Death at a Funeral
Having reportedly had his hands burned by the studios, who demanded re-shoots and re-cuts to what turned out to be a risible remake of The Stepford Wives, director Frank Oz (Mr Muppets to you and me) turns his not untalented mitts to this much more modest affair: a very British farce about sex and death. Set in a country house during the wake for a much-loved patriarch, Death at a Funeral uses the supposedly solemn occasion to out all manner of skeletons from the closets of various family members and friends, not least the dead dad himself.
The roundly entertaining ensemble cast – featuring Matthew Macfadyen, Keeley Hawes, Rupert Graves, Daisy Donovan, Ewen Bremner, Alan Tudyk and Peter Dinklage – rise to the blackly comic task of dealing with potentially scandalous situations brought about by sibling rivalry, wanton lust, drug abuse and good old fashioned blackmail. Oz, no stranger to comedy based around unbearably awkward moments with Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Bowfinger under his belt, directs the increasingly lewd proceedings with an even hand. Though very watchable, Death at a Funeral could nevertheless have benefited from a sharper script. As it is, UK writer Dean Craig’s debut doesn’t provide its talented cast and crew with quite the right level of humour.
General release from Fri 2 Nov.