The Importance of Being Witty

After going to my therapist today, I decided to go and see The Importance of Being Earnest. If you are thinking of doing the same, my advice to you is “Don’t bother.”

I have always been a great fan of Oscar Wilde, and consider him as a playwright to be under-rated. His plays are often dismissed as shallow, but they are some of the greatest comedic writings of all time in my opinion. The witty repartee that Wilde’s characters engage in, particularly in The Importance of Being Earnest, is simply hilarious.

What a pity, then, that this production of it drags its feet like a drunken yeti (Yes, that’s right, a drunken yeti. Use your imagination). It is slow and ponderous, where it should be quickly paced and light. It is morbid and dramatic, where it should be witty and amusing. The screenwriter of this adaptation and the director deserve to be lined up against a wall and shot. And I simply cannot describe what should be done to Colin Firth, who plays an exceedingly dull and moronic Jack Worthington that would never have survived in London society.

In a movie that should have had the audience cackling with mirth from start to finish, the chuckles were very sparse. Most were provided either by Judi Dench, who brings some true Wildian spirit to the movie as Lady Bracknell, and Reece Witherspoon as the innocently shallow Cecily (but what the #@$& were those ‘knight in shining armour’ dream scenes).

Wilde I may love, but not this movie. My rating? A disappointing 4.5 out of 10.


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July 2002
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