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The Importance of Being Earnest (2002)

HD   PG Closed Captioning

Oliver Parker

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About the Movie

Starring Reese Witherspoon, Colin Firth, and Rupert Everett, here is the hilarious adventure of two dashing young bachelors and the outrageous deceptions they find themselves in over love! Whenever Worthing (Firth) wants to leave his dull country life behind, he makes visits to the city posing as his fictitious "brother" Ernest. There, he becomes smitten with the ravishing Gwendolen (Frances O'Connor, A.I.). But when Worthing is in town, his playboy pal Algy (Everett) is in the country and falling for Worthing's young and beautiful ward, Cecily (Witherspoon) while also impersonating Ernest! Pandemonium ensues when these two would-be Ernests find themselves facetoface and in the predicament of explaining who they really are!

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 113
  • Fresh: 65
  • Rotten: 48
  • Average Rating: 6.0/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Rotten: [An] utterly miscalculated film adaptation of Wilde's play. – Robert Koehler, Variety, Apr 11, 2011

Rotten: Rupert Everett gets Wilde in his bones, but this well-cast adaptation somehow feels obvious and overblown. – Stephanie Zacharek,, Jul 7, 2010

Fresh: This may be a less than ideal "Earnest," but it still has delights... – David Ansen, Newsweek, Apr 11, 2011

Fresh: 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. – Robert K. Elder, Chicago Tribune, Jul 7, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Earnestly, the earlier version is better by far.

While I respect all the actors & their efforts in this version of Wilde's play, I much prefer, by far, the version ( movie) from 1952, starring Michael Redgrave, Edith Evans, Joan Lockwood, Margaret Rutherford, etc.

No one, but no one, says ' A HANDBAG ' like Dame Edith Evans as Lady Bracknell.

The Importance of Being Earnesst

Some of the best British actors bring Oscar Wilde to life. Colin Firth does his comedy/drama to perfection. Rupert Everett is droll, funny, and funny. Judy Dench is ...well Judy Dench. Well worth a look Watch it every time it comes on. Try it!

firth n everett

these two are actually pretty funny together… you can tell their characters have been "pals" for a while the way they go at it vs each other… Reese is gorgeous and surprisingly pulls off the "British" accent pretty well, really cute. Good flick!