Fortunately for us, it's not.
Departures is a Japanese movie that came out in 2008 and it is...beautiful. Beautiful beautiful beautiful. From the opening scene, it displays a kind of exquisite grace that holds to the end of the movie. In this movie, Masahiro Motoki plays a professional cellist named Daigo Kobayashi, who suddenly finds himself out of a job when his orchestra dissolves. He moves back to his hometown and through some misunderstandings (call it miscommunication, call it fate, call it chicken salad), he starts a job where he prepares the deceased for funerals.
It's strange that a job (and a movie) that revolves around death is such an affirmation of life. But although many of Kobayashi's friends and relatives find the job morbid, Kobayashi's eyes are opened to poignant wonder of life through his work.
This movie is a celebration of life in so many ways, even as it deals with death, grieving, and the parting of ways.
The movie's not fast-paced by any means, but I thought it ran a natural course. Director Yojiro Takita has a keen eye for what to capture and for beautiful scenery. Also, the soundtrack is by Joe Hisaishi and you can never go wrong with him. His majestic orchestral lines and sweeping cello solos are reminiscent of his work in Princess Mononoke, which is one of my favorite soundtracks of all time.