My handy-dandy SIFF Guide described Never on a Sunday as a "black comedy" ala Weekend at Bernie's and its protagonist as a sort of Mexican Judd Nelson -- neither description being particularly enthralling. Fortunately, in spite of being overlong, the film has considerably more depth and emotion than Weekend at Bernie's (a fun film, to be sure, but far from the realm of the cinematic masterpiece), and lead actor Humberto Busto (Amores Perros), in spite of the resemblance of his profile, hairstyle, and brooding-teen vibe to the Breakfast Club-era Nelson, brings a surprising depth to a role that could have been very one-dimensional.
When we first meet Carlos (Busto), he is sitting at the bedside of his dying Uncle Julio as he gasps his last breath. Unfortunately for Carlos and his family, Uncle Julio decided to die on a Sunday, and apparently in Mexico that's a bad thing to do. The bereaved family can't get anyone from the coroner's office to come over to issue a death certificate, and without the paperwork they can't get a funeral home to come and get the body. They finally find one funeral home that will pick the body up, and Carlos is sent by his father to accompany his uncle's body, to witness the cremation and handle the paperwork.