Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A-Z Challenge: Death at a Funeral

There are two versions of the movie Death at a Funeral.  One was directed by Frank Oz (a.k.a Fozzy Bear, Miss Piggy, Yoda, etc.) in 2007, and the other is a 2010 remake of that film starring Chris Rock, Martin Lawrence, and Tracy Morgan.  I haven't seen the original.

When a friend suggested we watch the 2010 version I was ambivalent, which is a big impressive word that really just means "meh."  I like Chris Rock's stand up, he's witty and consistently hilarious on stage, but that doesn't mean the movie will be just as funny.  While an improv master like Robin Williams can ad-lib and add his own humor to the script, any comic is still leaning on the rest of the cast and the actual screenplay to pull the movie together.  And Martin Lawrence and Tracy Morgan are funny, but they need the right setting for their humor to shine.  This movie has the right setting.

I was laughing out loud in the first five minutes, when the funeral home delivers the wrong casket (complete with thew wrong body) for a home viewing.  "This hardly ever happens," the young funeral director explains to the distraught children of the deceased.  "This is not Burger King, you can't just mess up my order!"

And then there's the scene-stealing James Marsden, fiance to one of the mourning family members, who accidentally ingests a powerful hallucinogen on the way to the funeral and ends up naked on the roof.  And then it gets weird...

A midget shows up at the funeral, eager to speak to the deceased's children.  Why he wants to talk to them and what happens as a result of the conversation is definite spoiler material, so I'm not going into detail, but it's damn funny.

There are few movies that have made me laugh out loud so hard and so consistently from the beginning to the end of the film...The Hangover, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Airplane, Arthur (the original), Animal House, Monty Python and the [Anything]...The 2010 version of Death at a Funeral holds rank for me as one of the all-time comedy greats.  If you haven't seen this yet, rent it ASAP.  You will laugh.  You may be disgusted with yourself at some of the things you are laughing at, but believe me, laugh you will...

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6 comments:

Matthew MacNish said...

Sounds pretty entertaining, thanks Rick!

I usually ask most A to Z participants to turn WV off. But I know you've been blogging a while, and I'm sure you have a legitimate reason for using it.

D.G. Hudson said...

I saw Animal House and much Monty Python, but not the others. A younger John Belushi was in Animal House, wasn't he?

Rick Daley said...

DG- Belushi's performance in Animal House is probably his best. As good as he was on SNL, and The Blues Brothers, he had so many classic lines / scenes in Animal House it's enough for anyone to hang their hat on.

"Seven years of college down the drain..."

"Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?"

"Let's see if you can guess what I am now...I'm a zit, get it?"

Johanna Garth said...

I saw this movie too, I can't remember where and thought it was so funny!

Emily said...

I had a friend tell me about this film, and even though i'm not much of a comedy watcher, your review of this really got me to think 'hey it may not be all that bad', so I think it may be something i will watch, thanks for sharing :)

Francene said...

Your description makes me want to see the movie. I guess a rerun will appear on TV soon.