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Film Review: EULOGY
Directed & Written by: Michael Clancy. Produced by: Steven Haft, Richard B. Lewis & Kirk D'Amico. Director of Photography: Michael Chapman. Edited by: Richard Halsey. Music by: George S. Clinton. Released by: Lions Gate. Country of Origin: USA/UK/Germany. 85 min. Rated: R. With: Hank Azaria, Zooey Deschanel, Glenne Headly, Piper Laurie, Kelly Preson, Ray Romano, Rip Torn & Debra Winger.
It takes a much more dire occasion than a holiday to force the Collins family together. The death of Grandpa Collins (Rip Torn) finally brings the embittered family members under the same roof. Kate (Zooey Deschanel) and her has-been actor father (Hank Azaria) find themselves stuck with Uncle Skip (Ray Romano), a sleazy lawyer who has raised two sons so equally vulgar that their own mother has abandoned them. His sister Lucy (Kelly Preston) arrives with her lesbian lover Judy, announcing they're to wed; this sets off uptight Aunt Alice (Debra Winger) on a rampage. The family's bickering turns into an all-out brawl, with every possible insult and betrayal coming out of the wood work. And as if the constant feuding weren't enough, Grandma Collins (Piper Laurie) seems bent on offing herself with increasingly creative methods. By the time the funeral rolls around the plot has taken dozens of bizarre twists.
Rich with laugh-inducing dialogue and eccentric characters, this is a madcap comedy at its blackest. Ray Romano proves to be funnier as a slimy creep than as his nice-guy sitcom persona, and deadpan Zooey Deschanel shines as the film's central character. The cast as a whole makes the careful balance of comedic timing and delivery seem like second nature. While the film often falls short on logic, it succeeds in laughs.