Ultimately, what works best is the chemistry of the two leads, as everyone else appears to be along for the same ride as the viewers.
If you like Knives Out, this film is at least a spiritual predecessor to that comic mystery masterpiece. Absurdity is a journey in an of itself. The mystery is a bonus.
The combination of Hiller, Lemmon, Miller and Jones no doubt is what makes this a Criterion selection. I can’t argue with this. As a film, it may not be a classic, but it is worth exploring.