Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Eulogy (2004)

This film was brought to our attention by Dr. Amber Wollesen of the PalliMed Arts and Humanities Blog who writes:
Eulogy is a 2004 comedy surrounding a "dysfunctional" family dealing with the death of the family patriarch. I've seen it described as a "black" or "dark" comedy. Probably fits.
The film begins with the family finding out about the death of Edmund Collins and then heading home to his funeral. Some members are upset over the death, some are upset about the inconvenient time. It is focused around the granddaughter Kate, a college freshman (and possibly the most normal person of the group) who has been asked to deliver the eulogy at her grandfather's funeral. Amongst the group of 4 children and 6 grandchildren, Kate seems to be the only one really concerned over Edmund's death. The rest of the family seems preoccupied with their old fights and issues.
Meanwhile, Charlotte, the widow, who is seemingly distraught over the death of her husband and her children feuding, attempts suicide. More than once.
During the course of the film, secrets come out about the surviving family members and about the departed. If I had to sum up the theme of the movie it would be, "We may be screwed up but in the end we're family." I'm not going to give away the end, but Kate finds a way to eulogize the grandfather who no one really ever completely knew. I like the funeral scene.
This film made me think a lot about dysfunctional families. It's not a term I use lightly. After seeing a lot of different types of families, I have begun to think that what we call "dysfunction" is often just functioning differently than the norm. What is normal anyway?

Released in 2004. 97 minutes.

DJE Comment: I saw this movie on June 24, 2009. It's certainly not a serious film about any of the subjects it is indexed under, however, it is entertaining and well-acted. Well worth viewing, but unlikely to be of value for class work or serious discussion.

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