No Virtue To Be Found
Release Date: May 22, 2009
Starring: Jessica Biel, Colin Firth,
Kristin Scott Thomas, Ben
Barnes, Kris Marshall,
Kimberley Nixon, and Katharine
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 96 minutes
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
Director: Stephan Elliott
Executive Producer: James Spring, Douglas E.
Hansen, Cindy Wilkinson
Kirven, George McGhee, Ralph
Kamp, Louise Goodsill, Paul
Brett, Peter Nichols, and Tim
Producer: Barnaby Thompson, Joe Abrams
and James D. Stern
Writer: Stephan Elliott and Sheridan
Address Comments To:Michael Barker, Tom Bernard and Marcia Bloom
Sony Pictures Classics (Sony Pictures Entertainment)
550 Madison Avenue, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 833-8833; Fax: (212) 833-8844
Web Page: www.sonyclassics.com; Email: Sony_Classics@spe.sony.com
The story opens with Larita Whittaker (played by Jessica Biel), a widowed yet fiery, independent American woman whose character embodies the feminist notion of the sexually repressed woman of the 1920s-30s. While competing in American car races in order to make a living, she meets a charming and youthful Englishman, John Whittaker (played by Ben Barnes). She falls in love with him and he with her. They marry impulsively and John soon takes her to meet his family in England, where opposition awaits in the form of John’s mother, Mrs. Veronica Whittaker (played by Kristin Scott Thomas).
Larita and John’s marriage is soon put to the test as they come to see how little they know about each other. Although at odds with most of John’s dysfunctional family, Larita finds an unlikely ally in the war-weary, withdrawn Mr. Whittaker. When a scandalous secret is uncovered from her past that threatens to permanently drive a wedge in her marriage to John, Larita must make a difficult decision to stick it out or to leave for good.
The movie’s overall storyline, though somewhat appealing with potential for a redemptive ending, is ultimately drawn-out and spoiled by its messy, immoral resolution. The character of Larita as the heroine of the story is unlikable and fairly annoying, while the other characters, with the exception of Mr. Whittaker, excellently portrayed by Colin Firth, come across as trying too hard to make up for the poorly written script. Although there are a few moments eliciting laughter, EASY VIRTUE is a dull, cloying movie that requires caution for its feminist worldview, light sexual material, smoking, and messy moral resolutions.
EASY VIRTUE, an adaptation of the 1924 play by Noel Coward, is a lackluster feminist dramedy that tries too hard to be witty and entertaining. Larita, the story’s supposed heroine, is unlikable and fairly annoying, while the other characters, with the exception of Mr. Whittaker (excellently portrayed by Colin Firth), come across as trying too hard to make up for a poorly written script. Although there are a few laughable moments, the movie suffers from has poor production values and less than believable characterizations. In addition, it has a feminist viewpoint, light sexual material, smoking, and messy moral resolutions.