Relative Values review

The Earl of Marshwood (Atterton) is returning to his family stately home with a new fiancee. Arrangements, however, are plunged into confusion with the discovery that the loyal maid of his mother (Andrews) is the sister of the prospective bride...

Based on Noel Coward's highly successful play, this adaptation struggles to conceal its theatrical origins. As a comedy of manners, Relative Values provides a smattering of laughs, with the wittiest of Coward's lines going to Stephen Fry's suave butler.

Unfortunately, the direction of Eric Styles (Dreaming Of Joseph Lees) is prosaic and the performances variable in quality. A more adventurous approach to the source material would surely have paid greater dividends.

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