Two zany period dramas with incredible casting

Two zany period dramas with incredible casting

31 days of cult classics | Modern Mrs Darcy

It’s a silly movie; it’s not really about anything. The circular plot is vaguely ridiculous.

But Wilde’s one-liners plus excellent casting save the 2002 adaptation of The Importance of Being Earnest, despite the nonsensical and completely over-the-top fantasy scenes.

The Importance of Being Earnest. 31 Days of Cult Classics | Modern Mrs Darcy

Colin Firth, Reese Witherspoon, Rupert Everett, and Frances O’Connor hold their own in their leading roles (and Everett especially seems born to star in a Wilde play).

Purists may hate what Oliver Parker did to Wilde’s classic, but it’s still plenty of fun for fans of (zany) period dramas, as well for Witherspoon and Firth’s raving fans.

An Ideal Husband. 31 Days of Cult Classics | Modern Mrs Darcy

If you like The Importance of Being Earnest, make sure you check out Parker’s 1999 Wilde adaptation An Ideal Husband. Different story, similar feel, all-star cast, tons of fun–if you’re into that kind of thing. I am.

Have you seen The Importance of Being Earnest? Love it or hate it? (And if you’re a raving fan of Colin Firth, feel free to admit it in comments.) 

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This is the twenty-ninth post in a series, 31 Days of Cult Classics. You can click here to see a list of all the posts, updated everyday in the month of October.


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  1. I saw the Importance of Being Earnest back in college. Even better, I saw it live on stage in Ireland. I remember loving it, but I couldn’t tell you the plot points anymore! Time for another viewing 🙂

  2. Lisa says:

    I read the first line of this on Bloglovin’ and my first thought was “The Importance of Being Earnest”- such great casting! Love the other movie too. And I’m only mildly obsessed with Colin Firth. 🙂

  3. We are definitely cinematic kindred spirits, Anne! I love both of these, but I have a special place for An Ideal Husband if only because of Jeremy Northam, with whom I fell madly in love as a teenager when I first saw Emma. Loving this series, by the way!

  4. Anne says:

    I’ve seen An Ideal Husband (which I liked but would probably ‘get’ or appreciate more now), and I’ll have to check out Earnest. And, yes, big fan of Colin Firth. He was too sweet in Love, Actually. So super in The King’s Speech. Do you remember him way back in The English Patient??

  5. I’ve never seen these, but I think I have to now. They sound amazing. I saw a stage version of “The Importance of Being Earnest” a couple years ago and it was hysterical! I also am very fond of Colin Firth, and aside from P&P, thought he was most magnificent in The King’s Speech.

  6. Susan says:

    I never heard of about The Importance of Being Earnest till last year. The way I found out was I was talking to my son who is a away at college.
    He told my that was the play the college was doing for the semester. They were looking for people to try out for
    the play. My son never participated in anything like this before and decided to try out figuring he would get a small part. He got the lead part
    playing Earnest.

  7. Dorothy Kinkopf says:

    I do appreciate Colin Firth as much as the next girl, but really, have you seen Jeremy Northam? He just knocks the role of Mr. Knightly in Emma completely out of the park! I have seen that movie more times than I care to admit solely because I am infatuated with Jeremy Northam. He is also quite good in “An Ideal Husband”.

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