Academy Award(R) winner Christopher Walken (Best Supporting Actor, THE DEER HUNTER, 1978; WEDDING CRASHERS) stars with Oscar(R) nominees Naomi Watts (Best Actress, 21 GRAMS, 2003; KING KONG), and Brenda Blethyn (Best Suppo... more »rting Actress, LITTLE VOICE, 1998; BEHOND THE SEA) in this devilish, offbeat comedy that follows the crowd-pleasing tradition of WAKING NED DEVINE. Stuck in a marriage that's killing her, Betty (Blethyn) thinks the only way to break from her two-timing scoundrel of a husband is to fake her own death! With the help of her rekindled old flame, the local undertaker (Alfred Molina -- CHOCOLAT, FRIDA), a quiet funeral is planned down to the smallest detail. But nothing goes as planned when a flamboyant competing funeral director (Walken) jumps in determined to give Betty a send-off no one will ever forget!« less
C.B. K. from RIO RANCHO, NM Reviewed on 9/14/2009...
If you love British humor, this is a movie you'll enjoy. Who else could come up with what Metacritic describes as "a riotous look at small town Welsh country life centered around competing funeral homes"? Their rating (by three voters) is 7 out of 10. The movie also deals with marital infidelity versus true love, with a surprising and satisfying conclusion. "A devilishly dark comedy..that puts life back into the afterlife!" DVDnet "Hilarious from start to finish!" Cinemaxasia "Rioutous!" Britfilms
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
FUN IN THE FUNERAL
Michael Butts | Martinsburg, WV USA | 03/31/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In this age of teen lust and endless sex orgies, it's refreshing to see the love of a mature couple. UNDERTAKING BETTY is a lightweight, yet charming and oftentimes hilarious, look at a couple who have loved from afar for years. Played delightfully by Brenda Blethyn and Alfred Molina, they are a joy to watch. Alfred is a mortician whose rival is the impeccable Christopher Walken, who does some of his best recent work in this farce. When the couple decide to fake her death in order to run away together, all kinds of complications ensue. Versatile Naomi Watts plays the sleazy secretary to Blethyn's husband, and she is marvelous as always. Add Lee Evans as Walken's rather buffoonish aide, and you have a marvelous cast to enjoy. UNDERTAKING BETTY is one of those "little" films you stumbled on and are glad you did!"
Totally silly in a good way
Calamity Jane | Virginia | 01/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is a riot. Stumbled onto it 15 minutes into it, but was immediately intrigued and had to watch. Watched it again a week later with my husband, and we laughed our butts off. The plot is ridiculous, of course, but clever and very funny. The casting was superb, as was the acting. It's great to see someone like Alfred Molina, who was such a...jerk...in Chocolat play such a tongue-in-cheek role, and Brenda Blethyn, as always, has fantastic comedic timing. This is destined to become a cult classic, just like her film Saving Grace. And Naomi Watts is great. Didn't even recognize her because she's so different in every role, but she plays the diabolical mistress to the hilt.
Highly recommend for a break from a stressful day."
CAW | Greenville, TX United States | 03/13/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"My husband & I saw this movie on a Princess cruise when it was titled PLOTS WITH A VIEW. I tried buying it after I got home, but it was not available in the US, until last year, with the title changed to UNDERTAKING BETTY.
It is rated "R", but I think it is wrong. There is no fowl language, but there are some scenes that young children shouldn't see. In this day and time, I would rate it PG-13.
I have watched it three times and I still laugh everytime I see it. It is a typical British comedy with hilarious situations."
A great English comedy that has been criminally overlooked..
M. J Leonard | Silver Lake, Los Angeles, CA United States | 09/09/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Death can be funny; at least it is in the small Welsh town of Wrottin-Powys, population 7,500. The town indeed has some zany and eccentric characters who seem to want to capitalize on our journey into the afterlife, not the least is big-haired eccentric funeral director Frank Featherbed (Christopher Walken) and his nerdy assistant Delbert (Lee Evans).
Frank and Delbert have a whole new angle going and have begun to offer to the townsfolk new types of funerals. Their latest catch is a "fantasy funeral" in which the deceased dream is realized in the service. One has a Star Trek theme because it was her favourite show, and another is a star on Broadway.
Alfred Molina's Boris Plotz is the rival undertaker who has been forced to hide his secret thirty-year crush on Brenda Blethyn's Betty Rhys Jones. They have always shared a passion for ballroom dancing, but the dutiful Betty's father insisted she marry Robert Pugh's self-important and arrogant Hugh, who was actually interested in Betty's money.
Seventeen years into their marriage, Hugh has become the town mayor, carrying on a sordid affair with his sexy secretary (Naomi Watts) while Betty is stuck caring for his terrible bedridden mother. But when her mother-in-law accidentally dies, Betty reunites with Boris, and they both fall in love again.
Just as Watt's mistress plots to poison the self-effacing Betty, Boris is persuading Betty to play dead so that they can run off together, concocting a plan to fake Betty's death, allowing the couple to run away together guilt-free - though the plan doesn't exactly go off without a hitch.
Undertaking Betty is unadulterated fun, charming and comedic, with a script that is full darkly humorous situations. The real charm however, comes from the actors, who end up turning in nice ensemble performances Instead of trying to upstage one another; they seem to be doing it to have fun.
Although Walken might seem a bit out of place as an American in this rather isolated town, his madness and bizarreness indeed complements all the irreverent shenanigans. Undertaking Betty is truly a terrific film, and it really works because it manages to deal ramifications of death in inadvertently funny ways.
Under Nick Hurran's direction, the cast has a good time indulging in Frederick Ponzlov's script that piles on the intentional and calculated silliness, but which also manages to tell a cute and very sweet love story. Mike Leonard September 06.