The Importance of Being Earnest

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  • Comedy, Period, Romance , produced in 2002 UK, USA
  • Actors: Rupert Everett, Colin Firth
  • Directed by: Oliver Parker
  • Rating: 6.7 out of 10
  • Plot Summary: In his second adaptation of an Oscar Wilde play, writer-director Oliver Parker (AN IDEAL HUSBAND) assembles a peerless cast to engage in this witty comedy of manners and mistaken identity. In 1890s London, rakish Algernon Montcrieff (Rupert Everett, who also starred in HUSBAND) runs into his friend, Jack Worthing (Colin Firth), who is in town to propose marriage to Algy's wildly romantic cousin, Gwendolen (Frances O'Connor). When returning a cigarette case to Jack, Algy reads the inscription, and discovers his friend has two secrets. Jack has created a devilish younger brother/alter ego called "Ernest" to hide his own misdeeds, and has a beautiful young ward named Cecily (Reese Witherspoon), whom he wants to keep clear of the roguish Algy. While Jack deals with the large obstacle standing between him and Gwendolen--namely, her mother, the imposing Lady Bracknell (a wonderfully imperious Judi Dench)--Algy devises a way to meet Cecily. The confusion and hilarity come to a peak when Algy arrives at Jack's country manor posing as Ernest in order to woo Cecily, and Gwendolen runs away to the country to be with Jack--whom she knows as Ernest. The stellar cast and Wilde's clever words make for genuine entertainment.
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