Bernie, Richard Linklater's newest film, is an odd, disjointed, always fascinating but ultimately shallow movie about Bernie Tiede (Jack Black), a mortician and town vivant in Carthage, Texas, who inexplicably takes up with a nasty widow twice his age and then just as inexplicably murders her. The film is based off a Texas Monthly article by Skip Hollandsworth (who shares screenwriting credit here), and has all the elements of drama except the drama itself.
Two enigmas swirl about the film, the first Black's Tiede, a gregarious, Christian, possibly gay and certainly eccentric assistant funeral director for whom the entire town of Carthage swoons. He sings like an angel at church, dispenses tax advice to his blue collar buddies, and goes above and beyond for the widows whose husbands he prepares for the afterlife.
Bernie meets his biggest challenge in Marjorie Nugent (Shirley MacLaine