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At Theaters: 6/21/2002 On Video: 11/12/2002
Rated: PG Length: 1 hr. 40 min.
Internet: Web Site Movie ID: 409932
Studio: Miramax Pictures Inc.
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Storyline Heading
Worthing has invented a brother, Earnest, whom he uses as an excuse to leave his dull country life behind to visit the ravishing Gwendolyn. Montcrieff decides to take the name "Earnest" when visiting Worthing's young and beautiful ward 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.
DETAILED STORYLINE
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Movie Type (Genre) Heading
Comedy - A mildly amusing turn-of-the-century story of the upper class. It's a rather slow but entertaining movie that should appeal mainly to adults who look for a bit more sophistication in their films. The turn-of-the-century sets looks fabulous. Some of the British dialog is a little hard to understand and the story gets a little silly at times.

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Cast and Crew Heading
Rupert Everett THE WILD THORNBERRYS, UNCONDITIONAL LOVE
Colin Firth BRIDGET JONES'S DIARY
Frances O'Connor A.I., ABOUT ADAM, BEDAZZLED, MANSFIELD PARK
Reese Witherspoon LEGALLY BLONDE, ELECTION, CRUEL INTENTIONS
Judi Dench THE SHIPPING NEWS, CHOCOLAT, MRS. BROWN
Tom Wilkinson IN THE BEDROOM, BLACK KNIGHT, THE FULL MONTY
Director: Oliver Parker AN IDEAL HUSBAND
Producer: Barnaby Thompson LUCKY BREAK, SPICE WORLD
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Production Notes Heading
Production Information
About The Casting
About The Location
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Content Heading
PROFANITY: None
SEX/NUDITY: None
VIOLENCE: None
DRUGS/ALCOHOL: Some social drinking and smoking.
ACTION: None
COMEDY: Only a few smiles and chuckles.
DETAILED CONTENT
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Critic's Review Heading
Above Average

The above rating is an average of the critic reviews below.

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Entertainment Weekly   Full Review
Average "Somewhere buried beneath the frippery and undergrad-comedy-revue jokiness of Oliver Parker's adaptation of The Importance of Being Earnest is Oscar Wilde, yearning to get a word in edgewise.''

James Berardinelli, Internet Critic  Full Review
Above Average "In the name of modernizing The Importance of Being Earnest, writer/director Parker has taken liberties with the source material. He has cut, pasted, re-arranged, and added. Despite this, however, Earnest remains faithful to the spirit (if not always the letter) of Wilde's text. The advantages and drawbacks are pretty much the same, as well. The story is insubstantial, the characters simply drawn, and the dialogue rich with wit and humor.''

Roger Ebert  Full Review
Good "The Importance of Being Earnest is above all an exercise in wit. There is nothing to be learned from it, no moral, no message. It adopts what one suspects was Wilde's approach to sex--more fun to talk about than to do. As Algernon observes, romance dies when a proposal is accepted: "The very essence of romance is uncertainty."''

TV Guide Online  Full Review
Above Average "With an unflappable air of decadent urbanity, Everett remains a perfect Wildean actor, and a relaxed Firth displays impeccable comic skill. The ever-versatile Witherspoon, meanwhile, is the only non-Brit in Parker's cast, but has little trouble keeping up with her peers. ''

Note: The rating above is our interpretation of what the critic would give this movie based on their review. We are not affiliated with these critic's in any way.

DETAILED CRITIC'S REVIEW
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Opinion Heading

Sorry, we were unable to collect moviegoer opinions.
This movie did not open in a city where we collect opinions.

OPINION OVERVIEW
The following is the original "What's Worth Watching" write-up for this movie.

Moviegoer Opinions:

Sorry, this limited release movie isn't opening at a theater that allows us to collect opinions so no moviegoer opinions will be available.

Cinema Review Opinion: (before moviegoer opinions are collected)
This is a mildly humorous story that's fun and entertaining. It's an average to above average movie with lots of witty dialog and fun plot twists. The turn-of-the-century upper class life is depicted very realistically in the beautiful settings.

I believe it will be enjoyed most by the more sophisticated adult moviegoer.


D ETAILED S TORYLINE
What's in a name? Plenty. Reserved bachelor Jack Worthing (Colin Firth) enjoys a simple, responsible life with Cecily Cardew (Reese Witherspoon), his utterly romantic but romantically sheltered niece. Their life in the country is quiet and serene, save for the moments when Jack is whisked away to London to fix the problems caused by Ernest Worthing, his wayward and carefree brother.

Trouble is, Jack is Ernest. As an escape from the mundane, Jack assumes the identity of this roguish, imaginary alter-ego. Goodbye simple and responsible, hello wayward and carefree. Once he's in London, Jack teams up with his ne'er-do-well partner-in-crime, Algy Moncreef (Rupert Everett), a man whose penchant for overspending is matched only by his knack for dodging bill-collectors.

Jack is also in love. Well, Ernest is, at least. The lucky object of his affection is Gwendolen Fairfax (Frances O'Connor), a rebellious aristocrat with a flair for the dramatic. Jack - as Ernest - proposes to the smitten Gwendolen. Convinced that she is destined to marry a man named Ernest, she graciously accepts his offer. But there's a hitch: Gwendolen's mother, the formidable Lady Bracknell (Dame Judi Dench) requires more than just a name from her daughter's suitors. When she interrogates Jack about his social credentials, she learns of his inauspicious beginnings and refuses her consent. Thus, in order to wed Gwendolen, Jack must rid himself of Ernest and find some evidence of a worthy ancestry.

Algy, meanwhile, takes advantage of his friend's preoccupied state by paying a visit to Cecily. When he introduces himself as Ernest, he is delighted to discover that she has long dreamed of marrying the errant brother.

When Jack returns from the city with news of poor Ernest's death, he is shocked to discover that the figment of his imagination has taken on flesh and blood. Further exacerbating the situation is the arrival of Gwendolen - looking for her Ernest - a debt collector wishing to escort Mr. Ernest Worthing to prison, and a furious Lady Bracknell in search of her elusive daughter.

But waiting around the corner is a surprise - one that affects each and every one of them and will reveal, once and for all.

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