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A Good Woman (2004)



Average Rating: 5.3/10
Reviews Counted: 81
Fresh: 30 | Rotten: 51

This adaptation of Wilde's Lady Windermere's Fan lacks bite due to liberties taken with the source material, coupled with uneven performances.


Average Rating: 5.6/10
Critic Reviews: 29
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 19

This adaptation of Wilde's Lady Windermere's Fan lacks bite due to liberties taken with the source material, coupled with uneven performances.



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Average Rating: 2.7/5
User Ratings: 107,110

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Movie Info

One of Oscar Wilde's most popular plays is given a new screen interpretation in this period comedy. In New York in the early '30s, Mrs. Erlynne (Helen Hunt) is a widow who lives comfortably through the largesse of several married men, and when she runs out of wealthy suitors in Manhattan, she decides to find greener pastures among the wealthy elite of Italy's Amalfi coast. Mrs. Erlynne sets her sights on Robert Windermere (Mark Umbers), a wealthy Englishman who is married to the young, innocent


Drama, Romance, Comedy

Howard Himelstein

Jun 13, 2006


Lions Gate Films - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (88) | Top Critics (32) | Fresh (30) | Rotten (51) | DVD (4)

... willfully odd movie ...

February 17, 2006 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A Good Woman suffers from a staggeringly bad miscasting of its central role and from a cut-and-paste screenplay that substitutes random insertions of Wilde epigrams for character.

February 3, 2006 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Something is wrong with A Good Woman: The lightning never strikes. It's never quite alive.

February 3, 2006 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Wilde isn't supposed to be lovely, or charming. He's supposed to be funny, wicked, rude and as full of serious feeling as a lavender butterfly.

February 3, 2006 Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A Good Woman is such a dreary affair that it makes you wonder whether the last Wilde adaptation -- the critically lambasted The Importance of Being Earnest with Reese Witherspoon -- was really that bad after all.

February 3, 2006
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Besides the consuming, universal glibness of its characters, A Good Woman is also undermined by some ditsy casting.

February 3, 2006 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic


August 30, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion

Sermonizes in the manner Wilde satirized; the movie bends over backwards to assure the audience that marriage and monogamy, the butt of jokes throughout, are just and right.

February 22, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

If you enjoy the charming wit of films such as An Ideal Husband or Enchanted April, you'll probably be Wilde about A Good Woman.

September 22, 2006
Christianity Today

There's only one thing worse than being a period piece, and that's being an out-of-period piece.

August 23, 2006 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Hunt, grievously miscast as the worldly Mrs. Erlynne...ends up looking like a once-fresh teenager, beaten down by the years, playacting in Mommy's oversized threads on a rainy day.

February 27, 2006

A bit of a muddle at the ending, but the performances are pleasant (Tom Wilkinson is outstanding) and the humour is quick and subversive.

February 17, 2006 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
Jam! Movies

While this film is certainly not a painful experience, it is certainly not up to the brilliance of Oscar Wilde's intent and voice.

February 17, 2006 Full Review Source:

A wet teabag of a movie.

February 16, 2006 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club

With its jellyfish direction, A Good Woman throws its actors overboard to see if they can swim.

February 11, 2006 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

It's (Tom) Wilkinson who really saves the movie. His acting is always outstanding --- he makes it appear so effortless.

February 8, 2006 Full Review
Kaplan vs. Kaplan

The working title for this film might have been 'Bartlett's Familiar Quotations as Spoken by Brits in Italy'.

February 8, 2006 Full Review
Kaplan vs. Kaplan

It's brief, frivolous, and extremely entertaining even as some of it seems forced, and the film lacks the elegance of Wilde's wordplay.

February 5, 2006 Full Review Source: Film Blather
Film Blather

Entertaining and stylish.

February 4, 2006 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

The famous Oscar Wilde wit tempered with gorgeous Italian sunsets. You could do worse.

February 4, 2006 Full Review
Denton Record Chronicle (TX)

Writer Howard Himelstein should have left well enough alone.

February 3, 2006
Greenwich Village Gazette

This could have been an amusing, old-fashioned drawing room farce but fails for two reasons: Helen Hunt and Scarlett Johansson.

February 3, 2006 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

...offers the stunning scenery of the Amalfi coast and the thoroughly entertaining, completely endearing performance of Tom Wilkinson..

February 3, 2006 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

The production is beautifully costumed and cast, and Hunt acquits herself quite nicely while playing entirely against type.

February 3, 2006 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Audience Reviews for A Good Woman

A woman suspects her husband of infidelity when an older woman who has a sullied reputation comes to town.
Why do modern directors and writers think they are smarter than some of the best writers in the English language? In this case, Oscar Wilde's great play Lady Windemere's Fan gets distorted, the worst sin coming in the third act of the film. In addition to alterations in the plot, writer Howard Himelstein interjects some of Wilde's random witticisms into the script; for example, there is little reason why America being the only country to go from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between should be included in the film. It's funny, of course, but out of place.
Helen Hunt does not deliver a strong performance. I often thought that Wilde's sophisticated dialogue puts Hunt out of her element, and Scarlett Johannson isn't much better. Obviously the Britons, Tom Wilkinson and Stephen Campbell Moore aren't similarly affected.
Overall, the source material is strong, but the film isn't.
July 6, 2012
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

What a strange title... almost all the women pissed me off in this movie. I take that back; all the characters pissed me off. There is so much deceit, cheating, and dishonesty going about this plot that we, as the audience, don't know who to root for. There's a group that are the gossipers, Helen Hunt's the seductress, Scarlett Johansson wavers between loyalty and betrayal, and worst of all, Stephen Campbell Moore tries his hardest to break the bond of marriage to satiate his want to sleep with a hot girl. Yeah, you heard me; Campbell Moore says that he does it for the sake of "love" but I call it a booty call, and I make that assumption based on his annoying ass character's mannerisms and actions. What particularly annoyed me the most was how almost everyone within this movie was NOT genuine until the movie decides to wrap everything up with a happy, feel-good ending.

"A Good Woman" is put together sloppily with very generic techniques that add nothing to the subpar plot with some of the most annoying side characters I've seen in a very long time. This movie is not worth a watch.
March 10, 2012
Albert Kim

Super Reviewer

its an alright film
April 14, 2009
Film Crazy

Super Reviewer

The tone of this adaptation is sooo serious and strips away much of Oscar Wilde's bombastic wit. Stephen Campbell Moore is my new It Guy.
August 10, 2008

Super Reviewer

Movies Like A Good Woman

    1. Contessa Lucchino: Crying is the refuge of plain women. Pretty women go shopping!
    – Submitted by Frances H (10 months ago)
    1. Lord Darlington: Marital bliss is a great burden to place on two people.Sometimes a third person is needed to lighten the load.
    – Submitted by Frances H (10 months ago)
    1. Tuppy: Oh, I like a good read myself. But nothing too laborious. I don't want to tamper with natural ignorance. It's the key to happiness.
    2. Mrs. Erlynne: Do you really think so?
    3. Tuppy: Oh, absolutely. Good health, it's important but ignorance is the key. Too much knowledge and you're doomed.
    – Submitted by Nigel N (19 months ago)
View all quotes (3)

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