World-famous director Don Tyler (Donald Sutherland) is in the middle of shooting a film in Beijing when he suffers a severe case of creative block. He is fired by the studio boss (Paul Mazursky) and falls into an even deeper depression alleviated only by the friendship of his cameraman YoYo (Ge You). When Tyler falls ill, he asks YoYo to hold a comedy funeral for him if he dies--a Chinese ritual in which people leave feeling happy, not sad, for the deceased. Tyler eventually falls into a coma, and YoYo scrambles to fulfill his promise. As the cost of the funeral spins wildly out of control, the cameraman is forced to sell advertising space for the event, which will also be televised around the world. This zany satire offers a comedic statement on the commercialization of modern life and the socioeconomic changes sweeping present-day China.