'Funeral' Has Some Drop-Dead Funny Bits
It's sillier but funnier than "Knocked Up," the summer's other notable
Here Tudyk glories in a hilarious, largely silent performance involving one of the story's daffier plot twists. He plays a stiff businessman who, before arriving at the staid funeral of the title, inadvertently swallows a tab of homemade hallucinogens stored in a bottle labeled
"Death" is set in the ultimate occasion demanding good behavior, only to let in a hearseload of bad manners, gross mishaps and unpardonable sins. The nonsense starts when the wrong corpse is brought by the morticians. Daniel (Matthew Macfadyen, the diffident Mr. Darcy of "Pride and Prejudice)" is one son and survivor, nervously preparing the eulogy, even though his glamorous brother Robert (
Boasting a tightly knit ensemble, unlike the erratic casts in such earlier Oz efforts as "The Stepford Wives" and the uneven "In & Out," the movie's standouts include Tudyk, Andy Nyman as a weasel-like hypochondriac and Macfadyen, the comic embodiment of glum.
The sibling rivalry/resolution meant to give the movie its sweet, heartfelt thread is weak, and there are stretches where the comedy sags or settles for the predictable. But, long delayed in its release because of the summer competition, "Death" arrives at last as an adult tonic in a season typically abandoned to the comic book cocktail. There are worse ways to escape the August heat.
Get showtimes and movie details for "Death at a Funeral."