Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketDeath at a Funeral MGM

There is something about British comedy that puts it light years beyond anything American. It is a known fact that every successful sitcom in the states was stolen from the Brits; and not just sitcoms but just about every hit show in any genre. So it is no surprise that the funniest movie of the year (and actually the funniest film since Little Miss Sunshine) is a British comedy – Death at a Funeral. Written by Dean Craig and directed by Frank Oz (Yoda, The Muppets) this film is laugh out loud from start to finish. It holds no punches and delivers off the wall characters in a chaotic plot.

As family and friends gather for the funeral of a beloved husband and father, little do they know what secret is about to unfold. The secret, though big, is over-shadowed by everything else going on in the film. This allows for humorous side stories. Peter Dinklage (Elf, The Station Agent) is the stranger who brings the secret, and as always he delivers a remarkable performance. While he is battling it out with the deceased’s two sons, Daniel (Matthew Macfadyen / Pride and Prejudice) and Robert (Rupert Graves / V for Vendetta), the rest of the family are not faring too well, either.

Simon (Alan Tudyk / Firefly) steals the film as a nervous boyfriend who wants only to make a good impression on his future father-in-law. When he is mistakenly given a hallucinogenic drug instead of valium it is all anyone can do to keep him stable and focused. He plays the part expertly and you can’t help but laugh out loud at his predicament. Hats off to Dean Craig for taking a very somber event and creating a worst case scenario with such hilarity. He turns a small gathering of mourners into a chaotic, family feud, the ending of which will have you rolling with laughter.

Death at a Funeral is rated R for language and drug content. There is also a scene of brief male nudity that is non-sexual in nature and will be non-offensive to most. It is totally in the vain of British humor. The language may be your only concern as the F word is pretty prominent and the Lord’s name taken in vain a few times. Though used totally as comic relief, it is there regardless. If you love British humor and comedies that are witty and at times over the top, this film should be first on your list. Oz who also directed Dirty Rotten Scoundrels has returned with a killer. I give it 4.5 out 5 Eulogies. Just know before you go.

The Mungle ( matt@mungleshow.com )

Matt is a member of the North Texas Film Critics Association (NTFCA) and co-hosts a weekly radio feature, The Mungles on Movies, with his wife Cindy. For additional reviews, interview clips and great DVD giveaways, visit the website www.mungleshow.com

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