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An Ideal Husband

An Ideal Husband (1999)

tomatometer

85

Average Rating: 7.4/10
Reviews Counted: 65
Fresh: 55 | Rotten: 10

Brevity is the soul of wit, eh? This adaptation gets to the nitty gritty of Wilde's stage piece and plays on eternal human foibles.

94

Average Rating: 7.4/10
Critic Reviews: 16
Fresh: 15 | Rotten: 1

Brevity is the soul of wit, eh? This adaptation gets to the nitty gritty of Wilde's stage piece and plays on eternal human foibles.

audience

71

liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 10,698

My Rating

Movie Info

A romantic and sentimental comedy set at the turn of the 19th century, An Ideal Husband delves into themes of love, passion, and betrayal among the aristocracy. Sir Robert Chiltern (Jeremy Northam), a brilliant politician and a perfect gentleman, is the ideal husband for the charming Lady Chiltern (Cate Blanchett). They have a widely envied marriage until charming Mrs. Cheveley (Julianne Moore) appears with the intention of revealing a dark secret from Chiltern's past. When his world seems to be

PG-13,

Comedy

Oliver Parker

Jan 18, 2000

Miramax Films

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All Critics (65) | Top Critics (16) | Fresh (55) | Rotten (10) | DVD (8)

The bright, crisp design, Wilde's arch eloquence and a classy company help to camouflage the shortcomings.

March 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An enjoyable, minor, lustrously shot revamping of Oscar Wilde's play about the perpetually interlocked manners of love and deception.

July 7, 2010 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Smooth-flowing direction, a shrewdly pruned script and a top-flight ensemble cast that visibly relishes both the dialogue and one another's perfs make this a tony item for upscale, mature audiences.

June 19, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Parker has made a sensible cinematic translation of Wilde's play, intercutting scenes which would have been played consecutively on the stage.

July 21, 2005 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[I]t's likely that Mr. Wilde, who once wrote, 'A poet can survive anything but a misprint,' would have been less than thrilled with the result.

March 19, 2002 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Wilde was always about lots more than witty repartee, and as sparkling as his play is as drawing-room comedy, it reveals his concern with the timeless values of unselfish love and forgiveness.

February 14, 2001 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Parker's shuttlecock technique only succeeds in throwing Wilde's cascading rhythms seriously out of whack and makes it hard to attend to the language as fully as one would like.

June 18, 2012 Full Review Source: Sight and Sound
Sight and Sound

Quality comedy with a sprinkling of romance, skilfully assembled by a director with a clear feel for the material. Performances are universally great and the dialogue, of course, is superb.

July 20, 2010 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

It's lavish, clever entertainment, a welcome opportunity to laugh without shame.

July 20, 2010 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

It's a pleasant diversion but sadly, little more than a chance to hear Rupert's barbed wit.

December 15, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinerina

The exquisite teamwork and byplay make the film such a delight to watch.

November 18, 2009 Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com
TheMovieReport.com

All the other performances -- from Cate Blanchett, Minnie Driver, Julianne Moore, John Wood and Peter Vaughan -- are first rate.

August 7, 2008 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

Certain stretches truly sparkle, but the movie is not as inventive as The Winslow Boy, nor as relaxed and goofy as Midsummer[night's Dream].

May 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Rupert Everett goes buck wild (okay, Oscar Wilde) in this Victorian comedy of manners and romance.

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

An ideal alternative to the onslaught of Hollywood summer films.

April 9, 2005 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

It is sad that this kind of dialogue is seen so infrequently in modern films; Wilde had a way with words unparalleled in this century.

February 8, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Quips Online
Film Quips Online

Alas, something went wrong between stage and screen...

October 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Cincinnati Enquirer
Cincinnati Enquirer

A movie whose few imperfections never detract from its elegant characters and intriguing plot.

August 2, 2002 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

While it would have been easy to simply rely on the strength of Wilde's writing to carry the project, Parker and his cast never give any less than their very best...

June 5, 2002 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Say what you will about Miramax's alleged underhanded business practices and big-bucks campaigns to buy itself Academy Awards, the studio definitely knows how to package a satisfying movie adaptation of a classic of English Literature.

April 3, 2002 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

All this less-than-ideal Husband proves is there are few folks who have the sense to leave classic text alone.

March 7, 2002 Full Review Source: Matinee Magazine
Matinee Magazine

Audience Reviews for An Ideal Husband

Comedy about a 19th C. MP whose marriage comes under threat by blackmail
August 12, 2008
RossCollinsUK

Super Reviewer

Great cast. Good plot.
July 14, 2007
thmtsang
T Tsang

Super Reviewer

everyone is good but Rupert Everett is brilliant!
April 6, 2007
jjnxn
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

Witty, charming and fun. See it once and you never really need to see it again.
November 12, 2006
mjgildea

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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May 13, 2005:
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Right here at Rotten Tomatoes you can enjoy the all-new trailer for the upcoming and highly...
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