i thought asquith's the importance of being earnest was actually kinda funny but other than that, the comedies of manners of merchant/ivory or period-ey pieces are never funny. in fact, they are usually pretty dull. A ROOM WITH A VIEW the 1985 merchant/ivory is not funny but its not good. i can do either way on daniel day lewis. he is at best a brilliant actor who completely disappears into a character. at worse, he is a ham who overacts like crazy. this role works for him. roles that didnt work: the boxer, the last of the mohicans, my left foot (fuck the oscar. that movie bleeeeew). he is by far the best thing about this film along with the chance of seeing a "young" maggie smith (she was only 90) and a young helena bonham carter (she was 15?) and seeing julian sands' penis (comedy rule of 3, gotta throw a silly one).
in terms of period films, its definetely one of the better ones ive seen and usually, these films bore me to tears. stuffy british cinema from 70s-90s is maybe my least favorite genre (not that stuff british cinema is going to be listed in film books).