Death at a Funeral
Review written on: August 19th, 2007

Death at a Funeral Review

When his father dies, Daniel (Matthew MacFadyen) brings in the entire family to their country estate in England for the funeral. While his main concern is giving a thoughtful and heartfelt eulogy, circumstances get in the way.

To begin, his wife, Jane (Keeley Hawes, MacFadyen’s real life wife) has been putting the pressure on him to put down a deposit on a new apartment, so that they may finally start their own life. His mother (Jane Asher) is obviously still grieving, but manages to exhibit typical maternal behavior, particularly toward her daughter-in-law.

Soon the gaggle of crazy relatives and friends start trucking in, each with bizarre lives of their own. Here we go! Brother Robert (Rupert Graves), a successful writer now living in New York, flies in, bringing a sense of inferiority on Daniel’s part. Everyone thinks that by career, he should be giving the eulogy instead. His cousins Martha (Daisy Donovan) and Troy (Kris Marshall), along with Martha’s boyfriend Simon (Alan Tudyk), are also on the way. Simon knows that he’s not exactly liked by the family so to ease him, Martha gives him Valium that she found in her brother’s apartment. Troy’s a pharmacy student, but what’s really in that bottle of Valium, hmm?

Daniel’s friend Howard (Andy Nyman) comes for moral support, but his tendency to be a hypochondriac isn’t helping. Finally, there’s Justin (Ewan Bremner), who is deeply smitten with Martha and can’t seem to take a hint, even though she constantly tells him she’s not interested.

What might end up souring the funeral even more is a revelation from an American who’s shown up at the service. Peter (Peter Dinklage) acknowledges that he has a secret that he will reveal to the grieving family unless his wishes are met. Sounds juicy, n’est-ce-pa’ As always, my love for British comedy was further fueled by this film. It was absolutely hysterical, yet full of warmth in the final scenes. Again, this is another portrayal of a non-conventional family that supports and loves one another, no matter how screwed up things may get.


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