25 August 2013 | lornloxor
A brilliant British farce, one of the funniest comedies ever
A funeral is really the perfect setting for a British comedy. There's just something about the British and funerals contrasted with all the silliness that's going on that makes me laugh hysterically. The start of the film really sets the tone so well. You think it's going to be something serious but then the screw up by the funeral home's staff immediately changes the tone to a comedy and everything starts to carefully build up to a grand farce of mishaps, secrets and misunderstandings which eventually come together at the film's climax. Farce is definitely a better description for the movie than black comedy because you don't feel guilty when you're laughing at all the horrible things that are happening in the movie.
Yes there's crassness in the movie but it is also smart, subtle and it has a ton of heart. You need to have patience with this film in the start though because it carefully builds up the setting and tension and puts the needed pieces in place in the beginning for the later hilarious scenes to work as intended. When the comedy really starts going, boy is it worth the wait! The way the family tries to deal with the problems in secret while also trying to keep the funeral going is absolute comedy gold. The disruptions of calmness and decency the British appreciate are expertly crafted in this film.
The cast does a wonderful job. Andy Nyman does an especially awesome job as a hypochondriac stressing about his skin condition (he just can't catch a break!). Alan Tudyk absolutely steals the show, his reactions and behavior during the funeral are so comical (loved that guy on Tucker and Dale vs. Evil by the way) and he can do a surprisingly good British accent. Matthew Macfadyen was a great choice to play the straight-faced son who is in charge of the funeral arrangements. Peter Vaughan as Uncle Alfie was also entertaining as the slightly anachronistic swearing old uncle. There's really too many good performances here to count them, everyone simply acts fantastically. What was also great was that the many characters aren't put there just to do one thing but they're cleverly woven into many hilarious subplots.
The music is used sparingly but when it's used it definitely enhances the comedic moments well. Oh and that toilet scene, wow, I've probably never laughed that hard. Gross-out humor is used where it's appropriate and the situation and the characters are properly primed for to get those priceless reactions. Man, I wish I could watch this movie over and over again without knowing that I've watched it before. It's just such a perfectly crafted farce. Few comedies have ever made me and my friends laugh out loud for as long as this one. Definitely give this film a go.