In Death at a Funeral, a farce about the unspooling of a British family from director Frank Oz (In & Out), Daniel (Pride & Prejudice hottie Matthew Macfadyen; left) wants to give his dear departed father a dignified send-off. But a series of mishaps—the mortuary's coffin mix-up, a brother (Rupert Graves) who tries to dodge his share of the funeral costs despite flying in from Manhattan on a first-class ticket, and a guest (Peter Dinklage) who threatens to spill secrets from the man-of-the-hour's past—seem devised to ensure that doesn't happen.
The film has its flaws (a bit about a guest who accidentally takes hallucinogens gets tired quickly, and one scene's scatological humor goes too far), but Daniel's misfortune is the audience's good luck, and the film's delicious comedic flourishes—sight gags, slapstick, flawless timing—are served up by an outstanding cast. Death at a Funeral is the best kind of comedy of manners: one without any.
Printed from Oprah.com on Sunday, December 8, 2013