Plots with a View
|Plots with a View (Undertaking Betty)|
International theatrical poster
|Directed by||Nick Hurran|
|Produced by||Michael Cowan
|Written by||Frederick Ponzlov|
|Music by||Rupert Gregson-Williams|
|Editing by||John Richards|
|Studio||Great British Films
|Running time||88 minutes|
Plots with a View, released internationally as Undertaking Betty, is a 2002 British dark comedy written by Frederick Ponzlov, directed by Nick Hurran, starring Brenda Blethyn, Robert Pugh, Alfred Molina, Naomi Watts, Lee Evans and Christopher Walken. The film began filming in Caldicot, Monmouthshire, Wales, UK in 2002, and was released in the U.S. on November 12, 2005, with a DVD release on March 7, 2006.
Boris Plots, director of Plots Funeral Home in the fictional Welsh village of Wrottin Powys, dreamed of only two things as a young boy: dancing and Betty Ryhes-Jones. Betty secretly loved Boris, but could not fight her father's wishes, so she was married off to a gold digger Hugh Ryhes-Jones. Boris gave up his dreams and took over the family's undertaking business. Everything has remained status quo in their lives until Betty's mother-in-law dies. Boris and Betty are thrust together again and as they discuss the funeral arrangements for Betty's mother-in-law, the old spark is rekindled.
Her funeral will be held at Plots Funeral Home, much to the chagrin of rival funeral director, Frank Featherbed. Featherbed, an American, is determined to revolutionise the undertaking business in Britain through the innovation of "themed fun-erals". Boris discovers that the only obstacle between their love for one another, is her marriage to the two-timing District Attorney. In a desperate bid for happiness Boris and Betty decide to stage her death and run away together.
- Brenda Blethyn as Betty Rhys-Jones
- Robert Pugh as Hugh Rhys-Jones
- Alfred Molina as Boris Plots
- Naomi Watts as Meredith Mainwaring
- Lee Evans as Delbert Butterfield
- Christopher Walken as Frank Featherbed
The 2002 Variety review noted its "near-miraculous balance between the silly and the morbid" and referred to it as "enjoyable and entertainingly cast" even though it was "unlikely to bury the competition". In 2005, The Los Angeles Times described it as succeeding in sustaining its "deliberate silliness" though it might work better for home viewing than in theatres, and described its cast as "first rate." DVD Talk was less enthusiastic: "though kind of a mess, and not really all that funny, Undertaking Betty still feels barely recommendable, thanks to a colorful cast of true characters." Reel Film gave it 3 of 4 stars, and described it as "charming, low-key romantic comedy", and though there's "nothing especially groundbreaking or even memorable about Undertaking Betty, but the undeniably sweet vibe is ultimately quite difficult to resist."
The film was nominated for a Golden Hitchcock at the 2002 Dinard British Film Festival, and won a Cymru Award at the 2003 BAFTA Awards, Wales.
- Nesselson, Lisa (November 7, 2002). "Plots With a View (U.K.)". Variety.
- Crust, Kevin (November 11, 2005). "Undertaking Betty". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2006-03-18.
- Weinberg, Scott (March 29, 2006). "Undertaking Betty". DVDTalk.com.
- "Buena Vista's March '06 Releases - Undertaking Betty (March 15/06)". ReelFilm.com. March 15, 2006.