When Oliver Whynacht (Baruchel) inherits his estranged father's funeral home, he discovers it is almost bankrupt. After a night of drinking with Roberta Knickel (Rose Byrne), he kills a local man with his truck. Roberta, who is both the local coroner and funeral home embalmer, helps Oliver stage the body so that it appears like an accident. However, when suspicion is raised that the death may not be accidental, Oliver and Roberta realize that they have to kill again. This need to hide their first crime and to keep the funeral home in business, find Oliver and Roberta falling in love and participating in a series of "accidental" deaths.
This film contains examples of:
- Accidental Murder: Oliver fatally hitting Armin Imholz with his truck. At least, that's what Roberta wants him to believe.
- Batman Gambit: Every murder (and reaction to it) was anticipated by Roberta.
- Chekhov's Gun: Armin Imholz' walking stick and the bloody hankerchief with Mr. Pickles and Oliver's blood on it.
- Chekhov's Gunman: The secretary/groundskeeper/accountant.
- Chekhov's Skill: Roberta's position as town mortician/coroner/corpse dresser is what allows them to make so many of the pair's kills look like accidents.
- Coming and Going: The montage of the now-booming business coming into the funeral home is intersped with cuts of Roberta and Oliver making rather...interesting uses of the funeral parlor facilities.
- Death by Looking Up: Roberta's father, courtesy of Oliver and a minivan suspended by a junkyard magnet.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Roberta murders (or coerces Oliver into murdering) no less than 7 people- including Oliver himself, all because she felt the funeral home belonged to her after the death and years of faithful service of her mother.
- Divorce Requires Death: Roberta to Oliver; she was never in love with him, anyway.
- Dying Declaration of Love: Oliver to Roberta. note
- Family Business: The funeral parlor becomes one for Oliver though Roberta belives it should be hers.
- Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: Pickles certainly seems to think so...about his teenage neighbor and her girlfriend.
- Go Out with a Smile: Oliver doesn't actually die with one, but Roberta fixes that.
- Nosebleed: Oliver gets them frequently thoughout the movie; though it's established this is due more towards nervousness/fear than arousal.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Pickles, right through the eye.
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Roberta is far more assertive and physical than Oliver.
- Murder Is the Best Solution: Oliver slips more and more into this mindset whenever another obstacle arises. Roberta always had it.
- Parental Incest: Oliver starts shtupping his stepmother on the side. To be fair, he'd never even met her until after became she became his ex-stepmother.
- Self-Induced Allergic Reaction: Oliver allows Roberta to kiss him with a mouthful of peanutsnote , knowing he has an Epipen in his pocket or so he thinks.
- Serial Killer: Oliver and Roberta both end up becoming this.
- Smug Snake: Wallace Snarr, owner and operator of the rival funeral parlor poaching all their business.
- Shout-Out: To The Empire Strikes Back:
- Oliver: I love you.
Roberta: I know.
- Trophy Wife: Oliver's ex-stepmother.
- Unexpected Inheritance: Grocery delivery boy Oliver never dreamed he'd receive 100% of his estranged father's possesssions and failing business. Neither did Roberta.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Oliver starts out as your typical gawky, self-effacing Jay Baruchel role...
- Shotgun Wedding: Oliver and Roberta have one. The baby might not even be his.