Tag Archives: black comedy

Keep it in the family

I don’t like Mafia movies. I blame a college professor who made my film class analyze The Godfather for six weeks.

Six. Weeks.

But I was intrigued by trailers for The Family, a comedy about one such family in witness protection in France, starring Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer.  So this morning I bought a cheap ticket and took a peek.

The-Family-2013-Movie-Poster1I enjoyed the view.

The Family is a black comedy — lots of laughs, but an equal dose of violence and blood. As weird as this may sound, I was happy to see the women of the family were just as tough — if not tougher — than the men.

Word of warning:  Don’t leave a tennis racket within reach of the daughter (played by Glee‘s Dianna Agron).

And a star is born in young John D’Leo, who plays the son Warren.  I’ve never seen him in anything before, but now I’m pretty sure he’ll be everywhere.

Or the ‘family’ will have something to say about it…

Original idea?

Finally…the critics and I agree!

While Roger Ebert was all up in arms about the ‘reprehensible’ superhero flick “Kick Ass,” I was more upset by the Chris Rock vehicle “Death at a Funeral.”

Nothing against Rock, but I loved the original British version released a mere three years ago.

Isn’t a buppy version a bit premature?

Turns out many critics felt exactly the same way.  As the New York Daily News so succinctly summed it up, “…unless you also intend to improve upon the first attempt, what’s the point?”

The original movie starred Matthew MacFadyen — best known to American audiences as Mr. Darcy to Keira Knightley’s Elizabeth Bennett in “Pride & Prejudice” — and Peter Dinklage, who plays the identical role in the new version.

Think about it.  Wouldn’t audiences have questioned a new version of “Jerry MaGuire” three years later?  A buppy take on “You’ve Got Mail?”  The “Lord of the Rings” trilogy remade with a new cast of actors?

Granted, the original “Death at a Funeral” wasn’t a big commercial success, but still — it’s like no one wants to take a chance on a new script these days. Better to re-do than do something original…

like “The Joneses”, which I did see this weekend.

A black comedy, this movie contains a premise I have never seen before.  Well-acted. Interesting. Unexpected.

Brace yourself.