Death at a Funeral (2010)

Death at a Funeral (2010) — So Neil LaBute used to a be an edgy film-maker with flicks like In the Company of Men and The Shape of Things, but has since gone seriously Hollywood with the Wicker Man remake and Lakeview Terrace.  There’s nothing totally wrong wrong with going Hollywood except those were by all accounts horrible films (didn’t see either myself so I can’t say).  Now, as with The Wicker Man, he’s remaking a Brit flick.  What’s weird is that the original is only three years old and in English.  I’ve seen foreign language films get remade that quickly but an English movie?  Whatever.  The movie itself is not bad.  In fact it has a lot of the same things going for it as the original (minus the Brit accents that make everything funnier).  That’s probably because Dean Craig was the screenwriter for both version and only minorly tweaked this stateside version.  Taken on its own merits this is a pretty good and funny movie.  Chris Rock, James Marsden, Zoë Saldaña, Danny Glover, Regina Hall, Loretta Devine, Tracy Morgan (doing pretty much what he always does), and Peter Dinklage (again) all really help to sell the material and get a lot of laughs doing it.  The weak links in the cast are Martin Lawrence and Luke Wilson who bring nothing of value to their roles.  As I said completely on its own merits this film a is a pretty good comedy but it is haunted and weighed down by the overwhelming questions of “WHY?”  The original was hilarious and this new version doesn’t particularly add anything of great value.  Okay the family is not African American instead of English but this film doesn’t dwell on race (which is really to its credit).  I guess in the end it’s the same logic as a play.  You would go see a play you’ve seen before to see how a different cast and director handle the same material (LaBute even has a theater background).  That’s a pretty much what this is.  The Frank Oz-directed version stands as the superior rendition but it’s not bad to get a different interpretation of the material, especially since it works pretty well.  They just could have waited longer than three damn years to do it.

One Response to “Death at a Funeral (2010)”
  1. The absurdity didn’t work for me. It was rather bland.

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