The Importance of Being Earnest

2002

The Importance of Being Earnest

Critics Consensus

Oliver Parker's adaptation of Oscar Wilde's classic play is breezy entertainment, helped by an impressive cast, but it also suffers from some peculiar directorial choices that ultimately dampen the film's impact.

57%

TOMATOMETER

Reviews Counted: 115

72%
liked it

Audience Score

User Ratings: 32,134

TOMATOMETER

N/A
All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0

AUDIENCE SCORE

72%
Average Rating: 3.4/5

You may have noticed some of the recent changes we have made. To read more about what we’ve been working on behind the scenes, please check out our new RT Product Blog here.


Want to See

Add Rating
My Rating    

The Importance of Being Earnest Photos

Movie Info

Two young gentlemen living in 1890's England use the same pseudonym on the sly, which is fine until they fall in love with women using that name, which leads to a comedy of mistaken identities.

Watch it now

Cast

Critic Reviews for The Importance of Being Earnest

All Critics (115) | Top Critics (39)

Audience Reviews for The Importance of Being Earnest

This adaptation of the classic play is a very nice tribute, keeping the dialogue and characters, very close to home. What I must comment on, is that the settings and outdoor scenes felt a little understudied. There is a particular scene that should have taken place in the living room, but ended up displaying it outside as Cecily climbs down a ladder. I absolutely love the story of how two friends meet a love of their life, and are both disapproved by someone or another. It is such a funny idea to have both girls in love with the name earnest, while figuring out that both men calling themselves Earnest, do not even helm that proper name. The overall story is a brilliant little tale that I will probably refer to for a long time, and the play does portray the substance with perfection, but the few scenes of dumb humour, the set locations, the al bait too short running time, and odd take for direction, slightly degrades the effectiveness that the play brought upon. However, I highly enjoy this film, and I would have no problem recommending it to anyone, even if that haven't read the play!

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

Cast: Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Frances O'Connor, Reese Witherspoon, Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson, Anna Massey, Edward Fox, Patrick Godfrey, Charles Kay Director: Oliver Parker Summary: In this adaptation of Oscar Wilde's witty play about mistaken identities, Rupert Everett and Colin Firth star as two proper gentlemen in 1890s London who use the same pseudonym with disastrous results. At a country estate, they fall in love with two ladies -- Cecily (Reese Witherspoon) and Gwendolyn (Frances O'Connor). But the hilarious confusion that ensues from their noms de guerre could sink their respective chances at romance. My Thoughts: "The movie was as silly and humorous as it was intended to be. The film is filled with a very talented cast of actor's from Colin Firth to Judi Dench. Loved the costumes and the scenery. It was an enjoyable film, but not something I would probably watch a second time."

♥˩ƳИИ ƜѲѲƉƧ♥
♥˩ƳИИ ƜѲѲƉƧ♥

Super Reviewer

½

This movie has its moments, but despite an excellent cast the attempts to jazz up the content detracted rather than added to the enjoyment. The whole pre-Raphaelite fantasy thing creaked like a rusty door. The wit and charm of the original play still pokes through with Firth, Dench, Wilkinson, etc. doing what they can, but these are almost obscured by this schoolboyish attempt to try a new angle.

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

A good film, based on a great play. There are few who can match the writing skills of Oscar Wilde, especially when he is doing what he does best - social satire. The cast is impressive and (mostly) fun to watch. Though I found the music and Ms. Witherspoon is a bit off putting. She seemed a bit out of place here. But all in all an enjoyable little romp.

Robert C
Robert C

Super Reviewer

The Importance of Being Earnest Quotes

News & Features