Originally a British comedy released in 2007, Death at a Funeral is the American remake. With the same plotline, it offers up comedy and funny situations that normally would make you feel ashamed to laugh at. But it’s a movie, so laugh away. Starring Chris Rock, Martin Lawrence and Tracy Morgan, the cast is super-sized to put it modestly. Fortunately, it’s an A-Lister so the large amount of characters in this film works very well. Director Neil LaBute had not only the luxury of Chris Rock co-producing this project but a plethora of veteran established comedians to make this movie go.
Aaron and Ryan Barnes’ (Chris Rock & Martin Lawrence) father has just passed away and the funeral is being held at Aaron’s home. As the family begins to filter in for the service, the audience is introduced to the unique personalities of each one and how they interact with one another. You will be able to sit back and say, “Yeah, I have an uncle just like that in my family”. You might even be able to pick yourself out in this story. As the day goes on, anything that could go wrong of course does just that. Random outbursts, name calling, hallucinations, black mailing and dirty secrets all come out in this one day which is supposed to be set aside for the grieving and honoring of a beloved family member.
This film can be summed up as one big funny awkward moment. Following suit to the British version, you will find something that might shock you…or gross you out. But you will laugh along with whatever other feelings you might have for this film. I especially like the way screen time was well managed between so many known actors who can either be the lead in their own movie or already have. Also, the story isn’t drawn out at all. With so many different side stories going on, from misused bottles of valium to dealing with an old, grumpy uncle, there will always be something going on to hold your attention. Whether or not you find these side stories funny or not is another story. Not every single joke is a hit in this film but with so many, you will laugh at something. Short at around 90 minutes, it gets in, delivers the story and random antics and gets out so you can get on with your day.
Looking forward to seeing the original, I give Death at a Funeral “3.5 bottles of what looks like valium out of 5”.
“Let me get this straight: our father was romantically involved with a guy that could fit in his pocket, and you’re mad because he’s white?”