Friday, October 1, 2010

Death at a Funeral - *1/2

I don't know why the original Death at a Funeral needed an update a few years after it was made, but apparently it did, and we have it now, from acclaimed writer/director Neil LaBute. I also don't know why acclaimed writer/director Neil LaBute needed to venture into the low-brow comedy territory, but here we are. The new Death at a Funeral features a host of aimlessly crude jokes split equally between four different subplots with different areas of a family coming together for a funeral. A good portion of these jokes, mainly the ones about poop, or at the expense of a homosexual midget blackmailing the family with racy photos of their deceased father, or delivered by Martin Lawrence, fail completely. Others actually are pretty funny at times, though I'm doubtful it has anything to do with the awful writing, and everything to do with the actors performing them, Tracy Morgan and the underrated James Marsden in particular. The rest of the comedy stems from reactions of people hearing comments through paper-thin walls and zany sitcom moments, like when the guys think they've accidentally killed the midget while their wheel-chair bound uncle takes a shit in the next room. I think I'd rather have been shitting in the next room while this was going on as well, because I'm pretty sure that's what Mr. LaBute was doing instead of directing it.

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