The Importance of Being Earnest (2002 film)
|The Importance of Being Earnest|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Oliver Parker|
|Produced by||Barnaby Thompson
|Screenplay by||Julian Fellowes|
|Based on||The Importance of Being Earnest
by Oscar Wilde
|Music by||Charlie Mole|
|Editing by||Guy Bensley|
Newmarket Capital Group
|Distributed by||Miramax Films|
|Running time||97 minutes|
The Importance of Being Earnest is a 2002 British-American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Oliver Parker, based on Oscar Wilde's classic comedy of manners play of the same name. The original music score is composed by Charlie Mole. The film grossed about $8.3 million in North America.
The story revolves around two men in Victorian England, John (Jack) Worthing (Colin Firth) and Algernon (Algy) Moncrieff (Rupert Everett). Whenever Jack travels to London from his Hertfordshire estate, he says he is going to see his (fictitious) wayward brother Ernest. Once in London he keeps his privacy by calling himself Ernest. This tactic is especially important as his beloved, Gwendolen (Frances O'Connor), declares that she could love only a man named Ernest. Her cousin, Algy, is the one person who knows Jack's secret and one day he travels down to the estate, announcing himself to Jack's attractive ward, Cecily (Reese Witherspoon), as the infamous Ernest. Cecily is enamoured of him and his name, but upon Jack's return home and Gwendolen's unexpected arrival it becomes clear there are both too many and too few Ernests.
- Rupert Everett as Algernon "Algy" Moncrieff
- Colin Firth as John "Jack" Worthing/Ernest
- Frances O'Connor as Gwendolen Fairfax
- Reese Witherspoon as Cecily Cardew
- Judi Dench as Lady Bracknell
- Tom Wilkinson as Dr Chasuble
- Anna Massey as Miss Prism
- Edward Fox as Lane
- Patrick Godfrey as Merriman
Production notes 
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (September 2009)|
- Actress Finty Williams, who plays Lady Bracknell as a young dancer, is the daughter of Dame Judi Dench, who plays the older Lady Bracknell.
- The scenes where Rupert Everett slaps Colin Firth on his rear end and where Everett kisses Firth's cheek were ad libbed. Director Parker thought Firth's stunned reaction was so humorous he decided to leave it in.
- The business with 'Ernest's' bill at the Savoy, and with the money collectors coming to Jack's country home, are taken from material Wilde cut from the play prior to its publication.
- Though cut from the revised version, the gardener Molton can be seen in the background of many scenes.
- The producers of the film paid £50,000 to use West Wycombe Park as Jack's home in the country.
Critical reception 
On review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes, as of September 2012, the film holds a 58% 'Fresh' rating, with the consensus "Oliver Parker's adaptation of Oscar Wilde's classic play is breezy entertainment, helped by an impressive cast, but it also suffers from some peculiar directorial choices that ultimately dampen the film's impact."
Box office performance 
The Importance of Being Earnest grossed $8,384,929 domestically and $8,906,041 internationally for a worldwide total of $17,290,970, making the film a moderate box office success based on its $15 million budget.
Awards and nominations 
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (July 2012)|
The film won the 2003 Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists's Silver Ribbon award for Best Costume Design, the movie's costumes being designed by Maurizio Millenotti.
- Official website
- The Importance of Being Earnest at the Internet Movie Database
- The Importance of Being Earnest at AllRovi
- The Importance of Being Earnest at Box Office Mojo
- The Importance of Being Earnest at Rotten Tomatoes
- Where Did They Film that? The Importance of Being Earnest