“ Genre: Comedy / Suitable for 15 years and over / Director: Neil LaBute / Actors: Zoe Saldana, Keith David, James Marsden, Luke Wilson, Chris Rock ... / DVD released 2010-09-27 at Sony Pictures Home Ent. UK / Features of the DVD: PAL „
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I loved the British version of Death at a Funeral (I watched it like 15 times!) so when I found out about this film I was really excited but unfortunately this film was terrible. I had such high hopes for this film when I found out it had Tracy Morgan in it (30 Rock is one of my favourite programs) but I was really disappointed by this film gave up on this film after only half an hour. I thought that with a great cast and a Hollywood budget that this was going to be amazing but it wasn't. I don't really know what it was about this film that I didn't like about this film but it just wasn't funny at all. Well maybe that it is a bit harsh there was funny bits but they were all the bits that were copied straight from the British version. Honestly I thought that this was just a completely pointless remake.
I had wanted to see this for a while but didnt get round to seeing it at the cinema so I added it to my DVD rental list and got round to watching it yesterday. Although I watched this on DVD, this is a film only review as I never bother with any extras.
Aaron and Ryan's father has recently died. His request that his funeral was at his home has been arranged and the funeral is taking place today. Understandably, emotions are running high and this is not just because of their father's death, there are a lot of other things going on too.
Aaron is worried about doing a reading at the service, especially because everyone automatically assumes that his younger brother Ryan will be doing it as he is a writer. In addition to this, his mother keeps making comments about the fact that she has no grandchildren, despite him and his wife trying. Picking the worst moments, his wife insists that they try for a baby numerous times a day, every day, despite it being his fathers funeral!
In addition to this, there are a number of other problems which are preventing the funeral from running smoothly, there is a relative who has accidentally taken drugs, an uncle who is annoyed with his daughter and Ryan is as arrogant as ever. In addition to this, an unexpected and uninvited guest turns up...
I enjoyed this film. It was very funny and there was always something going on so there was never a dull moment.
Aaron was the main character in the film. As we met him first, I felt a bit protective over him and in addition to this, he did usually seem to be the one who was most down to earth and respectable. He was obviously very stressed on the day of the funeral and things just went from bad to worse for him so I felt very sorry for him!
I didnt like the character of Ryan because he obviously thought he was so much better than his elder brother and he was very arrogant. I found that he was not very supportive to Aaron, especially considering their father had just died.
The acting in the film was very good. There was a lot of actors who I had seen before and the acting was strong throughout.
I did like the plot of the film. There is a surprise in the film which I was not expecting and the film does centre around this. The plot was something I had not seen in a film before so I felt it was quite fresh and new.
The plot flowed well and I enjoyed watching the film. The film ran for 92 minutes which I thought was the perfect time as it was not too long but it covered everything that needed to be covered.
The film was released in 2010.
It was directed by Neil LaBute.
It stars Chris Rock, Martin Lawrence and Keith David.
It ran for 92 minutes and is rated a 15 in the UK.
IMDB give it a rating of 5.3/10.
A decent comedy, worth a watch.
Just to begin this review, I have discussed this with the powers that be at Dooyoo and they mentioned that although I am reviewing the UK Original version of 'Death at a Funeral' rather than the Hollywood remake, this should still be included against this picture and description.
A few people had watched the Chris Rock/Martin Lawrence film remake of this, however as i'm not a huge fan of Lawrence, I thought I would try out the English original of this film, directed by Frank Oz before moving on to watch the American remake.
Set in a quaint English village at the home that Daniel (Matthew MacFadyen) and his wife Jane (Keeley Hawes) share with Daniel's parents. The film takes place on the date of the funeral of Daniel's father.
As with all the best British farces, there are a number of disparate plot strands which all begin to meet in the middle, firstly Daniel and Jane want to buy a flat and move away from his mother (Jane Asher), but it seems slightly cold following the death of her husband to broach this subject with her.
Also Daniel's selfish brother Robert (Rupert Graves), who is a famous novellist has returned from New York from the funeral, however he spends his share of the funeral costs on a first class plane ticket rather than the funeral, which causes Daniel more hassle, as he has to explain to Jane where their home deposit has gone. He also has to contend with writing the eulogy and explaining to expectant guests why Robert won't be doing it.
Other guests have their own issues, Daniel and Robert's cousin Martha (Daisy Donovan) arrives with her fiance, Simon (Alan Tudyk) and her brother Troy (Kris Marshall) who is a pharmaceutical student. Unfortunately in his nervous haste to make a good impression on Victor (Peter Egan), Martha and Troy's arrogant father, simon takes some valium given to him by Martha which actually turn up to be industrial strength halluciogenics.
As the funeral begins, a mysterious dwarf, Peter (Peter Dinklage) introduces himself to Daniel, explaining that he needs to talk to him, he then explains how he knows Daniel's father and attempts to blackmail him. Things degenerate as Peter is kidnapped, Daniel and Robert row about their responsibilities and Simon climbs naked onto the house roof, before an ending which actually had me crying with laughter.
 Matthew Macfadyen as Daniel
 Rupert Graves as Robert
 Peter Dinklage as Peter
 Alan Tudyk as Simon
 Daisy Donovan as Martha
 Kris Marshall as Troy
 Ewen Bremner as Justin
 Peter Vaughan as Uncle Alfie
 Andy Nyman as Howard
 Jane Asher as Sandra
 Keeley Hawes as Jane
 Peter Egan as Victor
 Thomas Wheatley as The Reverend
Shot in 2007, this is a great example of how we can still make wonderful comedy in this country, shot at Ealing Studio's, this farce is hilarious, it really was such a welcome surprise that I initially rented it but then went out and bought myself and my sister copies on Amazon for £4.99 each.
Reminiscent of classic farces, this isn't about any one actor, the whole cast work perfectly together, the pieces of this silly comedy meld together into a really funny film. For me special kudos need to go to Matthew MacFadyen who is the central character and the calm at the centre of this comedic storm, Rupert Graves is excellent as the droll, sarcastic selfish Robert, Kris Marshall has fun as the drug supplying brother, whilst Alan Tudyk excels as the sensible Simon, who inadvertently drugs himself to the eyeballs. Daisy Donovan and Keeley Hawes are good in support, but don't really have too much to do whilst Ewan Bremmer is suitably leery as the lechy Justin. Peter Dinklage is excellent as Peter, and for fact fans is the only cast member who also appears in the american remake, he keeps a straight face during some hilarious scenes and is definitely getting more screen time after his excellent role in 'In Bruges' also. Peter Egan and Jane Asher are good in their roles, whilst Andy Nyman stands out as the hypochondriac Howard, throw in a vicar for good measure and you have all the ingredients of a classic British farce.
This is a funny film that involves elements of chance and some hilarious slapstick involving drugs, toilets and nudity, I was shocked at how funny I found this and would definitely recommend it as something you shouldn't expect too much from. It is so much funnier because of the setting and the genteel nature of the family, but as things unravel every character reveals either good or very, very bad sides of their personality, with hilarious results, the last but one scene is hilarious for so many reasons.
The film is well directed and well paced, it won't change your life, but it will make you laugh out loud, it's a good old fashioned comedy, which I understand is a lot better than the remake, but I will save judgement until I have seen it.
I have read reviews suggesting this is weak and old fashioned, well perhaps in its plotting and in its classical farce scenario it is, but the cast play things straight and the scenarios develop freely and work into a classical comedy, the scenes involving Marshall and Nyman in particular made me laugh, it starts slowly and builds up a real head of steam, I think we should support British Films, even with American directors and this is a very funny example of the kind of story we do so well.
Available in most good dvd shops, I bought my copy for £4.99 and have recommended it to friends as something not so many people would be aware of.
There isn't any real subtext to this story to discover, it is just a very funny family film, although the language can be a bit choice, especially at the end!!!
When it comes to the day of your father's funeral the easier the day can be the better but for Aaron it looks like being a rather stressful day when the funeral parlour deliver the wrong body. It seems that if something is going to go wrong then it probably will. It's not made any easier by the return of his writer brother Ryan who everyone wants to give the Eulogy but that falls to Aaron. Couple that with their cousins boyfriend taking a valium that turns out to be more than it seems and an unknown visitor who is desperate to talk to Aaron about his father and it seems like it will be a very stressful and eventful day.
It would be fair to say that when I saw the advert for the 2010 version of Death at a Funeral I was a little bemused. It had only been 3 years since Frank Oz had directed the original English version of the film and now it was getting the Chris Rock Hollywood treatment already. The original was a very dark, but rather funny movie and given the obviously larger budget I was interested to see what Hollywood would do with it. Thankfully they stayed true to the core elements of the movie, only tweaking it slightly to make the comical element a little more obvious for the American audience.
The Hollywood version employed Lakeview Terrace director Neil LaBute to give Death at a Funeral the new treatment. On the whole he has done a pretty good job and whilst he has made the comedy a lot more obvious to suit the market place it works just as well. It probably helps that a lot of the jokes and funnier moments from the original are kept the same, just with the addition of the Americanisms. Like the original there wasn't a huge amount that LaBute could get wrong and by letting the film follow the same path his direction works really well.
It will also have helped that original writer Dean Craig returned to make the alterations to his original script. He's added just enough twists and new elements to keep the film fresh for those who have seen the original, but keeping to the original storyline has really helped. Whilst this is all done rather well I do still wonder why it's all been done. It is a good film and has some very funny moments but it's not what I would call a classic and this remake doesn't seem to really make any sense. Obviously the original British version wouldn't have worked as well in the American market but I didn't think that the original received that much coverage for that really to have been a worry.
One of the main advantages of the new version was a few more stars in the lead roles and perhaps therein lay the real point of the remake for the American market. The original version relied on British actors to make it work but by bringing in stars like Chris rock, Martin Lawrence and Danny Glover it gives the film a bit more pulling power at the box office. Taking the lead role I did find that Chris Rock was as funny as ever. He has a dry wit that really suits the darker side of the comical appeal in this movie. He works very well opposite Lawrence and the two seem to really play off each other and create funnier moments through their performance.
The addition of Danny Glover to the cast was a real surprise. To begin with I didn't realise it was him until a rather clever inclusion of his I'm too old for this line from Leathal Weapon. The only surviving cast member from the original is Peter Dinklage who plays Frank in this version the former lover of Aaron's dad. The whole cast really work well together and given the number of star actors in the movie it really is going to appeal to the more fame centred film going audience. The reworking of the cast and the family from a white British family to an affluent Black American family works really well and perhaps justifies the decision to remake the movie.
Overall I would have to say that I enjoyed this version of Death at a Funeral as much as the original version. It has some different elements to it, but they have stuck to the original premise and kept the funnier moments from the original. I'm still not convinced that by remaking the movie it will make the kind of money they would have been expecting but it is interesting to see the American take on the original movie. I would say that if you like your comedy a little darker then watch this and the original as both offer something slightly different.