Someone call an undertaker: another stiff has arrived in the form of Death at a Funeral, a pulse-free farce that categorically proves mortality is no laughing matter. No wonder Mattthew Macfadyen looks so glum as he tries to keep a lid on the chaos that threatens to turn his father's burial into a drug-fuelled orgy. Embalming would be too good for Frank Oz's film, whose sole achievement is to make one nostalgic for the relative masterpiece that was his Stepford Wives remake.
From randy relatives on the pull to in-laws as deaf as they are ill-tempered, everything that could go wrong for would-be writer Daniel (Macfadyen) and his more successful sibling Robert (Rupert Graves) does as they try to put their dad in the ground. Throw in a gatecrasher (Peter Dinklage) with secrets to spill, a priest (Thomas Wheatley) on the clock and a guest (Dodgeball's Alan Tudyk) who has accidentally ingested mind-altering hallucinogens and there is every chance there'll be more than one cadaver to dispose of when the time comes for the eulogy.
Alas, the only thing that needs last rites here is Dean Craig's script, a desperate bid to marry a Richard Curtis comedy of middle-class manners with the taste-free gross-out style of the Farrelly Brothers. An apologetic-looking cast treads gingerly over the resulting wreckage, though only the guy in the coffin emerges with his credibility intact. Then again, what do you expect from a movie where a whole sequence revolves around an incontinent geriatric defecating in another man's mouth?
Death At A Funeral is out in the UK on 2nd November 2007.