Not a lot of depth to it but is a fun, breezy film that is amusing and convincing
The death of Grandpa Metsler brings the family back together again to plan and attend his funeral. There is bickering and there are fights over the future for the 18 grave plots booked for the family down the generations but slowly the hour of the funeral approaches.
Although in essence this is a comedy, it does have a nice bit of an emotional core to it where the nature of death is discussed. This aspect is left pretty much to the end of the film and for the vast majority it is a freewheeling family comedy that features caricatures as well as sparky and fun dialogue. The narrative is simple and those viewers looking for depth and discussion will be left out in the cold. However the main thrust of the film is amusing, interesting, engaging and fun. The characters bicker and fight but essentially are a warm family with the acerbic edge that cinema has taught us comes from being Italian American or Jewish (I'm not saying this is the case, just what the clichés tell us!). The film wears this well and, while not original, it does produce plenty of good scenes that don't amount to much but do produce an engaging and amusing film.
The cast are roundly good and all of them are able to flow with the material and make the banter and bickering sound convincing and natural. No one person stands out but Van Patten is good while Merin is also fun. The cast also features a lot of well known faces, including Favreau, Odums and a few others. Resnick understand what she has and directs with an affectionate but light touch that means the film exists on the level it was written fun and breezy despite the subject matter.
Overall this is an enjoyable little comedy that has a family bickering and laughing during the funeral proceedings. It hasn't got a lot of depth to it but it is light, breezy and fun and it deserves to be seen for these qualities. Not sure how you get hold of it as I only happened upon it on late night television but it is worth a look if you get the chance.
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