Death at a Funeral (2010)–Reviewed by Anita ***

Neil Le Bute directs this bust a gut comedy; if you are in need of a good laugh this is your E-ticket. Death at a Funeral is a remake from a British version same name.  The American ensemble does the original version justice (in my humble opinion).

Chaos rules the day when this completely dysfunctional family comes together to bury the much-loved and respected Uncle Russell.  Father to brothers Aaron (Chris Rock) and Ryan (Martin Lawrence).  We learn early on that there is a bit of a chip on Aaron’s shoulder regarding Ryan.  Ryan is considered a successful author while Aaron’s first novel remains unpublished.  This existing tension, on top of the fact Ryan is a selfish block-head is our first introduction to the Barns branch of this huge family.  Of course there is an overbearing mother who manipulates every situation to abuse Aaron and praise Ryan.  She makes you want to punch her. Widow Barns is just one of those women you avoid at every church function.  We all know who she is.

Meantime cousin Elaine (Zoe Saldana) and her fiance Oscar (James Marsden) end up embroiled in a hallucinogenic nightmare when they arrive.  Oscar is beside himself about making a good impression on Elaine’s father.  Oscar wants to marry Elaine and her father can’t stand the guy.  In an effort to calm him down, Elaine gives Oscar a Valium she finds at her brother’s appartement. Her brother is studying to be a pharmacist which is why he has this lying around–pretty convenient.  As you might have guessed Oscar did not take a Valium but a pharmaceutical grade acid.  Oscar ending up naked is to be expected.  It is WHERE he ends up naked that will bring tears of laughter to your eyes.  As I mentioned Oscar is in a fog, it is because of this fog he is in  he thinks he sees the casket move.  After Oscar freaks out Aaron calls a halt to the service so everybody can regroup.

Now things get really over the top with the arrival of  grieving guest Frank Lovett (Peter Dinklage).  This is when all hell truly breaks loose. See, Lovett has a big secret and he is going to share it unless he gets what he is ‘owed’.  Mayhem ensue from here and the film takes on a really frantic pace.

I liked it.  I think it is great comedic talent.  The cast as well as the plot are just fun.  Family friendly go ahead and you slow down and watch Death at a Funeral.  

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