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Easy Virtue [DVD]

Ben Barnes , Jessica Biel , Stephan Elliott    Suitable for 12 years and over   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
Price: £5.17 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Ben Barnes, Jessica Biel, Colin Firth, Kristin Scott Thomas, Kris Marshall
  • Directors: Stephan Elliott
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 16 Mar 2009
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001JK6P1S
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,443 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



A lighthearted adaptation of a Noel Coward play set in the late 1920s, Easy Virtue stars Jessica Biel as Larita, an adventurous American who marries John, the naive, British heir (Ben Barnes) to a crumbling family estate. Whisked into the less-than-receptive bosom of John's kin, Larita soon finds herself drawing the scorn of her mother-in-law (Kristin Scott Thomas), who would have preferred John marry a longtime sweetheart from his own genteel community rather than a brash Yankee. Eager to move to London, Larita knows the longer a post-honeymoon John visits his family the harder it will be for the newlyweds to live on their own terms, and she's right. Giving up on any notion of fitting in, Larita suffers a few embarrassments before fighting back. But nothing can help her once a past scandal encroaches on her dream of happiness.
Co-writer and director Stephan Elliott (The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) keeps everything breezy and fun, though the clashes between Larita and her malicious mother-in-law are keenly felt. Elliott's period sensibility is very strong, not least of all his appreciation of John's father (Colin Firth), a restless intellectual and member of the so-called Lost Generation of World War I veterans. Firth's performance as a man distanced from his family's preoccupations and material woes is a real highlight of Easy Virtue. When he dances a tango, late in the story, one can see years of repressed desire erupt in him. --Tom Keogh

Product Description

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital 5.1 ), English ( Subtitles ), WIDESCREEN (2.35:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Commentary, Deleted Scenes, Featurette, Interactive Menu, Making Of, Photo Gallery, Scene Access, Trailer(s), SYNOPSIS: "Easy Virtue," Stephan Elliott's carbonated screen adaptation of an early NoŽl Coward play, is so intent on sustaining a facade of fizzy effervescence that it incorporates bouncy period-style versions of songs by Coward and Cole Porter as a peppy running soundtrack. One character, John Whittaker (Ben Barnes), a dewy English upper-class twit who brings his glamorous, somewhat older new American wife, Larita (Jessica Biel), home to meet his poisonous family, is so enamored of the songs that snippets of the lyrics seep into his dialogue. "Easy Virtue" follows the travails of Larita, a brash, beautiful, widowed race-car driver from Detroit whom John meets in Monaco and impulsively marries. John's mother, Veronica (Kristin Scott Thomas), is predisposed to loathe her new daughter-in-law. And from the moment Larita steps out of John's BMW roadster onto the Whittaker estate, she campaigns for Larita's undoing. In its cold-eyed assessment of the English aristocracy "Easy Virtue" has none of the lurking Anglophilia found in Merchant-Ivory movies. SCREENED/AWARDED AT: British Independent Film Awards, ...Easy Virtue

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
By Annabel Gaskell VINE VOICE
This adaptation of a Noel Coward play was great fun. It was full of great performances from an all-star cast, and some hilarious set pieces - involving a chihuahua and the can can, and a fabulous tango from Colin Firth, but I digress.

The roaring twenties are in full flow when John Whittaker has a whirlwind romance and brings his new American bride home to meet the family in their crumbling ancestral pile. Immediately a battle of wits ensue between his monster of a mother (the wonderfully clipped Kristin Scott Thomas) and Larita, a go-getter from Detroit (Jessica Biel). Colin Firth is the drop-out father still suffering from the stress of the Great War. Everyone is either jealous or in awe of Larita who as a city girl, feels totally trapped in the countryside, but she plays them at their own game, and there are skeletons in plenty of cupboards including her own to unearth! I also enjoyed a brilliantly wry turn from Kris Marshall as the butler.

I totally missed this film when on at the cinema, but the DVD was a joy. The soundtrack was an odd thing though - packed with the cream of Coward, there were some twenties versions of modern songs cropping up which make you do a double take. It was enchanting, but with just enough serious bits to give you a rest between the comedy. I loved it.
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94 of 101 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You're English, Fake It! 19 Nov 2008
This is one of the best movies I have seen in a long while. It is very old English which I love. Kristin Scott Thomas plays the role perfectly and with every sneer and put down she has you laughing more and actually loving her more too. Colin Firth's classic moment has to be when he reminds his daughter she is English so she can fake it - pure English humour and so true!

This movie really shows the English aristocracy as most of us imagine them to be - silly, a bit pompous, stiff, anti-American (in a harmless way), snotty and into sick blood sports.

The comedy is more wit and intellectual rather than in your face humour which really adds to the whole effect. Everything is just beneath the surface but the way Kristin delivers her remarks is just gold. The moment in the stage show had us rolling around in the cinema aisles. That is worth seeing in itself and the audience was roaring.

As a Welshman in England this film really is everything about the English that I love and they are famous for so I really recommend this to anyone who loves a bit of good English culture, comedy and something set in "the good old days". I cannot wait for the DVD release so I can watch it again and again and again.

If you love the English watch this film and if you don't watch this film because you will love them by the end.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy Virtue 7 Feb 2009
By E. Ward
To reinforce a point made by other reviewers, this film is simply hilarious. I too spent the entire screening in fits of histerical laughter. A slightly rugged looking Colin Firth says what we all want to hear throughout the plot, much to the disgust of his on-screen wife, and together Firth and Jessica Biel provide the eye-candy for both parties. Their expert performances alone are enough of a reason to see this film.

'Easy Virtue' takes on the British aristocracy in a relatively unknown and under-explored period of history (at least to my knowledge, I'm more accustomed to seeing period dramas). The crazy characteristics of this frumpy age is taken on by Biel's character, a breezy, easygoing American who really DOESN'T fit into the family. The story that unravels is her plight to do so, with varying levels of success and hilarity.

This is a fantastic film, though a good sense of humour is required. Poking fun at we British is essential for the enjoyment of 'Easy Virtue'. It appeals to all ages, and will definitely be gracing my DVD player time and time again. Its not often that I pay full price for a DVD, but this will be one of them :-)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy on the Viewer 12 Dec 2010
80 years after the first movie was made (by Alfred Hitchcock himself!) the play by Noel Coward was rediscovered for the screen by Stephan Elliott. The screenplay is somewhat closer to the play that Hitchcock's version, however, it was also altered, mostly in order to render the conflict more credible and interesting for the 21st century audience.
The result is decent entertainment for a snowy afternoon. The movie has some rather hilarious moments, guaranteed to make you laugh, although some may find them a little too much. The basic conflict of honesty against hipocrisy, however, which made the play a huge theatrical success back in the 1920s is largely gone. It takes a major bit of suspension of disbelief to take Coward's attack at hipocrisy at face value.
The result of the alterations has little of the original edge, it is rather a light period comedy which is saved by the remarkably good performances of Colin Firth and Kristin Scott Thomas. The younger couple, Jessica Biel and Ben Barnes, are doing their best but, quite apparently, especially for the latter there is too little to work upon in the screenplay. The score is quite interesting with a mixture of 1920s songs, some by Coward, and some more recent songs, recorded in a jazzy style and sung by the actors, yet the songs are usually lost after the opening bars so if you like them, you should look for the album of the soundtrack.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very funny film. Well recommended for a dull afternoon
Very funny film. Well recommended for a dull afternoon.
Published 1 day ago by Mrs Evans
3.0 out of 5 stars mint condition
arrived within expected time, excellent condition but film leaves alot to be desired ! ok if you're a colin firth or ben barnes fan.
Published 26 days ago by anita fuller- bell
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good
Saw this on TV, enjoyed it so much, I purchased the DVD.

Most of the acting is very good, a comedy of errors, some very funny scenes, ( the death of the yapping dog was... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Emato
4.0 out of 5 stars Good to watch
I enjoyed the film, very funny in places and didn't expect what happened in the end.
Won't say any more because it would spoit it.
Published 3 months ago by SquareEyes
3.0 out of 5 stars Forgettable
Needed a magic wand to make it believable. NOT hilariously funny, as advertised. Kristen Scott Thomas not enjoying the role she was playing. Pretty Jessica did not belong. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Kenny J
2.0 out of 5 stars easy virtue dvd
not my cup of tea,it was not my sence of humour,the dvd was very well made i would recommend this to poeple whe likes the 1920-1930s.
Published 3 months ago by jbealels
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable light hearted entertainment
Easy Virtue DVD. I enjoyed the quality acting, it was beautifully filmed /photographed in a period setting. An evenings light entertainment
Published 3 months ago by Mrs. E. Sutton
I say old chap you must get at least a glimpse of this flick. Its a hoot! I can not feel enough sympathy with the leading lady who is surrounded and drowning in the british posh... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Kim loves dvds
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy Virtue
IEasy Virtue.if you enjoy Downton Abbey you will love this.It has everything .... great cast, super script , well directed
all round great entertainment for all ages
Published 6 months ago by Stephen Blease
4.0 out of 5 stars I liked its period atmosphere
I think the film had an excellent period atmosphere, Jessica Biel to me came across as what I would describe as a ;with it; American young woman outshining her English counterparts... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Mr. J. A. Bentley
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