USCAF Review: Death at a Funeral
by Alex Billington
March 3, 2007
I'll admit heading into Death at a Funeral I wasn't sure what to expect, and was worried that Frank Oz may go a little too muppety and not enough quality. Fortunately I was completely surprised by a fantastic comedy that ranks highly in the best of great British humor and comedies in general. The film surrounds a funeral in England where a number of family members return to the home of their mother and now widow. As the family members and relatives arrive, an increasing number of ridiculous happenings begin to occur and the whole funeral begins to swirl wildly out of control. I have not laughed this much since I saw Borat for the first time last year, and the film has outdone not only Ira and Abby from yesterday at the US Comedy Arts Fest, but every other comedy this year, too.
The film sets up a perfect start, when in the first scene the wrong coffin arrives. From there every new arrival and new character is an even funnier twist. What's great is that the film connects all of each individual person's stories together, even spread all the way across the movie. It has little bits of all kinds of humor, including slapstick and physical humor, as well as conventional and dialogue. I kept laughing nearly every minute without a single dry moment, only a feat few other comedies have matched, including Borat, Shaun of the Dead, and Office Space. In addition, this is Alan Tudyk's true mainstream calling - if everyone doesn't recognize his incredible talent after seeing this, then they must've seen the wrong film. I couldn't wait to see his character again on screen when he wasn't in a scene, and even though the comedy kept up at the same level throughout, Tudyk just made the film that much better. Without spoiling the surprises too much, Tudyk delivers the best drugged-up comedic character I've ever seen. Truly only someone like Frank Oz could pull off such delirious and masterful hilarity surrounding a death and a funeral, and still make you smile in the end.
My suggestion: Definitely see this opening day, you won't regret it and will be laughing off your seat endlessly throughout.