, and in a bid to get him calmed down they feed him what they think is Valium, but in fact is the same acid-like drug Simon took (except they feed him five of them at once). The brothers go to deal with more funeral matters, leaving the two others in charge of keeping him from getting away - something that goes a bit wrong when another situation rises up. As they tend to Uncle Alfie (Peter Vaughan) - Daniel's wheelchair bound uncle - Peter starts his dynamic trip by jumping on the couch, until his fun is ruined when he falls of and bangs his head on the corner of the glass table. How ever will the crew cover up this new death, will Simon survive his acid-trip after stripping naked and getting on the roof, and will the funeral ever end with at least a shred of decency?
The humor is quite the blend, ranging from some slight amounts of slapstick to crude and effective. The film starts off with a great way of setting the mood - the funeral drivers deliver the wrong casket to the house, and end up having to go back to get the right one before the funeral starts. Meanwhile, we have the drug-induced shenanigans from Simon as he makes such wonderful statements as "Everything is so green!" and that various other little misadventures on that side of things. Still again, we sink to potty humor at points (quite literally), and even some reoccurring things (some of which happen quite often, others wait for some time for maximum delivery impact).
While the humor itself might not be for everyone out there, the actors do a splendid job playing their roles. Having not witnessed someone personally on an acid trip, I can't attest to that side of things outside the fact that Tudyk delivers a performance that makes me certainly believe that he's on something. Likewise, everything from earnest sympathies to members trying to avoid each other because of the inconvenience or annoyance the other will cause all comes off being incredibly believable. Of all the things present, the only thing that ever comes off feeling absolutely off the wall is the situation itself as it proceeds, but as ridiculous as it is it is also highly entertaining watching all the actors frit about and try to deal with things that keep happening.
The opening theme is incredibly catchy, but outside of that music plays your standard background roll. Likewise, being set at a funeral, the present costume selection is pretty limited to dress attire and in turn doesn't offer much to feast upon either. These are minor things in comparison to the main-liner of the comedy, and some serious undertones come up particularly around the end that makes you wonder just how much they may have managed to slip past you subconsciously without you realizing it. The ending was so serious, as a matter of fact, that it almost felt like a different movie - although it does kick in one last jab at being comedy gold right before the credits roll to remind you that you should really just get a good laugh.
It's certainly not going to be for everybody - some people get pretty up in arms about toilet humor (and I'm not talking all this modern times penis everywhere toilet humor), and being british there's a bit of language to it that some American audiences might consider offensive (that's people for you) as well as some male butt exposure. Beyond that, I would wager that it's at least worth trying to watch it once and establish if it is your kind of humor - considering the movie got remade a few years later with Chris Rock and Martin Lawrence, I can only imagine that it was quite a few folks type of humor. Check it out, enjoy laughing, and maybe take away the lesson that it unfolds for you at the end.