Sunday, August 19, 2007

Death at a Funeral

I managed to sneak a couple of hours away from editing last night to go and see Frank Oz's new film, "Death at a Funeral".

The film opens quite slowly, bringing all of the characters together to the funeral. Well, I would say that it opened slowly to me. It seemed as though the first two reels got plenty of laughs from everybody in the audience but me. By the beginning of reel three I was beginning to feel as though my $7.50 had gone to waste but the film really started to pick up.

I think, perhaps, the trailer was partly to blame for the dryness of the build up in the first two reels. We spend 25 carefully constructed minutes building to a key moment in the film that everyone who has watched the trailer has seen. It's the scene where Peter Dinklage explains to the deceased man's son that they were lovers. From that moment on, the film is laugh out loud funny until the shot before the last one. (The last shot in the film was a little disappointing to me, but whatever.)

All of the plot threads and characters that Frank Oz put together in the first twenty five minutes really pay off in the most hilarious ways. In fact, I laughed so hard during the rest of the film, I almost forgot how bored I was through the first two reels.

Overall, this is a fairly competently put together comedy. It's better than most comedies that have come out but it's not exactly an instant classic. It might turn out to be one of those comedies that really finds its own on video a decade from now, like Stallone's Oscar (shut up, I really like that movie) or Stanley Tucci's The Imposters (seriously, check this movie out again. It's like some type of 30s screwball comedy shot in the 90s.) Or even Frank Oz's own Bowfinger, that movie is hilarious.

This film is certainly worth watching at least once. Time will tell if it's worth watching repeatedly.

1 comment:

Brian Boyko said...

Hello - my name is Brian Boyko. While I haven't yet seen "This Divided State," it's #1 on my Netflix queue.

The reason I'm leaving a comment is because I was hoping we could talk a bit. I'm hoping to make my first feature-length documentary very soon, and I could use some advice from someone who has got a film "in the can".

Let me know if you would mind talking about it. My e-mail address is brian dot boyko at gmail dot com.


-- Brian.