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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > British > Undertaking Betty

Undertaking Betty


Picture: B-     Sound: B-     Extras: C-     Film: C-



Brenda Blethyn is a really good actress, but sometimes a role turns the talents, personality and likeability of a performer and turns them into a cartoon.  Nick Hurran’s Undertaking Betty tries too hard to be a dark comedy that still wants to be a light comedy and hopes Blethyn going into her emotional crying fits will be the line that splits the difference.  Too bad the script is an annoying wreck and that this is one of the most obnoxious British films in years.


She falls in love with her undertaker (Alfred Molina) and they arrange to fake her death to get her out of her marriage.  The caretaker (Christopher Walken, out of his element and deserving much better) is not in on the plan and his ambitious attempt to show her proper tribute will also screw things up.  To add to all this, there are several elaborate musical numbers that may think they are amusing in the least or at best somehow expressing the psychosis of the characters, but they have no real story to hang on to and the film imploded little by little as it goes along.  Naomi Watts also surfaces and is wasted.


The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image is on the colorful side, though detail can be a problem and it still has that generic Super 35mm look when all is said and done.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix has some good surrounds and dialogue is not bad.  The only extra is a brief behind the scenes featurette, but it does not make any of this more interesting.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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