Moviewatch: An American city girl in the English countryside is not good for one’s stiff upper lip!

Easy Virtue

This adaptation of a Noel Coward play was great fun. It was full of great performances from an all-star cast, and some brilliant set pieces – involving a chihuahua, the can can, and a fabulous tango from Colin Firth, but I digress …

The roaring twenties are in full flow when John Whittaker has a whirlwind romance and brings his new American bride home to meet the family in their crumbling ancestral pile. Immediately a battle of wits ensues between his monster of a mother (the wonderfully clipped Kristin Scott Thomas) and Larita, a go-getter from Detroit (Jessica Biel). Colin Firth is the drop-out father still suffering from the stress of the Great War. Nearly everyone is either jealous or in awe of Larita who as a city girl, feels totally trapped in the countryside, but she plays them at their own game. Needless to say, there are skeletons in plenty of cupboards including her own to unearth! I also enjoyed a wry turn from Kris Marshall as the butler.

I totally missed this film when on at the cinema last year, but the DVD was a joy. The soundtrack was an odd thing though – packed mainly with the cream of Coward, but there were some twenties versions of modern songs cropping up which make you do a complete double take. It was enchanting, but with just enough seriousness to give you a rest between the comedy. I loved it.

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