Mixed or average reviews - based on 26 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 20 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: The twenties have roared... the thirties have yet to swing. John Whittaker, a young Englishman, falls madly in love with Larita, a sexy and glamorous American woman, and they marry impetuously. However when the couple returns to the family home, his mother Mrs. Whittaker has an instant allergic reaction to her new daughter?in?law. Larita tries her best to fit in but fails to tiptoe through the minefield laid by her mother?in?law. Larita quickly realizes Mrs. Whittaker’s game and sees that she must fight back if she’s not going to lose John. A battle of wits ensues and sparks soon fly. Mrs. Whittaker manipulates every situation to undermine her, while Larita remains frustratingly calm and engineers sassy counter attacks. Before long, Mrs. Whittaker’s manipulation starts to work on John and Larita feels their love is in danger of slipping away. In a grand finale, where the secrets from Larita’s past are revealed, she finally makes a break for freedom from the suffocating house...(Sony Classics) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 26
  2. Negative: 2 out of 26
  1. Jessica Biel has great fun with the American adventuress, while Kristin Scott Thomas is truly scary as her nemesis and mother-in-law.
  2. In its cold-eyed assessment of the English aristocracy Easy Virtue has none of the lurking Anglophilia found in Merchant-Ivory movies.
  3. 75
    The dialogue has an edgy wit, although it has no ambitions to be falling-down funny. Here is the Odd Couple formula applied in a specific time and place that make them feel very odd indeed.
  4. Easy Virtue has aspirations to be much more than a comedy. It wants to flay, if only with a penknife, the entire British class system.
  5. Full of forced jocularity and drawing-room hissy fits, with its cast parading around in vintage threads and antique cars, Easy Virtue is a close-to-insufferable souffle based on the 1925 Noel Coward play.
  6. We could all use a little more Noel Coward in our lives. But the fizz falls flat in Stephan Elliot's adaptation of a lesser-known play, which, while blithe enough, has little spirit to speak of.
  7. 38
    A crass, heavy- handed and -- most unforgivably -- largely laugh-free adaptation of The Master's infrequently revived 1924 comic melodrama.

See all 26 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. SheldonW.
    May 22, 2009
    An old-fashioned comedy of manners that starts as a spirited romp then turns serious in both an unexpected, and expected way [not necessarily in that order]. Smart, funny, poignant and thoroughly engaging. Kristin Scott-Thomas and Colin Firth are wonderful and Jessica Biel more than holds her own with both. Expand
  2. TonyO
    Aug 10, 2009
    The critical reviews of this one puzzled me a bit with their overwhelming condescension. Luckily the punters are more tuned in to what this really is - which is a pretty well done period piece, based on a fairly savage piece of social critique by a master of cynical stagecraft - Noel Coward. Plus, in its favour, it is sometimes hilarious, and has a number of set pieces that work - and admittedly, a couple that don't. Nevertheless, I liked this a lot better than many of the recent attempts to mount period 30's dramas- eg Brideshead Revisited, or the numerous Poirot and Miss Marple revisions. The movie wasn't just a wallow in nostalgia, for one thing - and some of the emotional issues and conflicts certainly went beyond the usual facile mugging by UK character actors. And personally, I liked the soundtrack, though I can see why some people might find it a bit obtrusive. The key performances by Jessica Biel and Kristen Scott-Thomas are a hoot , and sometimes quite touching as well. The whole thing was surprisingly entertaining. Expand
  3. [Anonymous]
    May 25, 2009
    Surprisingly entertaining - I grinned from start to finish. A nice Saturday afternoon diversion - with perfect casting.
  4. VickieM
    Jun 29, 2009
    The story was a little simple, but the acting more than overcame this slight weakness. Excellent performances from Kristin Scott Thomas, Colin FIrth, and Jessica Biel (a surprise). The setting in an old English country house was terrific - the vintage interiors and costumes were wonderful. Expand
  5. Jun 26, 2011
    Really good movie. Colin Firth and Kristin Scott Thomas are incredible, Jessica Biel is pretty good too. The story was simple but great with some incredibly funny moments. Collapse
  6. dwightc
    Jun 24, 2009
    An authentic comedy, realistic slapstick and a beautiful setting.
  7. JayH
    Sep 10, 2009
    Flawed and a bit stagy, but quite entertaining. The cast is good. The art direction and costumes are memorable. Good story and score. Colin Firth is the best in the cast. Expand

See all 8 User Reviews