Eulogy – 2 out of 5
Thanks to Zoolander, every time I see the word "eulogy" I automatically pronounce it in Derek’s own unique way. That statement really has nothing to do with this film besides the fact that this movie is called Eulogy. Additionally, I couldn’t think of any other way to start this review so I went with that…*cough*
Okay, let’s just get to the synopsis.
|I'm a little surprised this film's tagline wasn't "This Family Puts the 'Fun'|
in Funeral." Seems like a waste of a terrible joke.
After the death of Edmund Collins (Rip Torn), his children gather with their now widowed mother (Piper Laurie) in order to come together, grieve, arrange the funeral and get into the usual pettiness that comes with being part of a family. For example, the one sister Lucy (Kelly Preston) brings her girlfriend (Famke Janssen) with and this seems to entice their one brother Skip (Ray Romano) but annoy their sister Alice (Debra Winger). Meanwhile, Kate (Zooey Deschanel) is asked to give the eulogy for her grandfather’s funeral but, along the way on all this mischief, she comes in contact with an old flame (Jesse Bradford). Will this family put aside their squabbling for the sake of the funeral or will it all end in disaster?
|You can probably guess why Alice is against Lucy's sexual orientation...it's the |
most obvious reason ever. It's the same reason why so many anti-gay legislators
have found themselves subjects of controversy.
This was one of those obscure comedies I never heard of but found by chance on Netflix because it was recommended to me (Name drop, Netflix. Pay me, please!). I took a chance on it because there are actors in the film I enjoy; for example, Hank Azaria plays Zooey Deschanel’s father and I love that guy. Additionally, I’m a big fan of movies that center on family troubles. There’s something easily relatable to them because, no matter how well we get along with our siblings and parents, we can all relate to those times where we argue and fight over the smallest, most meaningless shit. In the back of my mind I had hoped this film would result in an experience similar to the one I had with This Is Where I Leave You but the final product was significantly less entertaining.
|Kate reunites with an old flame? Surely this can't mean they'll find their|
old spark and get back together.
There was some underlying potential for family-based fun in this film but considering that the writer/director of this film never created a feature before this and never went on to make anything else is very evident in the—I hesitate to call the production "amateurish"…but the lack of experience is very evident in the direction of the actors and their lackluster reactions to nearly everything and the haphazard style the gags that come at you.
|Skip and his children are hormone driven characters and it leads to some serious|
strange moments when they are very curious about Lucy's lesbian relationship.
That's your sister, Skip and it's your Aunt, boys!
There are some decent performers in the film like Ray Romano, Famke Janssen, Zooey Deschanel, Debra Winger, Rip Torn and Hank Azaria. With the right script and right director guiding them, these actors can really make some amazing scenes to watch but this just isn’t seen in the film. Most of the actors look like they just don’t care and did this film either because they were violently coerced, were contractually obligated or because they were bored.
|The presence of a flip phone lets you know this film is a decade old.|
Their very evident lack of enthusiasm could be due to having characters that are poorly written to the point that being bland would have been more interesting and the fact that nearly every gag and joke in the film is just flat and unfunny. Yes, comedy is subjective but there was just no punch to the gags and, often, they just got weird. For example, there’s a moment when the mother played by Piper Laurie decides to jump out of a moving vehicle and it ends with a special effects sequence that was too creepy to be funny. Just look at it.
|That thing hovering over the bridge is suppose to be Piper Laurie's character after|
she jumped out of the moving car but the final product looks way more terrifying.
Like some sort of demon-beast ready to bounce on Zooey Deschanel and Jesse Bradford.
Most of the appeal that comes from films about family troubles comes from the fact that any member of the audience can see things that remind them of their family but I found nothing relatable in this film. While the actual arguments and disagreements may be slightly reminiscent of my family, matters aren’t helped by the fact that none of the characters in the film actually felt like real people with any depth to them. Eulogy might have actually worked if the script didn’t feel like an outline of something that will be worked on later but the final product felt very incomplete. The only real saving grace the film had was the fact it had actors I enjoyed but, beyond that, the film was a flat, boring, bland and an utterly laugh-less ride.