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?

fun-raising

no, i am not dead, nor have i been lying incapacitated in a ditch somewhere. i've mostly been preparing for our imminent, epic move, which is actually not so terribly epic, because we found a place quite close to where we are now. in addition, i've been the beneficiary of an inordinately large amount of paying work, which does, sadly, take precedence over blogging, even though you know i'd always rather be with you.

indeed, with moving expenses and medical expenses looming on the horizon, more than can be accounted for even with the deepest cuts in the lipstick budget, dom and i recently did something that we've not done before: we asked for help. last week, we launched a fundraising campaign on go fund me. it can be difficult to admit that you need a helping hand, but what's been overwhelming for both of us is how quick to respond so many people we know have been once we asked. it's also shocking to see how quickly things added up.

most of all, though, the ex…

losers?

just a short time ago, i waxed prosaic about trump supporters who felt betrayed by their candidate pursuing in office the exact things that he said he would. short version: i have no sympathy.

today is a bit different. in the wake of america's bombing of a syrian air strip, in response to a chemical weapons attack by the syrian government, my facebook and twitter feeds were peppered with plaintive shades of "we believed you". these are the people who heard trump say that he wanted the united states to step back and focus on defending its own. indeed, trump did say such things, over and over; america cannot be the policeman of the world. even arch-liberal cynics like me had to admit that this was a refreshing argument to hear from someone outside the paul family, and, could easily have been turned into trump's greatest argument against hillary clinton. [he chose to go another way, which also worked.]

trump also said, repeatedly, that america needed to invest heavily …

long division

after the united states election last year, there were the usual calls for the country to unite behind the new president. that never happens anymore, because, since george w. bush scored a victory in 2004, having launched the country into a war in iraq for no reason, the people on the losing side of a presidential election have been pretty bloody angry about it. democrats hated bush 43. republicans really hated obama. democrats really hate trump.

it didn't help that trump didn't make the typical conciliatory gestures like including a couple of members of the opposite party in his cabinet, or encouraging his party to proceed slowly with contentious legislation. barack obama arguably wasted at least two and as many as six years of his tenure as president trying to play peacemaker before he felt sufficiently safe to just say "screw you guys" and start governing around the ridiculous congress he was forced to deal with. not-giving-a-shit obama was the best president in …