"Death at a Funeral" movie. Directed by Frank Oz.
This funeral is anything but ordinary.
When the casket of Daniel’s (Matthew Macfadyen) father is brought home for the funeral service with the wrong body inside it, you know that there is trouble on the way. But, in this dysfunctional family this is the least of their problems.
Humorous and energetic plot twists about the eccentric family and friends gathering for the occasion, lead to a British farce about decorum in the most unlikely of places.
Coming from New York City is Daniel’s brother Robert (Rupert Graves) a successful novelist, with whom Daniel, an aspiring but never materialized writer, shares a longstanding rivalry.
Daniel’s wife Jane (Keely Hawes, Macfadyen’s real-life wife) desires life outside her mother-in-law’s house.
Daniel’s cousin Martha (Daisy Donovan) brings her fiancé Simon (Alan Tudyk) to make a good impression on her father and physician, Victor (Peter Egan), who has expressed a strong opposition to such union. Simon leaves an impression indeed. In no time, and in his future in-laws’ company, Simon looses all his inhibitions, as well as his pants, when he accidentally ingests a designer hallucinogenic drug prepared by Martha’s brother, Troy (Kris Marshall) a sharp chemistry student.
Adding to the chaos is Daniel’s friend Howard (Andy Nyman), a chronic hypochondriac in a panic state fearing a possible pigment mutation due to a rash.
Chasing Martha, and finding her at the most inappropriate time, is Howard’s obsessive friend Justin (Ewen Bremner) who came to the funeral for the only reason to win Martha over.
Moreover, there is Uncle Alfie (Peter Vaughan) not known for his social graces, who is convinced that something bizarre is taking place at the funeral, the newly widowed Sandra (Jane Asher), Daniel and Robert’s mother, who appears to enjoy the spotlight, and the Reverend (Thomas Wheatley) who isn’t given the time of day.
Things go from bad to worse when a mysterious guest, Peter (Peter Dinklage), appears at the funeral with a bombshell about the deceased.
The characters are very relatable and spontaneous as portrayed by this talented and well-known British ensemble who elicits a lot of laughter throughout. While all the actors delivered a good performance, captivating in drama and humor is Alan Tudyk having the difficult role of portraying multiple aspects of one character.
This brilliant script by Dean Craig contrasts the solemn formality of a funeral with well-timed crisp humor about the living, while focusing more on laughter rather than realism.
Director Frank Oz excelled in creating cohesiveness among the many characters, forming a hilarious whole greater than its parts.