The Funeral Singer (G)

November 20, 2009

The Funeral Singer (G)

Professional funeral singer-for-hire Marcie Shriver (Bette Midler), frustrated by never having made it on Broadway where she feels she belongs, is determined to display her talent wherever she can, no matter how inappropriate the situation. (And it seems her confidence isn’t misplaced, as she always has the grieving mourners, on their feet, whooping and begging for an encore.)

But when Marcie’s estranged daughter, cerebral palsy sufferer Molly Shriver (Katherine Heigl), is diagnosed with swine flu and given just days to live, her relatives gather at her bedside and Marcie must prepare for the gig of her life and face her toughest crowd yet: her family! (Family includes estranged father (Gore Vidal), estranged sister (Meryl Streep), estranged cousin (Rupert Everett), etc…)

In a surprise twist of fate, Molly makes a full recovery from the flu while Marcie suffers a massive (and fatal) stroke. So it’s Molly who must take on the role of funeral singer, to perform a nauseatingly sentimental tribute to her mother.

"..and it cuts...ng-woiiike a knife........she's out of my....ng!...ng!.."

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treachery

caught in the act

Treachery Beyond the Pale (R)

British period drama set in Victorian Britain with lots of posh people doing posh things (e.g. fell walking, fox hunting, bird watching, etc.) – all in frilly clothes.

The film stars Madonna, who plays American socialite Mae Percy, who visits her posh relatives on a grand estate in rural Northern Ireland. She’s brash and offensive to her repressed British relatives but many of the locals find her amusing and put up with her ‘unusual ways’.

The patriarch of the family, Lord William Charles Spencer-Chandler (Tom Wilkinson), has designs for Mae and his simpleton, posh, fop son, Charles William Spencer-Chandler (Hugh Grant). But Mae will have not of it (apparently in-breeding is out of fashion in America).

Over time, she erodes the family’s authority over the estate as she begins to cavort with the commoners. It all comes to a boil when she is caught in a lewd act with the head servant (Dame Judi Dench) and the butler (Rupert Everett) deemed illegal under the reign of Queen Victoria.

 The head servant and butler are arrested and sentenced to ‘death by duel’. Mae (although clearly upset), as an indirect member of the aristocracy, is free to go.

Additional Notes

This film will contain:

 1) Lots of sexual innuendo:

 Mae Percy: “What an impressive organ you have, Mr Fossett-Wilkinson.”

 2) Lots of discrete snickering by servants:

Mae Percy: “You look a little hot under the collar, Lord Parker-Bowels.”

Posh Guy: “That’s Bowles, ma’am. Lord Parker-Bowles.”

Servants (in background): (Snickers)