Death at a Funeral
It was a bit of a surprise
to find the quintessentially American director Frank Oz (who was the voice
of Miss Piggy before helming such interesting comedies as Little Shop of
Horrors, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Bowfinger and In and Out) at
the helm of this very dark, very British farce.
Of course, he may simply be
doing penance for his last film, the nearly unbearable 2005 remake of The
Death at a
Funeral, you realize that it is actually a rather comfortable fit for
Oz's directing style. It is also a fine rebound from that last
stinker. Death at a Funeral has its flaws, but in general it
is an outrageous drawing room comedy in the tradition of Peter Sellers and
Terry Thomas.Yet, watching
The film takes place in an
old family manor in the English countryside, where the patriarch is being buried.
Now, this might seem an odd
setting for a wild comic romp, but that is really the whole point.
This upper-crust family is trying desperately to maintain order and a stiff
upper lips as mayhem escalates around them.
This is a Brit comic staple
that never quite loses its wit -- the inability to show emotion and just let
go. With drugs, blackmail, jealousy, sex, violence, secrets,
homosexuality, anger and adultery all swirling around the proceedings, most
of the fun is watching the family trying to pretend that none of these
things are really happening.
Probably too many gags in
Death at a Funeral don't work to recommend it completely, but a high
enough percentage do hit the mark, so it is definitely worth your time.
You see many of the jokes coming, but that doesn't stop the fact that at
many points you will be unable to stifle the laughter.
More importantly, it's good
to see the old Frank Oz back.
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2007 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved.
Posted: September 1, 2007.