Though it doesn't hit the same comic heights as Bowfinger
, Death at a Funeral
is a fun little romp. Granted, not all of the characters are meant to be humorous, like Daniel (Matthew Macfadyen, Pride & Prejudice
) and his wife, Jane (Keeley Hawes, Tristram Shandy
), straight-faced foils for the more over-the-top performers. After Daniel's father passes away, the couple offers to host the funeral, so all his relatives descend on the family abode, including Daniel's estranged brother, Robert (Rupert Graves, V for Vendetta
). The mood is already tense when their cousin, Martha (Daisy Donovan), arrives with her nervous fiancé, Simon (Alan Tudyk, Serenity
). On the way over, Simon takes a Valium that's actually a hallucinogenic concoction cooked up by Martha's pharmacology student brother. By the time they arrive, Simon's inhibitions are gone with the wind. Other guests include Uncle Alfie (Peter Vaughn) and an uninvited American mourner (Peter Dinklage). By the end of the movie, one of these individuals will be dead. Though he's worked in the States for several decades, director Frank Oz was born in the UK, and Death at a Funeral
feels like the work of a British filmmaker. As drawing room comedies go, it may not rival Arsenic and Old Lace
, but it's still funnier than most. If the film has a flaw, it's one misjudged moment of scatological humor, which is sure to induce more cringes than giggles. Fortunately, it's over quickly, and Tudyk's hilarious performance provides ample compensation. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
Beyond Death at a Funeral Stills from Death at a Funeral
From acclaimed director Frank Oz (In & Out, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) comes "a fast, furious and riotously funny farce" (Maxim) that'll have you dying with laughter!
As the mourners and guests at a British country manor struggle valiantly to "keep a stiff upper lip," a dignified ceremony devolves into a hilarious, no-holds-barred debacle of misplaced cadavers, indecent exposure, and shocking family secrets. Packed with extras including audio commentaries and an uproarious gag reel, Death at a Funeral blows the lid off the proverbial coffin as "the film's delicious comic flourishes... sight gags, slapstick, flawless timing... are served up by an outstanding cast" (O, The Oprah Magazine).