Death at a Funeral (2007)

Rating: ★★★★☆

Parties are places for fellowship and happiness. Rob Schneider films are instruments of torture. Funerals are ceremonies allowing people to withdraw their sorrow. “Death at a Funeral” is a comedy that chooses to release its tricks in a place where it is not supposed to.

The tricks themselves are nothing new and has been used by countless of comedies before. It comprises a modest gentleman taking the wrong drugs, turning him to a hallucinating idiot. There is an old man who complains all the time. He curses when things are going bad. He curses when nothing is going bad. (May God bless his grandchildren.) Gags about naked men in public and jokes about a man’s feces finding its way to another man’s orifice are given a relative amount of screen time.

This kind of farce, slapstick, and silly humor no longer inspires laughs when found in movies that have the same plot structure and style of a comedy starring Adam Sandler. But in Death of a Funeral, the screwball comedy works. And this is due to one large aspect of the movie: Location. Find a naked, hallucinating man on The Jerry Springer show, and it’s a typical day. Find a naked, hallucinating man in the middle of a funeral, and it’s funny.

At the start of the film, we are introduced to the invited guests that are on their way to pay visit to the deceased. Again, in funerals, everyone is expected to behave, give respect, and share encouraging words with one another. But while the characters are yet to arrive, we get a hint of their day-to-day personalities, issues, phobias, desires, and motives. Once near the coffin, they all try to evoke the same sad face that I made when I first saw “Twilight.”

Eventually, things go horribly wrong, and things get immensely funny, because that’s when real personalities start to show, and it’s the kind of personalities that you don’t usually find when attending a funeral.

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Death at a Funeral (2007)