Skip to main content

until death does you part

movie review :: just buried

perhaps it's a nervous reflex born of a fear of my own mortality, but there's very little that says "funny" to me like a dead body. after all, dealing with anxieties is easy if you can laugh at them. unfortunately, a lot more people attempt to create dark humour than ever succeed at it (as with most things), so i'm always a little wary when i'm told about a new film in the genre.

dark comedy done well requires a premise that sits on the line between ridiculous and believable, a group of actors who have to keep poker faces, to convince an audience that they really don't see the humour in the situation at all and an appeal to intellect rather than simply going for the easy laugh. fortunately, this is a movie with all of these things.

the story centres on oliver, a rather hapless, stereotypical nerd who has his late father's (a hilarious cameo appearance by east coast character and actor jeremy akerman) funeral home business foisted on him after the father's death. the business is in decline (the extent of which is only slowly revealed to our hero, but receives a new lease on life (go ahead, groan) when oliver accidentally runs down a local eccentric after a night of drinking with roberta, the comely mortician in his employ. from there, bodies start to accumulate, as oliver and roberta try desperately to cover the initial crime and keep the business afloat.

the acting is excellent all around, in particular canadian stalwart graham greene does a perfect deadpan (again, groan) in a role that was literally written for him and rose byrne, as roberta, is outstanding. the city boy in slightly creepy small town idea has been done to death, but the film has no winks to the audience, no acknowledgment that what's happening isn't real.

the writing is clever and a good deal nastier than a typical hollywood film in this genre. the story does flag a little about three quarters of the way through, but recovers quickly for an ending that is refreshingly unpredictable (again, departing from the "big film" norms).

charming and creepy in equal measure.

Comments

as long as you're here, why not read more?

jihadvertising?

i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:



am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

making faces :: hot stuff, comin' through

i don't even know what to say about the weather. the end of september saw temperatures at a scalding 36c/ 97f outside. this is especially annoying because we've had a moderate summer. most days it rained a little in the morning, the temperatures didn't creep into the 30s too often and there wasn't the normal stretch of a few weeks when it felt like we were living on the sun. now, we've receded into more normal fall weather, although it's still on the warm side for mid-october. that climate change thing is a bitch.

trying to think of something positive in the situation, it does put me in a perfect frame of mind to write about urban decay's naked heat palette. it's the latest in what appears to be an endless series of warm neutral and red eyeshadow palettes that have followed in the footsteps of anastasia's modern renaissance. [which i ultimately decided i didn't need after doing a thorough search of my considerable stash.] i do think that it'…

i agree, smedley [or, smokers totally saved our planet in 1983]

so this conversation happened [via text, so i have evidence and possibly so does the canadian government and the nsa].

dom and i were trying to settle our mutual nerves about tomorrow night's conversion screening, remembering that we've made a fine little film that people should see. which is just about exactly what dom had said when i responded thusly:

me :: i agree smedley. [pauses for a moment] did you get that here?

dom :: no?

me :: the aliens who were looking at earth and then decided it wasn't worth bothering with because people smoked even though it was bad for them?
come to think of it, that might mean that smokers prevented an alien invasion in the seventies.

dom :: what ?!?!?

me :: i've had wine and very little food. [pause] but the alien thing was real. [pause.] well, real on tv.

dom :: please eat something.

of course, i was wrong. the ad in question ran in 1983. this is the part where i would triumphantly embed the ad from youtube, except that the governmen…