This dark British comedy is highlighted by an ensemble cast and even had an American remake just three years later.

It’s the funeral of Daniel’s father. Daniel is shocked to see the funeral director brought the wrong coffin. Eventually, the right coffin has arrived at Daniel’s home in time for the family to arrive. The family includes Daniel’s grief stricken mom Sandra, uncles Alfie and Victor, cousins Martha, Troy, and Howard along with Martha’s boyfriend Simon and ex Justin, who still harbors feelings for her.

Simon, being nervous about Victor, is given a Valium by Martha. However, Troy reveals that the Valium is actually LSD and Simon goes on a trip like never before, nearly ruining the funeral in the process. Jstin won’t leave Martha alone, and Robert, Daniel’s more successful brother, arrives bringing back feelings of envy. However, Peter, a mysterious diminutive man, arrives at the funeral and tells Daniel who exactly he is. This sends Daniel in a tailspin of a day as he is trying to make this funeral go right, but let’s face it. It’s not going to happen.

Director (and former Muppet legend) Frank Oz along with screenwriter Dean Craig take us on a day at the life of what happens at a funeral. Well, in this case, how not to have a funeral. From the opening moments to where the wrong coffin was delivered, then you know things are going to hit a domino effect as to things going wrong. And what better way to showcase that than with an ensemble cast who showcase some comedy gold?

Matthew MacFadyen is great as older son Daniel, who is trying to make things go right with the funeral and finds himself in one mishap after another. From getting jealous when successful yet arrogant brother Robert arrives to Martha’s boyfriend Simon, in his LSD trip, knocks over the coffin, leading to an even more series of revelations and insanity mixed in. This includes Martha’s ex Justin, played by Ewen Bremner, trying to woo back Martha mixed with Peter Dinklage’s hilarious revelation of who he is and how this affects the entire day.

Rupert Graves, as Robert, has great chemistry with MacFadyen as they are at constant odds with each other and yet, learning upon the shocking secret, work together to find a way to not let the secret get out. Alan Tudyk is hilarious as Simon, who spends most of the film tripping on LSD and doing some unbelievable things, including going on the roof completely in the buff. Andy Nyman’s Howard is the frazzled cousin who finds himself at the constant wrath of Uncle Alfie, hilariously played by Peter Vaughan. There is one gross out moment of the film but altogether this is a fun wacky British comedy. So funny that Craig would write a 2010 remake with a cast including Chris Rock, Martin Lawrence, and Kevin Hart among others.

Death at a Funeral is a fun ensemble comedy about how not to have a funeral. Peter Dinklage is definitely a standout in his role of the mystery man at the funeral, but the hijinks are there and the ensemble cast is terrific.


MGM and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment present a Parabolic Pictures production in association with Stable Way Entertainment. Director: Frank Oz. Producers: Andreas Grosch, Sidney Kimmel, Lawrence Malkin, Diana Phillips, and Share Stallings. Writer: Dean Craig. Cinematography: Oliver Curtis. Editing: Beverley Mills.

Cast: Matthew MacFadyen, Keeley Hawes, Andy Nyman, Ewen Bremner, Daisy Donovan, Alan Tudyk, Jane Asher, Kris Marshall, Rupert Graves, Peter Vaughan, Peter Egan, Thomas Wheatley, Peter Dinklage.