Eulogy [2004]

A spirited ensemble cast keeps things cooking in Eulogy, a black comedy about a gathering of the dysfunctional Collins family following the death of its prickly patriarch (Rip Torn). Zooey Deschanel plays granddaughter Kate, struggling to fulfill the old man's last wish that she write his eulogy. Meanwhile, her dad (Hank Azaria), a has-been actor, smokes pot in the dark and referees battles between his seamy brother Skip (Ray Romano), lesbian sister Lucy (Kelly Preston) and her lover Judy (Famke Janssen), caustic sibling Alice (Debra Winger), and suicidal mother Charlotte (Piper Laurie). Confused about her loyalties, poor Kate alternately runs to and from best friend Ryan (Jesse Bradford), who wants to become her lover, while Alice--super-critical of Lucy's sexuality--fails to keep secret her own fling with a nurse (Glenne Headly). Eulogy never quite reaches full boil, but there are many funny moments, and Deschanel, Romano, and Preston are particularly watchable. --Tom Keogh

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