Thursday, April 15, 2010

Almost Sad - Death at a Funeral - Movie Review

Death at a Funeral = C
Written by Dean Craig, Directed by Neil LaBute
Opens Apr. 16th 2010

A mostly Black remake of the British comedy by Dean Craig from all of 3 years ago. It stars some big comedy stars like Chris Rock, Martin Lawrence and Tracy Morgan.

But James Marsden is by far the funniest thing in the movie and steals the whole thing. Granted, he's been given the most to do, but pretty boy Marsden (who has already started expanding his pretty boy repertoire with Hairspray and Enchanted) proves again that his comic timing is impeccable and his facial expressions can be priceless.

With a cast that also includes Zoe Saldana (not blue), Loretta Devine, and Danny Glover (who is too old for this shit), this is basically a Tyler Perry movie for White people. You question my theory? Throw in Peter Dinklage (reprising the exact same role from the British original) and Luke Wilson (can an actor get whiter? Maybe only his brother Owen) and you can't refute it.

Chris Rock does what he can as the central character, while the annoying Martin Lawrence plays the annoying brother, but not even Tracy Morgan can really muster up as big laughs as Marsden alone can do.

In Morgan's recent interview on Oprah, he thanked Tina Fey for "getting him" and he truly owes Fey everytihng, because 30 Rock truly caters to Morgan's comedic sense, while here, he just feels wasted on silly stupid punchlines (as opposed to 30 Rock's absurdly silly stupid (but secretly smart) punchlines).

I still can't believe Neil LaBute, prolific playwright and screenwriter, directed this lightweight silliness. I haven't seen the British original but apparently the script is almost exactly the same, but I'm curious to see how different it all is, because this one feels a bit meandering and cobbled together. The American remake isn't a good movie, but Marsden is so funny that I'd hate for it not to be seen.

Vance at


jeremy said...

I liked Marsden's queer turn in 2005's Heights. And I think the character he plays is the most fun in the whole movie--Alan Tudyk played the role to the hilt in the original.

Unknown said...

I am bit curios and intrigue on how can this movie go. Hoping it can surpass the first movie :D

Meg said...

The original is too good. No need to remake.