Plots With A View
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A superlative cast make this macabre yet slapstick romantic comedy a lot of fun. In...
A superlative cast make this macabre yet slapstick romantic comedy a lot of fun. In a small Welsh town, housewife Betty (Brenda Blethyn) and undertaker Boris (Alfred Molina) try to ignore their unrequited love for each other, kept apart by Blethyn's "for better or for worse" dud marriage to the slimy town mayor, played by Robert Pugh. Life plods along as normal until the mayor's mother chokes to death, and Boris and Betty are brought together over the funeral arrangements. Determined to follow their hearts but not upset anyone in the process, they plan to fake Betty's death and elope to the South Pacific on a luxury cruise ship. Things get complicated when the mayor and his mistress, Meredith (Naomi Watts), concoct a simultaneous plan to murder Betty, collect on her life insurance and inherit her home and considerable bank account. All the while, Frank Featherbed (Christopher Walken) is trying to corner the town's funeral market with outrageous, Las Vegas-style funerals replete with tap dancing, sequins and two-for-the-price-of-one specials.
Brenda Blethyn and Alfred Molina are gold-class actors and in this film they're appropriately funny and likeable. We care about what happens to their characters, even though we sense that the leads knocked this movie off in their spare time. Watts, murderous in red suspenders and blonde corkscrew curls, is more confident than ever, but the best is Walken, another great actor and one who can't not be chilling and malevolent even when he's doing comedy.