One major flaw with dying is that the event is a compelling reason to throw a party in your own honor--one to which your closest friends are invited--but you can't attend. Take a lesson from these flicks: Cheat death of its grim countenance and plan your own funeral.

Soft Fruit (1999)-A mother gathers her children for a week-long vacation beside her deathbed. Winner of a Sundance Audience Award, this Aussie film has a touching, drug-induced scene where the dying mom is kidnapped by her gentle-hearted, ex-con son. Cranked on painkillers, he takes her to fulfill her lifelong wish of visiting the seaside. Dark, funny, sweet, and complicated.

It's My Party (1996)--Falling victim to the ill effects of AIDS, Nick (Eric Roberts) watches as his lover turns a cold shoulder to him and his flaming friends try to maintain an upbeat facade. On the eve of his own suicide, the ever-jocular Nick throws himself one last homofest.

Harold and Maude (1972)--Originally the 20-minute thesis of a UCLA film student, this film shadows a pair of spring-and-autumn lovers. With deadpan seriousness, 20-year-old Harold repeatedly botches his suicide efforts, while his wrinkly lover bounds through the last days of her life.