An Evil Genius is occasionally truly evil. He has a strange tendency to show me movies that I don’t know I need to see until after I see them. He also laughs maniacally while doing this. #truth

One movie he showed me recently is Frank Oz’s 2007 film Death at a Funeral. As I mentioned in my post yesterday, I’m a great fan of Frank Oz, both as an actor and a director, so I admit to looking forward to the film a bit. However, I had no idea just how bizarre it would be.

Daniel, played by Matthew Macfadyen, is in charge of his father’s funeral. However, from the beginning, when the morticians bring the wrong corpse to the funeral home, nothing goes right. His successful brother Robert (Rupert Graves), a writer, spends the money he was supposed to give to Daniel for the funeral on first class air travel. Daniel’s wife Jane (Keeley Hawes) wants to put a down payment on a flat. And his father’s secret gay lover Peter (Peter Dinklage) is trying to extort money from them by threatening to show off intimate photos to the deceased’s wife (Jane Asher).

Daniel’s cousin Martha’s (Daisy Donovan) fiancĂ© Simon (Alan Tudyk) takes hallucinogenic drugs that Martha finds in her brother Troy’s (Kris Marshall) apartment in a Valium bottle, causing Simon to act insane, and incurring the wrath of Martha’s father Victor (Peter Egan). Uncle Alfie (Peter Vaughn) is wheelchair bound, cantankerous, and the bane of Daniel’s friend Howard’s (Andy Nyman) existence. Martha’s one night stand Justin (Ewen Bremner) has shown up to try and win her over. And nobody wants Daniel to give the eulogy.

Are you confused? So was I. There were points when I had no idea what was going on. So many characters, so much chaos. But the film was brilliant, funny, and Daniel’s eulogy nails the essence of a life confusingly but well-lived.

I recommend Death at a Funeral for those who enjoy bizarre humor. The cast is amazing, and somehow Frank Oz holds the chaos together to create an entertaining romp. If you’ve got an hour and a half to kill and no one around to judge you, take a chance on Death at a Funeral. Just make sure the officiant is out of there by three.

***/5 stars

Take care,
<3 elegy