Ken's Review: Death at a Funeral - Frank Oz is Back!
by Ken Evans
August 20, 2007
Before I can get into my review of Death at a Funeral I need to give you some background into my relationship with its director, because I can truly say that I would not be the person I am today if it wasn't for Frank Oz. I can still remember putting in my VHS copy of What About Bob? for the first time, and then watching it over and over memorizing lines and acting out scenes. I sat in awe watching the comedic genius of Bill Murray wondering how there could actually be someone that funny.
I was probably thirteen when I first saw it and it wasn't until later that I learned about directors and what they do. I didn't know that a man named Frank Oz had just opened my mind to the wonderful world of comedy. My whole sense of humor was molded from watching movies like What About Bob? and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, both of which were directed by Mr. Oz. When I think about my all-time favorite comedies, What About Bob? is definitely in my top five. Thank you, Frank Oz, for showing me what true comedy is.
Now with that being said you'll understand how excited I was about going to see Death at a Funeral. Since What About Bob?, Oz has had a string of mediocre movies. Films such as Housesitter, In & Out, and The Score not to mention The Stepford Wives which was just plain bad. He did direct Bowfinger, which although wasn't a homerun for me, I still really enjoyed. So when I heard about Death at a Funeral and saw the trailer I was overjoyed as it seemed like he had finally redeemed himself. And, after seeing it I can wholeheartedly say that Frank Oz has definitely gotten his spark back!
Death at a Funeral is basically about a family that has some major problems. All of these problems, which include miscommunication, skin discoloration, unannounced pregnancy, brotherly envy, accidental death, in-law issues, obsession, and unknowing participation in drug use all come to a head at the funeral of a family member. Hilarity ensues as the characters with each of these problems intertwine and clash. To go into further detail of the plot would wreck all of the surprises that are in store for you if you decide to see it. But please, if you are in the mood to see something truly funny, this is a must.
As for the cast, they all do a tremendous job. Daniel (Matthew MacFadyen) and Robert (Rupert Graves) play the sons of the deceased. Martha (Daisy Donovan) who is engaged to Simon (Alan Tudyk); Howard (Andy Nyman) who plays Daniel's cousin; and Justin (Ewen Bremner) who is in love with Martha. I have to give a shout out to Alan Tudyk for his role in this film. His character got the most laughs from the audience by far. I don't know if this is attributed to his being high or nude the majority of the film, but he is pretty dang funny. If you're a Tudyk fan from his days in "Firefly"/Serenity then you most definitely don't want to miss him in this.
If you're looking to see a well written comedy that doesn't rely on sexual innuendo to get a laugh then go see Death at a Funeral. This is the film to see if you need a break from Hot Rod or Superbad. I promise you will be walking out afterward talking about Uncle Alfie and still laughing at the insanity you just watched.