Length: 103 minutes / 1.71 hours
Despite its PG-13 rating, Get Low (2009) is about as wholesome a movie as there ever was. Loosely based on a true story of a man who wanted to have his funeral before he died so he could hear what people would say about him, the simplicity of this classic plot relies heavily on the characters within it. From the crotchety hermit to the struggling funeral parlor owner to a town full of rumors and gossip, the implication that Felix Bush (Robert Duvall) has done something terrible drives the narrative forward to its logical conclusion.
The two standout performances in this movie come from Robert Duvall and Bill Murray. Duvall’s Felix Bush is as cantankerous and stubborn as they come, and he fully plays up the fact that nobody likes him. Of course, it makes sense that 40 years of carrying the burden Felix has carried would affect a man like that. On the other side, Bill Murray’s Frank Quinn is the most deliciously deadpan (ha ha) delivery for a funeral director ever put to film. I could honestly watch Murray in a role like this for hours. It’s this character that practically makes the movie a comedy.
While the build up to the final reveal is a little belabored at times, there are enough life lessons in this movie to make it worth the wait. From the freedom of forgiveness to the power of lies that cover up the truth, plenty of moments in Get Low can teach us something about ourselves. What helps underscore these excellent life lessons is that the film isn’t too “preachy” about them, merely allowing the characters to come to the realizations themselves, and letting the audience make the connections to their own lives.
A touching film with a charming cast, I give Get Low 4.0 stars out of 5.