An Ideal Husband - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

An Ideal Husband Reviews

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June 15, 2016
Oscar Wilde's stage piece is marvelously brought to the screen due to a funny, witty script and lively performances from a talented cast - featuring astonishing work from Julianne Moore and Cate Blanchett - that depicts the intrigues and machinations of British Royalty.
January 10, 2016
A delightful Oscar Wilde story with an all-star cast doing great work in a beautifully evoked period setting: that is a recipe for a delightful romantic comedy.
½ November 25, 2015
If you're watching it now, the answer is: no. It does not get better.
September 21, 2015
"An Ideal Husband" is an idyllic sort of comedic period piece - slyly witty, seductively pristine, and mind-numbingly plush. Existing in a wasteland of aristocrats, courtesans, balls, and proposals, romantic entanglements and blackmail schemes all reek with the exotic perfume of exquisite manners and spotless quips. It's better to be a gentleman, to be a lady, than go by with an extroverted outspokenness. To skirt around an issue for the objective of sounding polite is a must; to be blunt and hasty in one's choice of words is a no no.
Such entertainment, generally ball-busting and too well-groomed, can be tiresome; to see beautiful people put their societal standings first and their emotions second only causes one to want to pull their hair out as the plot stands still. But period pieces, especially those set in the 1800s, have a certain sort of charm about them - mannered sardonicism is endlessly watchable - and a film like "An Ideal Husband", at once eclair light and whip smart, is distinguished escapism, a politely droll holiday from the linguistic funeral marches of modern times. It's an overture of dialogue.
Based on Oscar Wilde's play of the same name, the film is a comedy of manners coming apart at the seams. It finds its conflict through the possible downfall of parliamentary up-and-comer Sir Robert Chiltern (Jeremy Northam), who has built a career on unwaveringly ethical behavior but is suddenly sidelined by the arrival of a past scandal. Most would attempt to brush off such matters and bravely come clean, but considering that the need for societal respect in the 1800s is more important than raising happy children and the fact that all of Chiltern's wealth is because of this corrupt event, its leakage could lead to explosive tragedy. The blackmailer, the eloquent Mrs. Cheveley (Julianne Moore), delights in the idea of seeing Chiltern fail - and it doesn't help that she is romantically interested in Chiltern's best friend, Lord Goring (Rupert Everett), who is entering a serious courtship with Chiltern's sister (Minnie Driver).
In retrospect, "An Ideal Husband" doesn't seem to be about anything besides its dialogue - there is something overwhelmingly hypnotizing about watching the wealthy trade insults with the slippery poise of a biographical-documentary narrator. The relationships all appear flimsy (consider just how quickly Mabel and Goring fall for one another), and so do the motives of the characters; but "An Ideal Husband" gets away with its many areas of thinness because it presents everything in such a neatly witty package, bewitchingly engrossing and subtly rib-tickling. The performers, even the heinously villainous Moore, are distinctly mesmerizing, delivering their elegant lines like they really believe them. For a film that takes place in 1895, it's enormously attractive. The period piece is a wondrously diverting escape, so long as you don't overdose on all the bourgeoisie equanimity and keep your thoughts pure.
September 3, 2015
Although undeniably slight, An Ideal Husband succeeds on the strength of its cast (particularly Moore) and its witty script.
May 20, 2015
A quirky story of the complications that can arise from the past and the chaos that friendships and misunderstanding can cause.
May 3, 2015
Outstanding cast in this delightful comedy of high society England victorian era. Rupert Everett was outstanding playing the handsome charming ladies man just as Colin Firth was wowed us playing the man's man in 'A Single Man'. But the prize for the besting acting must go to Julianne Moore. Her Oscar prize this year 16 years after this film was absolutely long overdue.
April 4, 2015
Liked the film made out of the play written by Oscar Wilde. Holds good even today A must watch.
July 26, 2014
Rather good adaptation of one of Wilde's best scripts delivered by a stellar cast. Jeremy Northam is fine and one wonders why he has not done more on screen. Leisurely but smoothly directed with sumptuous art direction.
½ July 13, 2014
Oscar Wilde is the best! So charming and witty.
July 13, 2014
Beautiful vocabulary
June 22, 2014
Fun adaptation of Oscar Wilde.
June 21, 2014
I liked this movie even if it did have a happy ending.
October 24, 2013
Brilliantly translated from stage to screen and wonderfully executed by the actors. The scenes are beautifully interwoven to keep the plot moving in a way more suitable for a cinematic audience. However, there is something about it that makes it somewhat forgettable to all but fans of the original play. Nevertheless, I nice, short, very entertaining film.
½ March 17, 2013
Not even the Capra-esque speech on the Commons floor or the carefully woven romantic ending can detract from the enjoyment of Wilde's typically sharp-tongued repartee and intricate plotting being delivered by an excellent cast. (And to be fair, both are rather sweet in their very different ways, and I suppose one has to give him credit for succeeding, a la Lord Goring, in speaking of serious things without ever relinquishing the appearance of cynical triviality.)
January 2, 2013
love the dramatic theme, the scheme and twist, its really entertaining :)
December 7, 2012
Looks interesting will try to find and watch!
October 31, 2012
Since Rupert Everett is gay, not sure how ideal he is.
October 14, 2012
Frothy to a fault, it couldn't hold my interest for the long haul. The cast is game, but it's much ado about quite little.
October 2, 2012
"It is not who perfect, but who inperfect is in a need of love."
Oscar Wilde

Fantastic movie!
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