When you're sitting in the theatre and within the first five minutes of the film the entire audience is laughing, you know it's going to be a great comedy. Death at a Funeral has got to be the funniest movie I've seen since The Wedding Crashers (and they're not even the same type of humor so read on even if you didn't like Wedding Crashers.)
Death at a Funeral is absolutely hysterical and you'd never think it would be. I mean really. Death, a Funeral? What could be less funny than that, but this film delivers!! It helps it was directed by Frank Oz, (Yoda himself), but the acting is absolutely superb. (I can use that superlative since it's an English film.)
We stayed for a bit of the Q & A afterwards and learned that although the film follows the script there was actually quite a bit of improv through out. Briefly, the concept is the patriarch of the family has died, the extended family is gathering for the funeral and what ensues when people take what is thought to be valium, but is actually acid is to die laughing. Plus, the little (and I do mean little - 4 feet tall little) distraction causes mayhem which is hysterical too.
I must say the actor who plays Simon, Alan Tudyk, is absolutely brilliant as the drugged out of his mind boyfriend. He actually strips down to nothing and spends half the film naked on the roof - best butt I've seen in a while - check him out girls!:) Daisy Donovan, who plays his girlfriend, is the spitting image of Emma Thompson. I loved the bathroom door scene - too much. Very, very clever indeed.
I really don't want to give away too much of this film because the element of surprise was what made it pop for me. I had no idea what to expect other than the clips I've seen on TV and it's so much bigger and better! Finally! A trailer that doesn't reveal the entire plot! When will Hollywood ever learn that maybe, just maybe we like some parts of our movie to be revealed during the actual film? Sometimes I feel like I don't have to see the movie the trailer shows so much.
I highly, highly, highly recommend this film. This is British humor at its finest. Every single actor is sublime in their characterization and is hysterical all on their own. The sum of the whole is phenomenal! (Like all those adjectives? I'm not usually this flowery, but just feel like it since I'm in such a good mood and it's a British film.)
Frank Oz was interesting to listen to, although a little cranky. I guess when you've done what he's done and been around as long as he has, you have a right to be cranky. The plucky moderator tried to duck and weave around some of his barbs, but you could tell he was withering. I guess Mr. Oz has that effect on people.
I mean the first thing he did was criticize the title of the magazine who was hosting him - Creative Screenwriting. Who died and made him God of magazine titles? I guess once a copy editor, always a copy editor right? Frank admitted he wasn't a writer, but a great editor.
You could tell he has a very analytical mind just by listening to his process of approaching a script too. He disects the hell out of it so he knows it backwards and forwards. Then when they actually begin filming he can just allow the actors "to play" as he puts it.
And play this cast did. I can't recommend the film enough. There's a lot of twists and turns you don't see coming and a laugh a minute. Watch it and then let me know what you think too ok? That's all for now. Busy day tomorrow - hitting the Daytime Emmy's - woo hoo!:)
Sleep well. I hope I do.