‘Unfriended to Death’: Funeral comedy that’s deadly stupid
By RICHARD ROEPER Movie Columnist May 1, 2014 4:38PM
‘FRIENDED TO DEATH’ ★1⁄2
A film directed by Sarah Smick and written by Smick and Ian Michaels. Rated R (for language including some crude sexual references). Opens Friday at AMC Streets of Woodfield and available on demand starting May 9.
“I thought I’d probably get pneumonia and die. I started picturing millions of jerks coming to my funeral and all. … What a mob’d be there.” — “The Catcher in the Rye”
Most of us have entertained the morbid fantasy of wondering who would attend our funeral, and in popular fiction, the concept has explored in everything from “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” to “Return of the Jedi.”
In “Friended to Death,” co-writer and director Sarah Smick has a clever update on the premise: A guy fakes his own death via Facebook to see how his perceived friends — in the real world and on social media — react. Alas, the guy faking his death (Ryan Hansen from “Veronica Mars”) is an obnoxious lout, as are his supposed pals, his co-workers and the woman stalking him over a parking ticket. (Don’t ask.)
This plays like a live-action cartoon where you root for nobody. Everyone seems to think that yelling their lines will make the dialogue funnier.