An Ideal Husband
***.1 GM
Starring: Rupert Everett, Julianne Moore, Minnie Driver, Jeremy Northam, Cate Blanchett


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Some scripts are obviously meant for the stage. However, if it's a strong enough script with a good cast, that sort of thing can be overlooked.

Such is the case with "An Ideal Husband." Originally an Oscar Wilde play, much of the action in the film is very obviously designed to be a stage farce - people being placed in the wrong rooms, wacky mix-ups, sneaking around, etc. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it's also something you don't really want to notice about a film.

However, the dialogue is sharp and witty and the cast is a joy to watch. Rupert Everett stars as Lord Goring, the high-society dandy who has no intention of ever behaving and settling down, as is expected of him, and he gets most of the great one-liners and interesting quips. Minnie Driver is excellent as his foil, an equally eccentric and comical love interest for him. She also happens to be the sister of Sir Robert (Jeremy Northam), an upstanding politician with a regrettable secret in his past. When Mrs. Cheveley (Julianne Moore) shows up and threatens to reveal his secret and ruin him, it also threatens his marriage to Gertrude (Cate Blanchett), the upstanding, staunchly moral love of his life.

Letters get switched, identities are mistaken, and farcical romantic intrigue abounds. It's a pleasant, whimsy little comedy. Having not seen the stage play, I can't be an accurate judge of whether or not there's any significant difference between it and its filmed counterpart, but the cast and quality of the script makes it worthwhile.

I do have some problem with Julianne Moore, but that's just an odd personal bias that I can't even really explain. I think everyone has a few actors they know of that just bother them on some visceral level through no fault of their own. Either that, or I'm just a really weird guy.

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