"Playing the Name Game"
What You Need To Know:
In THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST, a remake of Oscar Wilde’s satirical play, the eligible bachelor Jack Worthing lives a double life in late 1800’s Victorian England. In his country manor, Worthing acts the serious landowner and gentleman who cares for his young niece. He often disappears, however, to the city to repair the damages wrought by his wayward younger brother, Ernest. The problem is, Jack is Ernest. Jack wishes to escape his lackluster country life, so he invents Ernest, who lives a more carefree lifestyle in London. There, he parties with a buddy named Algy (played by Rupert Everett), a financially troubled ladies’ man with some secrets of his own. As Ernest, Jack woos the daughter of Algy’s snooty aunt. Meanwhile, Algy discovers Jack’s dual personas and launches a plan to become Ernest and woo Jack’s lovely niece. A collision of Ernests is inevitable!
Through many laughs and farcical twists, THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST shows the tangled web of deception and the incredible hardship that it causes. Rupert Everett, Reese Witherspoon, Colin Firth, Frances O’Connor, and Dame Judi Dench all do a marvelous job of keeping this complicated plot going.
(B, Ro, V, N, A, D, M) Generally moral worldview with clear consequences shown for misdeeds such as lying and deception; secondary romantic worldview with emotion-based, fantasy-based decisions and outlooks; no foul language; very mild violence with men being tough with each other; no sex, but unplanned pregnancy alluded to, plus a bit of natural nudity with buttocks/tattoo shown twice; alcohol alluded to at bar scene; smoking depicted; and, lying and deception.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST is a renowned Oscar Wilde play adapted for the big screen and directed by Oliver Parker. It is witty, funny, entertaining, and overall a fun experience. There are very few objectionable parts, except the entire play/movie is based on deception.
The eligible bachelor Jack Worthing (Colin Firth) lives a double life in late 1800s Victorian England, where the class system is still firmly entrenched. In his country manor, Worthing acts the serious landowner and gentleman, caring for his young niece, Cecily, played by American Reese Witherspoon (who does a very credible job with her English accent). From time to time, Jack must run off to the city to repair the damages done by his wayward younger brother, Ernest. The problem, however, is that Jack is, in fact, Ernest! To cope with his boring country gentleman’s life, Jack has invented an alter ego named Ernest so he can live a more careless and carefree life in London.
While in London, Jack parties with a buddy named Algy Moncreef (played by Rupert Everett), a ladies’ man and financially troubled n’er-do-well. Algy himself has also created a fictitious, very ill person named Brumby. Algy uses Brumby’s “home” to escape uncomfortable situations caused by his aunt, Lady Bracknell (played by Dame Judi Dench).
To further complicate matters, Lady Bracknell has a daughter, Gwendolen, played by Francis O’Conner, who is in love with the man Ernest. Jack loves her too, but cannot see how he can win the approval of Lady Bracknell and tell Gwendolen his real name. Meanwhile, Algy discovers Jack’s dual personas and launches a plan to become Ernest and meet the lovely Cecily, who has been romantically fantasizing about meeting the mysterious brother named Ernest as an escape for her own lackluster life. Algy’s hope is to force Jack into including him, thus alleviating his financial woes. Meanwhile, Gwendolyn has fled the presence of her overbearing mother and is running off to the countryside to be with her true love, Ernest.
A collision of Ernests is inevitable! After numerous twists and turns and farcical hilarity, can everyone end up happy and in the right spot?
This movie looks great with beautifully designed costumes and sets. The glimpses into Cecily’s fantasy world of knights and horn-playing nymphs prove to be particularly humorous and lovely in content and design. THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST displays the tangled web of deception and the incredible hardship that it causes. Rupert Everett, Reese Witherspoon, Colin Firth, Frances O’Connor, and Dame Judi Dench all do a marvelous job of keeping this complicated plot going.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST is light, fun and enjoyable for teenagers and adults, and could easily lead to a profitable discussion on the downfalls of deception.