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Easy Virtue
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Reviewed on 2009-06-20
Received[3]  out of 4 stars
GenreComedy / Romance

This satirical comedy with witty dialogue is jolly good fun. The screenplay is based on a 1925 Noel Coward play that humorously criticizes British upper crust aristocrats.

An impetuous marriage between John Whittaker (Ben Barnes), a young Englishman, and Larita (Jessica Biel), a sexy and glamorous American, sets the story in motion.

John takes Larita home to his mansion in the countryside to meet his parents and two sisters. His manipulative mother (Kristin Scott Thomas) rules the manor and takes an immediate dislike to this gold digging harlot who has stolen her prodigal son from the nursery. Their verbal battle of wills is the chief delight of this drawing room farce. An unshaven Colin Firth plays John's dad.

The movie for the most part adopts a light and comical tone. It makes an abrupt switch near the conclusion to a more dark and serious mood. The characters are well-developed as back stories emerge with buried secrets revealed.

Larita is a cougar who uses charm, intelligence and cleverness to snare the affection of her handsome boy toy hubby.

The title is a cutting remark made by Lady Whittaker that her new daughter-in-law is a sex-crazed female of loose morals who will jump in the sack with just about anyone at the drop of a hat.

The movie benefits from a snappy musical score with familiar standout show tunes from Cole Porter. Other strengths are the period costumes, vintage cars and the luscious interior decorating. There is even a colorful fox hunt with everyone on horseback dressed to the nines.

Biel holds her own with the seamless acting chops of Firth and Thomas. Thomas was nominated for her supporting role by both the London Critics Circle and the British Film Awards. This tasty celluloid morsel zips by with a running time of 93 minutes that seems shorter considering how much entertainment is provided.

Now showing exclusively at AMC Studio 30 and Cinemark Palace on the Plaza.

Review By:
Keith Cohen "The Movie Guy"


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