Monday, November 2, 2009

Death at a Funeral (2007)

Take your favorite telenovela and all the possible plots that support it during a year (or two or three) and place them in a story that takes place in one day and you have the chaos and adventure that is Death at a Funeral.

The misdeeds begin on the day of funeral of the patriarch of an English family (held at the family's home). When Martha (Daisy Donovan) and her fiance, Simon (Alan Tudyk), pick up her brother, Troy (Kris Marshall) the chemist in training, for their uncle's funeral, Troy's just concocted a hallucinogenic cocktail. He's placed the pills in a bottle labeled Valium and is on the phone telling a friend about it and how he cannot wait to try it. While he's finishing his phone conversation in the other room, Martha spots the vial  (unaware that its contents are *not* Valium) and takes it for Simon, whose nerves are frayed at seeing her family, who doesn't approve of him. Simon says gets naked at a funeral On the way to the funeral, Simon takes the pills (unbeknownst to Troy) and starts experiencing odd sensations.

As they arrive, Martha is spotted by Justin (Ewen Bremner), who has a lingering crush on her from a one-night stand. She hardly notices him because she's trying to keep Simon upright and quiet while he's tripping on the pills. Meanwhile Daniel (Matthew Macfadyen) is working on the eulogy for his father while everyone expects his successful novelist brother, Robert (Rupert Graves) to do the honors. But, Daniel is a fledging writer and wants to show off his own literary skills. Daniel and Robert are already at odds about the cost of the funeral and the fact that Daniel lives in England watching over their mother, while Robert is in New York City living carefree. Peter (Peter Dinklage) is an unknown guest at the funeral. He drops a big bomb on Daniel about his father. The Reverend (Thomas Wheatley) is on a time crunch to get to his next appointment. Martha loses the pills and Troy is attempting to find them when Simon turns up naked at the top of the house philosophizing nonsense from his perch. You have the rest of the cast causing trouble, bathroom humor and unrequited love tweaking the tension. This movie is fun, silly and full of suspense.

Director: Frank Oz

Country: UK

Genre: Dark comedy

Run time: 90 minutes

Scale: 3.5

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