The Good

Christopher Walken's flamboyant side is on full display here.

The Bad

Some people may go for this kind of comedy but I didn't like this movie at all.

Okay, where do I start?

Boris (Alfred Molina) is in love with Betty (Brenda Blethyn). The only problem is that Betty is married to a man who doesn't appreciate her. Then Betty's mother dies and Boris, who is an undertaker, finds himself back in the company of the woman he loves. Suddenly, Frank Featherbed (Christopher Walken), an eccentric funeral director, enters the picture with grand ideas of changing the way funerals are done. Somehow, amidst all of this Boris and Brenda hatch a plan to stage her death so that they can be together.

I know that there are people that like these kind of movies and there is obviously a name for this sort of comedy, but I have got to be honest, the only thing I can call Undertaking Betty is bad.


The Fun In Funeral: The Making of Undertaking Betty

The sound on this featurette was so bad that if it had been any longer, I probably would have turned it off. There is a lot of time spent with Alfred Molina who doesn't even sound like he had a mic on for his interview. Other than that, we hear from other members of the production team as they recount making this movie.


Widescreen - 2.35:1 - Enhanced for 16x9 Televisions. This film looks normal in terms of it's picture quality and everything else. There are some flashy camera moves here and there, but for the most part the comedic aspects of the film are left to carry the narrative. There is just enough levity in the dark humor that I think it's intended audience will appreciate it.


Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. Spanish language track. Other than the sound on the featurette, the audio for Undertaking Betty was fine. I didn't notice any dropouts and as this is the kind of movie that mixes it's comedy with big moments of contrast, everything seems to have been put together in a simple, proper order.


Blethyn, Molina, Walken, Lee Evans and Naomi Watts are featured on this sparsely laid out front cover. Below them is a hearse that says "Just Buried!" on the back. This cover perfectly sums up the comedy of this movie. The back cover features three shots from the film (all of which play into it's zany strengths), a description of what Undertaking Betty is about, a "Bonus Features"/Technical Specs listing and a cast list.

Final Word

I am fully capable of admitting that maybe something is over my head. Perhaps, the humor in Undertaking Betty is beyond me? I just don't find these kinds of films funny at all. I know that taking something serious like death and making a light hearted film about it is supposed to make things even more comical, but I really didn't laugh at all throughout this movie. Okay, I take that back, I laughed during some of the scenes with Christopher Walken, but then again, that really isn't saying much.

Depending on your sense of humor, Undertaking Betty may be your cup of tea, but in my opinion this film was dead on arrival.

Undertaking Betty was released December 4, 2002.