Easy Virtue - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Easy Virtue Reviews

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June 12, 2016
The movie is a showcase for the brilliant Noel Coward. It is full of dry, pithy humor when life seems so cruel. The acting was first-rate. Anyone who thinks Jessica Biel can't act should watch this flick. Highly recommended!
May 15, 2016
Superb final 20 minutes.

Unfortunately it was an inconsistent bore leading up to that brilliance.
½ February 12, 2016
Two things can be said about this movie from the get go. Jessica Biel has an absolutely breathtaking hiney! I mean that thing is good! I wanna be friends with it ; )

The other thing, this coming from a more serious critique, Colin Firth was excellent in this movie, but sadly he stood alone in his superior acting in this film. Don't get me wrong the film was not in any sense awful, but some of the actors, but more so in this case actresses, did not meld well and did not bounce awesome acting energy off each other, but as my friend Emma put it, this was a good film for miss honey buns to act as not just the pretty girl. All things considered, with the sad camera work and the not so excellent use of the wonderful english countryside that so many directors have grasped, and sadly Mr. Elliot did not. It's funny, but I did find a twinge of a Luhrmann feel lol, but I guess you'll just have to see what I mean.
January 24, 2016
Great film with a quick wit and a lot of heart. This one was a big surprise for me. Loved it.
May 13, 2015
Maybe not as good as I expected, but still fresh and sweet...:)
September 9, 2014
This is a dull, baffling movie. The script is dull and the characters are completely flat, but every now and again there'll be a bizarre twist in the story or a weird CGI scene that wakes you up. It's like the director wanted to make Baz Luhrman's The Great Gatsby and then he chickened out.
August 23, 2014
I thought this was excellent, well acted and most enljoyable
July 28, 2014
A charming farce, well worth watching.
May 10, 2014
Like the British food chastised in the film, the movie itself had too many bland grey beige bits... story problems mostly. Biel and Firth put forth excellent performances however, and are the tasty bits and sweet dessert.
April 29, 2014
This film certainly looked the part, with gorgeous locations and costumes and Barnes, Firth, Scott Thomas and Biel all work very hard to make it work, but somehow the whole just doesn't gell together. The humour is quite often forced and a bit desperate for a laugh (like the ridiculous bit with the dog) and the tone wavers from unconvincing slapstick to overwrought melodrama and attempts at dry wit that are just not funny. Biel looks beautiful and you do feel for her and Firth, but the rest of the family are just so insufferable that you cannot feel any compassion towards any of them. It's too boring for a farce and too silly for a drama. An unsatisfying experience.
½ February 21, 2014
A Noel Coward play, made first into a movie by Hitchcock and now remade. The Guardian review called it a comedy. I'm beginning to think I have no sense of humour, because despite the comic bits, what struck me was the realism of a tale about the English social landscape devastated in the Twenties by the effects of the wholesale slaughter of young men in the Great War. Add in a subplot about the relative merits of assisted euthanasia, and there's the makings of a good yarn. Having Colin Firth and Kristin Scott Thomas aboard did the movie no harm, either. Jessica Biel did a good job too, contrary to some of the reviews.
January 20, 2014
This is a decent film; it's not the best however, but it wasn't bad either. Unfortunately I didn't get to see the end as my telly was playing up but I read the spoiler on Wikipedia to make up for it :P. The film is based on the play by Noel Coward and is about a glamorous American woman, Larita Whittaker (Jessica Biel) who marries a young English man, John Whittaker (Ben Barnes) and he takes his bride home to England to meet his very upper crush English family who take an immediate disliking to her. Larita struggles to fit in with her husband's family, but with no avail, however she does manage to charm John's father, Major Jim Whittaker (Colin Firth).

Jessica Biel is surprisingly good in this film; she was very likeable and charming. Kristin Scott Thomas gives a good performance as John's disapproving mother Veronica and Colin Firth is also very likeable and sympathetic in this. I felt however that the film didn't take itself seriously at times and tried to be a bit to funny and added bad gags such as accidentally killing the family chihuahua by sitting on it (to me that's a bit ludicrous, how can you kill a dog by sitting on it? I don't know if that was in the original play). I feel that the film would have been a bit better if it didn't try to be funny. Also I felt it lacked emotion an depth at times. Other than that it was a fairly entertaining and interesting film with decent performances from it's cast. I think it's a film that someone with disapproving in-laws can relate to. It's a decent watch. I give it 65%.

Grade: B
January 13, 2014
Good ending of this British comedy.
½ December 11, 2013
I'm biased: I'm a fan of anything happening during the Roaring Twenties...A brilliant comedy about a scandalous American girl in a stiff English family. The harpy, Kristin Scott Thomas, directs the whole family and plots the dismissal of her new daughter-in-law.
December 4, 2013
I own this on DVD and Blu-Ray
½ September 13, 2013
A wonderfully diverse film that features equal parts side-splitting humor and intense drama, Easy Virtue sets itself apart from other period pieces thanks to its ability to integrate the two unique styles so evenly throughout. Each plays off the other well, and the laughs in particular do wonders for the story, offsetting what is otherwise something of an upsetting but superbly-crafted unconventional Drama that's bound to surprise viewers with its ending.
½ August 15, 2013
Of course, Coward's writing is superb and there are a number of performances in this well worthy of acclaim but I don't like this new brand of young British actors who are smug about their looks and try to be funny; i.e. Ben Barnes. Perhaps it's just me. Kristin Scott Thomas and Katherine Parkinson were two highlights for me who did Coward the justice he deserves.
½ July 16, 2013
Genuinely funny, sprinkled with witty British dry humor! Kristin Scott Thomas playing the mother in law from hell(not to be missed)
½ May 23, 2013
"Easy Virtue" is the kind of film that I'm desperate to like. It has all the ingredients for me to exclaim, "it's nice to have movies like this in the age of car chases and shootouts!", but instead I'd rather see a film with the components of the latter than this. "Easy Virtue" obviously is stylish and as classy as its characters, but it isn't really a likable or enjoyable film. It's surprising how a movie like this one probably has more pros that cons yet still isn't that great.
Larita (Jessica Biel) is a beautiful young widow who, on a whim, marries John (Ben Barnes), a British man in his '20s that doesn't know what love is but does what he's told. Larita is quite a few years older than her new husband, who is more of a man-child than anything, yet the pair get along with giddiness that lights up the screen ... at first.
Immediately after their elopement, John takes Larita to his family's house in England. They don't live in the moors of "Wuthering Heights" like one gets used to, but it still has the light air of darkness. Not to suggest the film isn't as light as a feather. Once the newlyweds arrive, instantly John's mother Veronica (Kristin Scott Thomas) takes an instant dislike to Larita, whom she bills as a floozy. His father, Jim (Colin Firth), on the other hand, is intrigued.
Larita however, isn't the kind of girl that allows people to push her around. She remains to have a cool façade constantly when in the public eye, and no matter what, Veronica and John's sisters' insults are no match for her. Larita has a tainted past, but doesn't let that get in the way of anything.
Biel in most cases, is not an actress that you would pick out as having a vampy, silent movie look, yet she's perfect as the gorgeous American wife that culture shocks her husband's British family.  It would be hard to say she's reminiscent of Jean Harlow, because she doesn't have that light air of trampiness that latter always carried around.  Larita is the kind of character that's a bit selfish, but she draws you in to the point where it's hard to dislike her.   She's kind of a sexy Mary Astor with blonde hair-- she's smart, pretty, and knows how to manipulate people.  Biel has only given a handful of good performances, and this is one of them.
Stephen Elliott, who directs with much adoration to both his actors and his designer clearly loves painting the gorgeous '20s, whether they're roaring or not.  The costumes are beautiful but simple, the scenery stunning, and the music zips along with jazzy flow.  The film itself revolves around a small group of people, but all are much fun to watch, whether they're good or not.
The dialogue is wonderful to listen to-- while it isn't always "funny", it's intelligent and is written with a keen sense of wit.  Conversations flow fluidly, and insults are always passed around with sheer politeness.  It does a terrific job of painting all of its characters-- for the most part, the film is like a play, as it doesn't change scenery and relies heavily on its cast.  And lucky for us, it's got a good one.
Thomas and Firth round out the superb ensemble, with their nearly effortless talent.  Thomas is always great at being the tart, domineering character (though her recent work in French movies have expanded this), and Firth suits the role of the somewhat dumpy yet sharp father that doesn't get as much screen time as he should.
"Easy Virtue" however, is all surface.  It's hard to not thoroughly enjoy a film with as great of performances as this one or as well-written of a script, yet it all feels largely aimless and empty.  It moves around with attempted zaniness, but the narcissism of most of the characters overshadows it and ultimately drags the film down.  You can't truly call the film style over substance, but it is definitely sumptuous style over decent substance.
April 11, 2013
Nice movie, with an fabulous ending. Colin Firth is a great actor, and Jessica Biel seems to be improving of late.
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