The Importance of Being Earnest
The Importance of Being Earnest (2002)

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.

Directed By:
Rated: PG
Running Time:
Release Date: May 31, 2002
DVD Release Date: November 12, 2002
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Critic Score: 57% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

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.

Robert Koehler

[An] utterly miscalculated film adaptation of Wilde's play.

Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture

Wilde subtitled his masterpiece "A Trivial Comedy for Serious People." This movie seems intent on being a trivial comedy for trivial people.

Charlotte O'Sullivan
Independent (UK)

A more serious problem is that Parker doesn't trust his material and - under the guise of pointing up Wilde's subversive wit - has opted to play safe.

Full review…
David Ansen

This may be a less than ideal "Earnest," but it still has delights...

Robert K. Elder
Chicago Tribune

The Importance of Being Earnest resonates and inspires rapid-fire bouts of laughter, perhaps even a few giggles from the author himself, whom posterity has rewarded the last laugh.

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S. Jhoanna Robledo
Common Sense Media

Romance and deception in Wilde's clever comedy of manners.

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Geoff Andrew
Time Out

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.

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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer

Though Mr. Parker's The Importance of Being Earnest is pleasant enough in its casting and performances, it doesn't work as it should.

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Judith Egerton
Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)

The movie stumbles along awkwardly rather than tripping by wittily from beginning to end. The fault lies in Parker's needless embellishments.

Full review…

Flixster Audience Score: 72% Flixster User Reviews
KJ Proulx
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… More
Robert C
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… More
Cast: Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Frances O'Connor, Reese Witherspoon, Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson, Anna Massey, Edward Fox, Patrick Godfrey, Charles Kay… More
Candy Rose
Great cast. Funny comedy about mistaken identities in 1890s England.
Cynthia S.
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… More
Curtis Lilly
A casualty of being married had me watch this one. It fits the chick flick model, of being cute yet pointless. However, It wasn't painful to watch...but… More

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