Mixing Comedy With Death

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    “Death at a Funeral,” a Screen Gems film, is a dramatic comedy that examines society’s hot-button taboo topics such as race, death, manhood, family secrets and homosexuality.

    A remake of the 2007 British film, “Death at a Funeral” stars Chris Rock, Tracy Morgan, Martin Lawrence, Zoe Saldana, Loretta Devine, Columbus Short, Kevin Hart and Danny Glover.

    “The movie is about acceptance,” said Chris Rock, who also co-producer the film. “We all have gay relatives, we all have midgets (in our families), everybody has something in theirs; we need to be more cultured. People should be able to be out of the closet at least around their family.”

    “Family keeps you honest, they keep you grounded,” Tracy Morgan added. “It’s unfortunate that we all come together when somebody dies. But it’s funny on film.”

    The plot illustrates a family mourning the death of the patriarch, which turns into a fiasco with shocking revelations that unfold along the way. One of which occurs when two brothers, Aaron and Ryan, played by Chris Rock and Martin Lawrence respectively, discover that their father was romantically involved with a man who confronts them at the funeral.

    “The British are very mannered and polite with their comedy,” Rock said. “This (movie), instead of a remake is a remix, it’s a Timbaland remix. This film is over the top in places, it’s a funkier version. It’s like Aretha Franklin singing a Beatles song.”

    For instance, the toilet scene with Danny Glover and Tracy Morgan is not an act. Rock revealed that he slipped an Ex-Lax into Danny Glover’s lunch. Glover, who plays Uncle Russell, really pooped in Morgan’s hand.

    Morgan, best known for his roles on “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock,” brings his electric energy to this film as a friend of the family, Norm. He describes his character as a loveable loser who is a paranoid schizophrenic.

    Rock, who always appreciates good comedy, revealed that he admires and supports most of the comedians in Hollywood “because, you never know, they might have to hire me for a job one day. I’ve opened for Al B. Sure. I’ve seen a lot of people come and go.”

    The film, directed by Detroit native Neil LaBute, who also directed “In the Company of Men,” “Nurse Betty,” and “Lakeview Terrace,” opens in theatres everywhere on Friday, April 16.

     

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