The Importance of Being Earnest Reviews
The film follows the story of two friends living in England. Jack (Firth) and his friend Algy (Everett) both use different pseudonyms instead of their real names depending on where they are. In the country, Jack is known as Jack, in the town he is known as Earnest. Algy is known as Earnest in the country and Algy in the town. Both men are in love with separate women, and neither ladies know their real names.
This is the second Colin Firth film I'm reviewing this week. Aside from the remarkable cast assembled, Firth and Everett are by far the best parts of this film. Their performances are splendid. Both have fantastic chemistry together on screen. Every scene the two of them share is absolutely perfect. Dame Judi Dench also gives a brilliant performance as Algy's formidable and intimidating aunt. Tom Wilkinson is another brilliant addition to the cast. His role may be small, but he makes the best of it.
This is a fair adaptation of the classic play. Most of the dialogue is very well written-thanks to Wilde-and the characters are charming. As previously stated, Earnest and Algy are the best characters in the movie. All the other characters do seem uninteresting compared to these two. I suppose the question to ask is; does this film do the source material justice? The play is known mostly for its incredible wit and humor. It's a satire of the rich fops of the Victorian age. The film manages to capture the heart of the play in the scenes between Earnest and Algy.
From a technical standpoint, it's very well made movie. The film has very stylish beautiful cinematography, lovely costumes, and an interesting use of visuals. The direction isn't too impressive here. The film seems to be driven solely by the performances and the underlying story of the play.
This is in no way a period piece. One of the greatest flaws of this film are the blatant historical errors. Throughout the film we hear jazz music playing occasionally. This is very nonsensical, seeing as jazz is not that old at all. There was no jazz music in the Victorian era. Jazz first emerged during the early 1910's. The play takes place during the 1850's. I must also mention a specific scene when Gwendolen has her arse tattooed with the name Earnest. This also wasn't a practice during this time. I have witnessed many films such as this where something that should be a period piece gets modernized. It's a horrendous thing to do, especially if it's based on a beloved classic.
"The Importance of Being Earnest" may stray into a cheesy modern style, but it doesn't change the fact that this is a very witty film. The two central characters shine, the production is beautiful, and the comedy is ever present. It's an amusing film that Wilde fans may somewhat enjoy, but won't love to death.