I know it's been around for quite some time, but here's a feature to get used to: not all of the movies we review are going to be new releases.
Not to say Frank Oz's Death at a Funeral is old. It was released in August 2007. It was incredibly hard to find in America since it is, though Oz directed it, a British film, and I had been trying to find a way to see it since that time. Luckily, I was able to snag a DVD copy of it, and the following 90 minutes were just bliss.
The story is simple. A very dysfunctional crowd gathers for a funeral. It's pure chaos, and pure comedic gold. It's basically like Eulogy, but with British humor and Peter Dinklage.
This movie is really, really funny. Every single performance is notable, even from people I had never heard of before, or seen in other films. The one who really shines here is Alan Tudyk. I've been a big fan of his ever since the late Firefly. He steals Dodgeball, and his moments in Knocked Up are very memorable. And this movie is another example where people will finish the movie with the fondest memories of his performance. He plays a regular guy, who in attempt to take some Valium, accidently does some acid. You can see what unfolds when he has to attend a very proper, British funeral.
Another notable performance is that of Andy Nyman. I am not familiar with his work, but I am definitely going to keep a look out for him from now on. He really made me laugh during some of his scenes.
Death at a Funeral is one of the greatest black comedies I have ever seen. Sometimes in life, we have our funerals, and we have our deep, deep sadnesses. It's important to live through them and experience them, but it's also important to let go. We can laugh at these things, and we can cope. It's the only way to get through life. And maybe, just maybe, death can be looked at with a smile.