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The Importance Of Being Earnest
The Importance Of Being Earnest (Soundtrack)
The Importance Of Being Earnest (1952 Version)
$13.46 (VHS)
The Importance of Being Earnest and Other Plays (Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)

The Importance Of Being Earnest Review

Directed By: Oliver Parker.
Starring: Rupert Everett, Reese Witherspoon, Colin Firth, Judi Dench, Frances O'Connor.

Synopsis: Two young gents living in 1890's England have taken to bending the truth in order to put some excitement into their lives. Worthing (Firth) has invented a brother, Earnest, whom he uses as an excuse to leave his dull country life behind to visit the ravishing Gwendolyn (O'Connor). Montcrieff (Everett) decides to take the name "Earnest" when visiting Worthing’s young and beautiful ward, Cecily (Witherspoon) at the country manor. Things start to go awry when they end up together in the country and their deceptions are discovered - threatening to spoil their romantic pursuits.

You sit there in a theatre, watching a period piece film like this and the hell is it that a script over a hundred years old can remain this sharp, this funny without ever bordering on maudlin while today's modern comedy scripts seem to feel if there isn't some bodily fluid splashing across the screen it is not worth the time to watch?

And it's not just that The Importance of Being Earnest is funny, it is, but there is more, it is well acted, nicely paced, and makes me feel sad for what is considered comedy nowadays. It as an adult film that hopefully will get an audience between screenings of Spider-Man, Attack of the Clones and all the other big-budget efforts.

There should be praise enough for everyone in the cast as all are excellent, despite the fact that I am not a Reese Witherspoon fan she turns in a truly solid performance and holds her own with three masters Everett, Firth and Dame Dench. Also Frances O'Connor, and Tom Wilkinson are superb as well.

As for the director, Oliver Parker is the sort who turns out interesting little films yet never seems to get the credit he so richly deserves. He directed a really great version of Ideal Husband, another of Wilde's plays and follows it up with this excellent adaptation of The Importance Of Being Earnest while still giving a few changes to keep a purist a bit of a shock...I am pretty sure that Gwendolen never had the name Earnest tattooed on her ass, but I am equally sure Oscar Wilde would grin at the thought of it.

As for some reactions to the film that utter such things as, if you know the play then you'll be disappointed with the movie, I say...what? What, disappointed with the great performances, the perfectly well-timed line deliveries? The tweaking of locales to give the script an extra push? Naw, no disappointment my friends, someone says something like that they are simply a theatrical elitist and believe the stage can never be surpassed by 1950's of them!

Anyway, another film this year scoring very high with me. 4 stars out of 5 and a film I will easily watch again, if not buy down the road.

Copyright© Written By: Rob Paul

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