Eulogy (2004) - Synopsis

When three generations of a deliciously dysfunctional family gather to bury the family patriarch, the beloved granddaughter of the deceased is given the task of delivering the eulogy. In the days leading up to the funeral, family secrets are revealed, old grudges resurface and the household erupts with renewed vigor. A wickedly irreverent comedy, Eulogy is ultimately a heartwarming portrait of a houseful of misfits celebrating the strangest and most enduring bond of all.

Kate Collins (Zooey Deschanel), struggling through an awkward first year at college, returns home upon the death of her grandfather. At school, Kate might not fit in, but at home, she is quickly surrounded by a disruptive group of people even weirder than she is: her family. First, there's her father, Daniel (Hank Azaria), once child star, now in “adult” films. Then there's tightly wound Aunt Lucy (Kelly Preston), who has waited till the last minute to announce her wedding to life partner Judy (Famke Janssen); and wildly inappropriate Uncle Skip (Ray Romano) with his obnoxious twin boys. And last but not least, there's uptight and pushy Aunt Alice (Debra Winger), whose brash approach to marriage, motherhood and casseroles is unsettling to all concerned.

When her grandmother (Piper Laurie) entrusts her with the task of delivering the eulogy at the funeral, Kate turns to her relatives for help. She quickly comes to realize that her own fond memories of Grandpa Collins (Rip Torn) are not shared by his children, who can only remember a distant father who, when around, could barely keep their names straight. As Kate struggles to find the right words to commemorate the solemn occasion, the rest of the family prepares for the event with its usual unruliness. In between the raucous infighting and the hilarious backbiting, family secrets are revealed and old wounds are exposed. In the end, the family come to realize that theirs is a legacy of chaos, redeemed only by comfort they find in each other.