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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 9 June 2013
Member of Parliament Lord Robert Chiltern is blackmailed by the wicked Mrs. Cheverly, with a secret from his youth, leading to a crisis in his life, and in his marriage to the virtuous Lady Chiltern. It is up to his friend, the delightfully foppish Lord Goring to help extricate him. All is well that ends well, but not after much interplay and intrigue.
This adaptation of the play by Oscar Wilde is beautifully done. It is not a production of the wilde play itself and departs from the play itself in various parts. but it is donbe fabulously so that unless you are VERY familiar with the original work by Wilde , you cannot see where this is done. The dialogue is brilliant throughout as is the setting , and the casting is fabulous.

A nonchalant Rupert Everett as the cynical dandy Lord Goring , Julianne Moore seems as if she was typecast for the villainous Mrs Chevely , Jeremy Northam , Cate Blanchett and Minnie Driver all prefect for their parts and providing never a dull moment in this delightful romantic comedy full of intrigue and betrayal.
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on 20 December 2000
It's a period film, fancy dresses, etc., but it's actually a very witty comedy. You have to stop laughing or you'll miss something. It gets better and better everytime I see it and I pick up things I had missed before. Rupert E. and Minnie Driver are both great. Pay close attention and turn up the volume so you don't miss anything.
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The other night, some friends and I were trying to decide what movie to watch. While it wasn't my first choice, we wound up watching An Ideal Husband. Since I love Oscar Wilde's plays, I figured I'd enjoy it. And I was right.

It's London season for the upper society in the 1890's, and for Lord Arthur Goring (Rupert Goring), life is grand. He spends his time avoiding the trap of marriage set by the eligible women and his father's constant nagging about getting married. His best friends are Sir Robert and Lady Gertrude Chiltern (Jeremy Northam and Cate Blanchett). They are a very happily married couple. Arthur is even on friendly terms with Robert's younger sister Mabel (Minnie Driver).

But all that changes when Gertrude's school chum Mrs. Cheveley (Julianne Moore) arrives on the scene. She insists on meeting Robert, and it turns out that is because she wants him to back something in Parliament - something that will bring her a great fortune but will cost the country much. And she is using blackmail to get her way. Will Robert give in? How will this secret affect his marriage? And how might the fallout affect Arthur and Mabel?

This is based on one of Wilde's plays, and if you are familiar with his comedies at all, then you know you are in for a wild, hilarious ride. You never want to miss a line because it either advances the story or sets up the next joke - sometimes both. Trust me, the laughs are plentiful. Honestly, he could give some sitcom writers a few lessons on how to write comedy.

Unlike some of Wilde's plays, the stakes in this story feel real. Yes, he's still poking fun at the society of his day (which is funny today), but he puts his characters through some real struggles along the way. I wasn't sure how he would resolve things, but he did so brilliantly. What I thought was the climax came early, but I still found the rest of the movie entertaining.

And for fans of Wilde's best known play, The Importance of Being Ernest, there are a couple of very nice nods to the play here.

The cast is wonderful at bringing the characters and the world of the story to life. I thought the performances were all perfect, and the subtlety in one scene was absolutely hysterical.

But I do have an issue with this movie - one that would probably be bigger if I had seen the play first. I get that they don't want to take a play and film it for two hours on two or three sets, so they break something into smaller scenes to help keep the movie audience from being bored. However, quite often in the first act, they start a conversation in one setting and continue it in another. It's obviously the same scene continued, but too much time has passed for them to be picking up where they left off. That drives me completely up a wall. As the movie progresses, they do a better job of keeping scenes in one location and making scene changes fit with the progress of the plot. It's not as bad as they've butchered other Wilde plays (some of them are unwatchable as a result), but maybe if I saw the play I'd think that about this movie.

But since this was my introduction to the story, I really did enjoy An Ideal Husband. This is a comedy of manners that anyone who loves to laugh will enjoy.
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Excellent! A stellar cast of good old (and young) British luvvies serve up a rich banquet of Wildean wit. Watching Rupert Everett sparring in a strictly courteous - 'You sir!' 'Me, sir?' 'Yes, you sir...' etc. - but gently acid manner with his father, played by the late John Wood, is delightful.

This reading of the story is done in a richly romantic and 'typically British' fashion, with settings and outfits playing almost as important a role as character and dialogue. But all these elements are strong in this version, which makes the film a sheer pleasure to watch.
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on 26 May 2000
Sluggishly paced and murkily lit to begin with, this builds into a triumphantly faithful adaptation of Wilde's brilliant jewel of a play. The cast all give excelent accounts of their roles (though it must be said that Minnie Driver makes an unlikely-looking Victorian lady) but special mention must go to Rupert Everett who is quite superb as Lord Goring (surely an idealised self portrait of the author as hero). The introduction of Wilde himself praising his (as yet unwritten) "The importance of being Earnest" makes an amusingly forgiveable anachronism but the depiction of Peers attending a debate in the House of Commons seems a more lementable error. Minor quibbles aside, the overall effect is convincing and the focus on the (excellently spoken) words allows the power of Wilde's masterly text to work its magic. A joy to watch!
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on 8 February 2013
This is a fun film of the Oscar Wilde comic play he wrote in 1895. Set over a short couple of days, it has intrigue, love, romance, blackmail and a bit more. The actors are fun to watch, Rupet Everett just great as a dandy, forever being chastised by his father. The film is not quite true to the play, but the storyline is there. I recommend this film for lovers of Oscar Wilde's wit, the great cast and lovers of period costumed comedy/drama films.
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on 19 November 2011
Watched this when it came out with my wife and we didn't finish it. Was so glad when I
found the DVD as it was unfinished business. Rupert Everett was magnificent in his role.
For those who lurve custume and period drama, this is very much up your street. The intrigue,
the innuendos, carrying ons and a tinge of typical British politics. It all starts by introducing
all the main characters and setting the stage for a possible huge scandal. Secondly the title
lends itself to different interpretations as you go through the film. I thoroughly enjoyed it
and so did my wife.
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on 14 May 2016
A rather trite story, very well acted by all concerned. Rupert Everett may not be the greatest actor in the world, but he excels at playing effete characters of this kind. With an authentic period atmosphere, the movie does full justice to the play's humour and wit.
Enjoyable, lightweight entertainment with a touch of class.
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on 6 June 2014
Firstly, Great Amazon service as usual. Great product delivered next day.
DVD itself:
So, you think Oscar Wilde is 100 years old and old fashioned??
Forget that !
This play stands up today as well as the day it was written, even though times have changed.
The humour is crisp and intelligent with a bit of slapstick thrown in for good measure.
I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good comedy excellently done ....
AND, not a swear word in sight.
I can't recommend this too much !
Buy it now and enjoy a couple of hours of easy to watch, great entertainment.
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on 26 September 2009
Have seen this several times on TV and just had to have the DVD - if only to encourage others to watch it. Rupert Everett delivers Wilde's lines wonderfully and combines effete and desirable extremely well. Minnie Driver brings more sense to Miss Mabel than anyone I have seen in the role and the whole is a delightful sophisticated romp. What wonderful value for money!
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