Eulogy
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When Edmund Collins (Rip Torn) dies, his family reluctantly gathers together for the funeral. No one seems to care that he’s gone except his granddaughter, Kate (Zooey Deschanel) and his suicidal widow (Piper Laurie), whose suicide attempts are barely even noticed. Everyone else is too caught up in their own problems—and in the problems of their horrifically dysfunctional family.

Kate’s father, Danny (Hank Azaria), is a struggling actor whose career hit its peak when he was eight years old—when he was the star of a peanut butter commercial. He spends most of his time locked in his room, smoking pot and mourning his failed career. Skip (Ray Romano) is a questionable attorney and the single father of unruly twin boys who are rumored to have scared their mother away. Alice (Debra Winger) is a vicious, hyper-critical control freak who, along with her spineless babbling idiot of a husband, is raising children who are completely mute. And Lucy (Kelly Preston) is the family outcast—a lesbian who shows up with her life partner, Judy (Famke Janssen), much to the dismay of the rest of the family…especially Alice. From the minute they all arrive, the battles begin.

  
 
As Kate tries to get her family to help her write her grandfather’s eulogy, she finds out that no one really has anything good to say about their traveling salesman father who was rarely around—and who often forgot their names.

Eulogy is quite possibly the saddest comedy I’ve ever seen. The family is meant to come off as ridiculous in a dark-humor kind of way, but I couldn’t help feeling that they cross the line between darkly funny and just plain pitiful. They’re all just so miserable and self-absorbed (a trait that, it turns out, they got honestly from their equally self-absorbed father) that I couldn’t make myself laugh with them—or even at them, for that matter.

I wanted to enjoy this movie—and I honestly thought I would. I pictured it as a crazy-family dark comedy. A sort of My Big Fat Greek Funeral, if you will. It had plenty of potential—especially considering the impressive cast list—but it just isn’t as funny as it could have been. The majority of the humor revolves around lesbian sex—and Skip’s and his sons’ immature (not to mention creepy) fascination with it. The story never really comes together—despite an interesting twist—and it falls flat in the end.

Eulogy isn’t great, but it’s not horrible, either. It’s just okay. There are a few good laughs—but not enough to make it really funny. And the story is interesting at times—but not enough to make it memorable. So if you’re looking for 91 minutes of family comedy, you’ll probably get more entertainment out of taking your great uncle Walter miniature golfing than you will out of watching Eulogy.

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