When the patriarch of the Barnes family dies, it sends the family scrambling to get together and hold a proper funeral. Aaron, the oldest son, is an unsuccessful writer who is having money troubles, yet he is doing his best to pay for as much of the funeral as possible. Ryan, Aaron's younger brother, is a wildly successful writer living in New York, and Aaron is angry at him because of both his higher level of professional achievement and his reluctance to help Aaron pay for the funeral. Meanwhile, their cousin Elaine is bringing her fiance, Oscar, to meet the family for the first time. When picking up her brother Jeff, she finds some Valium in the medicine cabinet and gives one to Oscar to help soothe his nerves before the big meet. However, when Jeff tells Elaine that the "Valium" is actually a hallucinogen, they must figure out how to calm Oscar down. To make matters even worse, a mysterious dwarf named Frank has appeared at the funeral, and he insists on pulling Aaron aside from his leadership duties in order to blackmail him. Frank was the gay lover of Aaron's father, and he has explicit photographs to prove it, and unless he gets $30,000, he will show the world and the Barnes matriarch the photos. Aaron and Ryan try to figure out what to do, and meanwhile accidentally kidnap Frank. When Oscar ends up stripping naked and crawling onto the roof, it's up to Aaron to somehow bring his family together and make this funeral the respectful affair his father deserves.
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Best part of story, including ending:
It's a really funny and surprisingly loving comedy, with great performances from the top down, and a sharp script filled to the brim with one-liners.
Best scene in story:
When Oscar is at the large family gathering and begins to hallucinate, his initial descent into mania is hilarious and wonderfully performed by James Marsden.
Opinion about the main character:
Aaron is incredibly sympathetic-- we all have some friction in our family, and so we feel for the fact that Aaron has such an incredible amount in his on such an important day.