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When three generations of a dysfunctional family gather in Rhode Island to bury the family patriarch, members of the Collins clan are at each other's throats in no time. Son Daniel is a secret porn actor, and daughter Lucy is a lesbian. Lucy totes along her lover Judy to the outrage of Lucy's aggressively neurotic sister Alice, whose hysterical overreaction to the pair's marriage plans ought to tell everyone something. Rounding out the delightful crowd are dim brother Skip, whose unfailingly rude twin sons offer caustic commentary on their elders' infantile predilections; matriarchal widow Charlotte, who becomes so justifiably distraught at the insanity of her children she tries to commit suicide; and Kate, a confused but comely college freshman who juggles preparation of the eulogy with internal debate over what to do with her childhood friend-turned-suitor, Ryan. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
When Skip's sons pester Judy, the book she is reading is "A Confederacy of Dunces" by John Kennedy Toole. See more »
By the lake, the twins ask their father for a lighter to start the small fire from which to light the arrows. When they bend down to light it, you can see that the fire is already going. See more »
[practicing out loud]
Hey, you don't know me... I don't know you...
Twice in my life I've had to deliver bad news to someone I'd never met. The first time involved a cat that ran out in the middle of my driver's test. This time was a bit trickier.
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During the end credits, we see Lucy and Judy's wedding party. Alice makes a toast and then hands the microphone to Skip, who tries to tell a "lesbian joke" before being attacked by Lucy and Judy, who clobber him with the mike. See more »
Conventional Plot, Good Acting, Sometimes Over the Top
If Hollywood stopped making films about dysfunctional families there'd be a real drought in the theaters and on DVD shelves. "Eulogy" is a pretty conventional tale but it's well-acted.
The paterfamilias, grandfather, is dead, apparently by his own hand, and the family - immediate and extended - arrives at the grieving widow's home to prepare for the funeral immediately resuming hostilities over well-aged feuds and hurts. Nothing surprising here.
Zooey Deschanel as Kate is a college student who seems to be the most normal member of an eclectic and eccentric crew. Her grandmother is Piper Laurie and, have no fear, those who remember the beautiful young actress of an earlier Silver Screen age won't recognize her here. How the mighty have...aged.
Hank Azaria has a fun(ny) role as a loser with a heart.
Deborah Winger turns in a first-rate performance as Kate's shrewish Aunt Alice who exudes homophobia at a sister who arrives with her fiancé (or fiancée), a sharp, observant woman. Alice, is married to a drone who without barely a word smiles ceaselessly and seems on the verge of drooling.
Their three kids are also silent, probably disturbed big time. And two nasty pre-teen twins of Alice's brother make Dennis the Menace a choir boy by comparison.
No character here that hasn't been seen in many movies and TV sitcoms. But there's a thread of drama with the zany comedy that makes "Eulogy" a mite different if whacked out family stories intrigue you.
It's an ensemble production - see the IMDb.com main page for the full cast. But Ms. Deschanel, with her dark eyes and sharp takes at her family members' antics, is the acting center of the flick.
8/10 (barely but I laughed a lot).
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