DEATH AT A FUNERAL (Frank Oz). 90 minutes. Opens Friday (October 12). Rating: NN
Death At A Funeral is the kind of farce the English are particularly good at. Even slapstick vulgarians like the Farrelly brothers can't achieve this blend of high- and lowbrow comedy, a combination whose success, I think, depends on how funny it is to hear people with proper English accents say "fuck."
Matthew Macfayden plays Daniel, a responsible family man about to give the eulogy at his father's funeral, much to the disappointment of the mourners, who'd prefer to hear from his famous novelist brother Robert ( Rupert Graves ). A mysterious stranger hanging around ( Peter Dinklage ) has info about dearly departed Dad that the family would rather didn't become public.
From this point on, highbrow comedy's as dead as Dad. Every bit player from every quirky British flick of the last five years gets to chew scenery in subplots that range from the ridiculous to the disgusting. There are plenty of laughs, but as the closing credits roll, you realize the best part of the movie came an hour and a half ago: the coolly stylish opening credits.