Film / Death at a Funeral

Death at a Funeral is a 2007 British Black Comedy film directed by Frank Oz, with an ensemble cast including Peter Dinklage and Alan Tudyk.

A family tries to give an appropriate funeral for its late patriarch. Cue epic sibling rivalry, accidental acid tripping, dwarf secret gay lovers, nudity, blackmail and caskets being knocked over.

In what must be something of a record for an English language movie, an American remake starring Chris Rock, Tracy Morgan, Zoe Saldana, James Marsden and Danny Glover was released just three years later in 2010, which kept the overall tone of a black comedy... but not in that way.

The original film contains examples of:

  • Bound and Gagged: Daniel and Robert tie Peter up when he threatens to tell everyone about his affair with their father.
  • Butt-Monkey: Daniel, especially when compared to his brother Robert. Howard, too.
  • Contemplating Your Hands: During Simon's trip.
    Simon: Why are my hands so big?
  • Cramming the Coffin: The deceased's diminutive gay lover gets knocked out after his attempts to blackmail the two sons goes wrong, and the sons, thinking that they'd accidentally killed him, hide him in their father's coffin. Naturally, he wakes up at the worst possible time.
  • Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: Uncle Alfie curses, hits family members with his cane, orders people around, and bluntly says what's on his mind simply because he's old.
  • She Is All Grown Up: Robert observes this about Katie.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Between Daniel, The Unfavorite of nearly everyone in the family, and Robert, whom everyone loves because of his successful writing career.
  • Stalker With a Crush: Justin is this towards Martha, so much so he's a borderline male Abhorrent Admirer. Justin constantly follows Martha around and hits on her no matter how many times she tells him she's in love with Simon. Justin immediately loses interest after finding out Martha is pregnant.

The American remake contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Most of the people in the original are mostly fairly normal looking or somewhat attractive. The American film includes the likes of Zoe Saldana and James Marsden.
  • Amazing Freaking Grace: James Marsden bursts into song while tripping.
  • Ascended Extra: The lead character's wife (Keeley Hawes in the original and Regina Hall in the remake) gets a somewhat bigger role and a subplot about trying to get pregnant.
  • Foreign Remake: Made... three years after the first one's theatrical release in America.
  • Race Lift: The entire cast with the exception of Frank/Peter (Peter Dinklage played the same part in both films), Simon/Oscar and Justin/Derek.
    • Which allowed for this bit of dialogue:
    Aaron: Our father was having gay sex with a guy who could fit in his pocket... and you're mad 'cause he's white?
    • The original contained a similar line, but the sticking point was that he was American, not white.
    • Also used to punch up the joke in the opening scene, where the funeral home not only delivers the wrong body, but it's an Asian man.
  • Remake Cameo: A variation. Peter Dinklage actually played in the same role in both films.
  • She Is All Grown Up: Ryan says this when he sees that a family friend has grown from a girl to a voluptuous young woman.