Metascore
53

Mixed or average reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 29
  2. Negative: 1 out of 29
  1. All in all, A Good Woman retains ye olde Wilde's zing, his sense of pace and place, but most of all his snappy one-liners, and it finds a new way to showcase them brilliantly.
  2. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    88
    Amazingly, not all of the witty and wise barbs are Wilde's, and any confusion between the old and the new is probably the highest compliment one could possibly pay to screenwriter Howard Himelstein's tart screenplay.
  3. 75
    A witty and engaging bit of fluff about sex, scandal, idleness, gossip, blackmail, guilty secrets and, most surprisingly, redemption.
  4. 75
    The movie succeeds because screenwriter Howard Himelstein keeps Wilde's best lines intact and the actors speak the words with practiced confidence.
  5. Wilkinson artfully deepens a character who in Wilde's original play was rather boobish. It's a marvelous performance in a pretty good film.
  6. The movie is gorgeous to look at, the script has a killer twist and the cast is competent.
  7. Reviewed by: Phil Hall
    70
    A pleasant diversion which mixes snatches of Wilde's waspish humor with a stylish Art Deco environment. The result is amusing to the ears and easy on the eyes.
  8. Director Mike Barker elicits a marvelously agile performance from Hunt, who's well matched by Tom Wilkinson as her new admirer.
  9. I watched A Good Woman with a fixed smile frequently interrupted by giggles, but I didn't believe a second of it.
  10. Hunt, whose flutelike voice makes music of Wilde's dialogue, has the most difficult role. While she acquits herself honorably, she nudges her lines a little too broadly, as if she's worried that the audience will miss the double meanings and wordplay.
  11. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    63
    For the most part, Wilde's sophisticated, sardonic dialogue has been capably adapted by screenwriter Howard Himelstein and director Mike Barker.
  12. 60
    Pleasant and undemanding, all the more so whenever Tom Wilkinson's on-screen as a possible Erlynne suitor, the movie miscasts Hunt as the pragmatic seductress.
  13. While screenwriter Howard Himelstein and director Mike Barker have done a workable job of drawing the Wilde social satire out of the drawing room, the film never quite manages to travel at the same buoyant velocity as the acerbic wit.
  14. 50
    Hunt's flat delivery is mercilessly cruel to Wilde's delicious epigrams. That sound you hear is Oscar spinning madly in his grave.
  15. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    50
    A tedious picture, redeemed in part by Tom Wilkinson's performance as Tuppy--he's the sole cast member who doesn't give birth to every epigram--and by the hats.
  16. 50
    Johansson never looked more beautiful, nor gave a lamer performance, than in A Good Woman.
  17. Something is wrong with A Good Woman: The lightning never strikes. It's never quite alive.
  18. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    50
    A Good Woman is pretty to look at and fakes witty elegance passably, so consider it a diversion -- a movie that might have been in the Oscar race if the elements had jelled but has instead been properly hung out to dry in February.
  19. With the two American actresses miscast, and the two young British lads behaving like a couple of "Brideshead Revisited" rejects, most of the dramatic heavy lifting is left to veteran English actor Wilkinson.
  20. 50
    This is one of those movies destined to be watched by family groups who can't agree on what to see: You'll all get a few chuckles, and then it's home for dessert.
  21. The real fault with this movie lies less with the clunky screenplay from Himelstein than with the acting, of which there is very little of note.
  22. The film is well intentioned and mildly diverting, but in attempting to modernize its story it has lost many of the things that make the original so memorable and not gained much in return.
  23. When put into the mouths of American actors with no feel for Wilde's high-toned repartee, they simply hang in the air and die.
  24. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    50
    Has a script that plays more like a period romancer studded with occasional Wilde-isms and gets uneven treatment from a mixed Anglo-American cast.
  25. 50
    The trick to staging Wilde is to hint at the gravity beneath the witticisms. A Good Woman barely even gets the witticisms out, though it does contain Wilde's line about people being either tedious or charming.
  26. Hunt and Johansson, two usually good actresses, are vapidly awful, teetering out of their elements in this shakily drawn period piece.
  27. With its jellyfish direction, A Good Woman throws its actors overboard to see if they can swim.
  28. 40
    Stephen Campbell Moore is miserably out of his depth as the playboy trying to tempt Scarlett, leaving poor Tom Wilkinson to sound a lone note of sophisticated intelligence.
  29. British director Mike Barker and magpie New York screenwriter Howard Himelstein, have taken "Lady Windermere's Fan" - Wilde's first big stage success, written in 1892 - and pulped it senseless in the name of puttin' on the charm.

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