The latest comedy from director Frank Oz, Death at a Funeral
unusually sets a funeral at the heart of a film thats trying to generate laughs. It does prove to be quite a hurdle, but its to the credit of those involved that the film proves to be a worthwhile and diverting way to spend an hour and a half.
Starring Rupert Graves, Matthew MacFadyen and Peter Egan among a talented ensemble cast, Death at a Funeral ticks most of the boxes youd expect of its concept, but does throw in a few twists of its own, too. There are family secrets, mix-ups, battling characters and the funeral itself to deal with, and Oz proves skilful at marrying the threads together.
Death at a Funeral manages to generate a good few laughs on the way to its fine ending, but it does have its problems. There are perhaps one too many contrivances to put up with, and the script doesnt really do the director and his cast too many favours. In spite of its slight running time, it also manages to feel a little too long.
But Death at a Funeral is still, despite these problems, a perfectly competent British comedy, and a useful way to fill a night in. Dont expect a masterpiece, and chances are youll have some fun with it. --Jon Foster
Netherlands released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital 5.1 ), Dutch ( Subtitles ), WIDESCREEN, SPECIAL FEATURES: Interactive Menu, Scene Access, Trailer(s), SYNOPSIS: Daniel is a decent young man, married to Jane, still living at his father's home. When his father dies, it is up to him to organize his funeral. On this painful morning, the suitable grave expression on his face, Daniel is ready to welcome his father's friends and relatives. But preserving the dignity inherent in such a circumstance will be a hard task. Particularly with an undertaker who botches his work, the return from the USA of his famous but selfish brother, his cousin's fiancé who has accidentally ingested drugs, the presence a moron who takes advantage of the sad event to win back the heart (or rather the body) of a woman who is about to marry another, of a handicapped old uncle who is also the most unbearable pain in the neck. To cap it all, Daniel notices the presence among the mourners of a mysterious dwarf nobody else seems to know... ...Death at a Funeral ( Sterben für Anfänger )