The Importance of Being Earnest - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Importance of Being Earnest Reviews

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Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
July 31, 2002
...a curiously unambitious film, content to fill up a couple of hours with sugar talk and pretty pictures
Full Review| Original Score: C
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
May 25, 2002
While The Importance of Being Earnest offers opportunities for occasional smiles and chuckles, it doesn't give us a reason to be in the theater beyond Wilde's wit and the actors' performances.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
June 1, 2002
[Everett] mugs away desperately as the feckless Algernon Moncrieff and overplays Mutt to the Jeff of Colin Firth, who renders earnest Jack Worthing in his usual key of hunky worrywart as he struggles opposite Frances O'Connor's wan Gwendolen.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
May 23, 2002
Parker probably thinks he's shaking up a classic the way Kenneth Branagh and Baz Luhrmann have, but this half-hearted messing-about just makes us miss Wilde's still-contemporary play.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Bob Grimm
Las Vegas Mercury
June 4, 2002
An often-deadly boring, strange reading of a classic whose witty dialogue is treated with a baffling casual approach
| Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Geoff Andrew
Time Out
June 24, 2006
You might suppose that Oscar Wilde's theatrical evergreen is indestructible. But that would be to reckon without the intervention of 'writer'/director Parker, who really makes a pig's ear of this silk purse.
Gabriel Shanks
Mixed Reviews
June 1, 2002
Why should director Oliver Parker hang his head? It's a multiple choice question.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Susan Granger
June 10, 2002
Full Review| Original Score: 5/10
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
May 15, 2002
Somewhere buried beneath the frippery and undergrad-comedy-revue jokiness of Oliver Parker's adaptation of The Importance of Being Earnest is Oscar Wilde, yearning to get a word in edgewise.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Jan Stuart
May 22, 2002
What Wilde regarded as 'a trivial comedy for serious people,' Parker has made over into a trivial comedy for trivial people.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Mike Clark
USA Today
May 23, 2002
Director Oliver Parker labors so hard to whip life into The Importance of Being Earnest that he probably pulled a muscle or two.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
May 24, 2002
Parker dams the flow of Wilde's brilliant comic revelations and reversals with contrived visuals.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
May 24, 2002
Despite the sparkling source material ... this romp through Victorian parlors frequently falls flat on its rump.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
May 24, 2002
To take a big fat wrecking ball to one of the surefire delights of world theater -- well, that requires energy and invention ... Oliver Parker does that here, and the result is a frustrating, boring mess.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Robert Koehler
March 26, 2009
[An] utterly miscalculated film adaptation of Wilde's play.
Top Critic
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
May 23, 2002
This Earnest misses the play's biggest joke: There's nothing the least bit earnest about any of it.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Judith Egerton
Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)
June 25, 2004
The movie stumbles along awkwardly rather than tripping by wittily from beginning to end. The fault lies in Parker's needless embellishments.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Susan Tavernetti
Palo Alto Weekly
May 20, 2003
| Original Score: 2/4
Matthew Turner
October 30, 2002
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Harry Guerin
RTÉ (Ireland)
May 22, 2003
Always destined to be measured against Anthony Asquith's acclaimed 1952 screen adaptation.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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