Death At A Funeral
- Film Worth:$8.50
- FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
This comic oddity from Frank Oz (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) is something of a guilty pleasure....
This comic oddity from Frank Oz (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) is something of a guilty pleasure. There are many reasons to dislike the film (its pacing is irrational, its relationships contrived, lines are dropped, the plots and subplots are routine), yet for all its misdemeanours (and there are many), Death At A Funeral also provides a number of giggles and one or two laughs amid the mayhem.
At his ivy-covered family estate, Daniel (Matthew MacFadyen) is going to bury his fatherâ€¦once the funeral directors bring the right body. This first incident sets the tone for a broad, drawing-room comedy-of-manners in which siblings fight, hallucinogens are mistaken for valium, relations sit naked on rooftops and grumpy old men swear and curse. The clincher is a gold-digging, blackmailing dwarf (Peter Dinklage) who reveals that he was the dead man's lover. We're in Carry On territory here, which partially explains why the dwarf ends up in the casket. Ho ho.
Death At A Funeral is neither smart nor clever, though Oz isn't really trying to be either. What disappoints is the thinness of his two-joke movie - wayward drugs and bound dwarves aren't funny for long. Minor characters are painfully underwritten (Trainspotting's Ewan Bremner gets to go nowhere at all) and Oz relies too heavily on the questionable comic skills of his stoic leads. Yet there's something appealing about the lowbrow shenanigans that recalls 1970s Britcoms for sustained bouts of half-baked zaniness. It's a long, long way from Oscar Wilde, yet a set piece in which a carbon-copy Ricky Gervais helps an elderly uncle on to the toilet is a text-book example of a guilty pleasure. You know you shouldn't, yet somehow you just have to keep watching...