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|Index||15 reviews in total|
Jack Warden is patriarch of an Irish clan. When he passes away, lives are turned upside down and the fun begins. The ensemble cast is up to the challenge of believing their cliches just enough to sell them effectively to their audiences. Pamela Reed and Nancy Travis are standouts. Bizarre situations abound. I've now seen it twice, and enjoyed it immensely each time.
OK, there may be some material that is questionable as to whether its funny but all in all Passed Away is a very good movie. And the cast is top notch. Maureen Stapleton as the family matriarch is sweet, funny, and wise -- reminiscent of her role in Johnny Dangerously. William Petersen is wonderful as the well-meaning but empty-headed brother. Bob Hoskins, Pamela Reed and Frances McDormand give solid performances as the rest of the family. The jokes and barbs fly as the characters deal with the sudden death in the family and the twists each of their lives has experienced. Anyone with a quirky family will find Passed Away well worth the viewing.
Passed Away is a slow at times but very funny film. Made in the best traditions of a carry on film, I could see Sid James in the role of Johnny Scanlan, with Barbara Windsor as the mysterious woman in black, Hattie Jacques as the mother and Charles Hawtrey as the vicar. The first half of this film is a little slow, but persevere and enjoy the laughs that come thick and fast in the second half, and to top it all off, it has a real feel-good ending.
When Jack Scanlan, the head of a "normal" Irish family dies suddenly, everyone turns to the oldest son, Johnny (Bob Hoskins) to be the new family decision-maker. Everyone is having their own issues and power struggles within the family. All the family believe Johnny can take over for Dad; however, Johnny can't handle the sudden pressure and decides that it is time for a mid-life crisis. Mayhem ensues as all the problems come to a head at Jack's wake. Before Johnny can handle the family's problems he has to come to grips with his own problems and accept his new role in the family.
This is a very quirky comedy. No surprises but very well acted and the script has enough funny situations to keep one entertained. Not great by any means but I found it worth watching and as I always enjoy seeing Bob Hoskins I was not disappointed. This movie is definitely not for everyone.
Now, you may think to yourself: "How can they make a family tragedy into a
funny movie?". Yeah, I was thinking that too, but since I am a fan of good
comedies, I wanted to see it. PASSED AWAY is a great comedy that makes you
laugh and makes you feel good about yourself and your family. After seeing
this, you will look forward to family get-togethers.
Yeah, some of the scenes are a little unbelievable, but not very many. The cast is a good one, all great stars and the script was well-written. The acting was also very good. So, remember, next time you are at the video store, remember: "Get PASSED AWAY!". Remember that Jack the Ripper told you to go rent PASSED AWAY.
PASSED AWAY gets 5/5.
"Passed Away" is the sort of movie that you could easily walk by in the
video/DVD store and not notice. But you should notice it, and then
watch it. This is actually a very clever movie. It looks at how this
family has to deal with their problems following the father's death.
Although Bob Hoskins is listed as the star, no single character really
dominates the movie. We get to see the issues faced by everyone, and
the movie leaves it up to the viewer to decide what to think of the
So this is one that I recommend. You won't be disappointed if you take the time to check it out. Also starring Peter Riegert (Boone in "Animal House") and Tim Curry.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I remember seeing the preview for this movie on a video I had rented
back in 1993 or so from my video store and I thought it was pretty
funny so when I saw it was in stock I rented it and I wasn't
disappointed. Bob Hoskins carries this movie in his role of Johnny
Scanlan. We all have a brother or uncle who carries the load during
times of grief as this movie is set in.
William Petersen (of CSI fame) plays the idiot brother who's surprise party kills his father (played by Jack Warden) who had just recovered from a massive heart attack. The mother played by the great Maureen Stapleton wants a "fine Irish wake" at the house for her husband and it takes off from there.
Charlie Peters who wrote and directed the film did an amazing job and I personally believe this is one of the most underrated movie's of the early 90's.
It's not a completely perfect movie. The side storyline with Nora (played by Francis McDormand) being a revolutionary nun and bringing a rebel leader with her to hide him out at the house could have been done away with, but it provides for one of the funniest scenes in the movie where the INS is searching the house for him so they move the father out of the coffin and bring him upstairs and have the illegal hide in the coffin. I don't want to ruin the whole scene, but the "ITS A MUSCLE CONTRACTION" line will have you in tears from laughing.
Overall it's a good movie to watch on a weekend afternoon or at night if nothing of interest is on cable. If you can track down a copy of the video you should get it and I really wish they would put it on DVD for region 1 (Amazon only has it for Region 2).
Fun,unchallenging, episodic fluff -- heavy on the Irish ethnicity -- easy to take. All-star cast finds plenty of good material to bring fun to awkwartd situations. Peter Riegert and Pamela Reed are standouts. This is one big cliche accompanied by 15 ancillary cliches, but who cares? Its all in good fun.
A crackerjack cast helps to make this film a fun watch. It's not unusual for comedies to be about dysfunctional families, but with an above average script, and with appealing characters, one can sit back and happily conclude, the family depicted here, is more messed up then is mine. Of course, we get a happy ending, but how it's going to get there is not so obvious. One of the better comedies of the 1990's.
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