Friday, August 17, 2007

Ecstasy and Old Lace

In the interests of full disclosure, I have a couple of friends who worked on the movie Death at a Funeral. Having said that, I have a lot of friends who work on a lot of movies that I don't plug. Nothing against those movies. It's just that a movie has to be really different and special for me to plug it.

Death at a Funeral is different and special.

I encourage anyone who wants to laugh to see this movie, which opens tonight. The commercials make it seem sillier and more slapsticky than it is. It is a farce, make no mistake about it, and it times it will make you laugh really hard. I'm talking Fawlty Towers hard.

And it also has what I call the Comedy of Discomfort. The wonderful, guilty pleasure of watching someone else squirm as the hole they're in gets deeper. If you like either incarnation of The Office, you know what I mean.

And the movie has sophistication and heart -- without being remotely maudlin -- as well as something else you don't see enough of: situation comedy.

The term "situation comedy" has come to be an insult, associated with "jokey" TV comedy.

But "situation comedy" is really a compliment. It means the comedy arises from genuine and rich situations and characters. That it's truthful. And that it's really funny, and keeps getting funnier as it goes along.

Death at a Funeral keeps getting funnier. And you really don't see a lot of that these days.

The cast is fantastic, the writing and direction spot-on, and even the English countryside looks gorgeous without looking "postcardy."

Check out Death at a Funeral. Reward folks who make movies like this, and maybe if we're lucky they'll make more of them.


gina said...

I'm so glad to hear you say good things about this. It's my kind of movie and I've been wondering if it was going to be any good.

I'll be seeing it!

The Crutnacker said...

Read the AV Club's interview with Frank Oz. It's quite interesting.