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Easy Virtue (2008)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Romance  |  19 June 2009 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 15,612 users   Metascore: 58/100
Reviews: 78 user | 132 critic | 26 from

A young Englishman marries a glamorous American. When he brings her home to meet the parents, she arrives like a blast from the future - blowing their entrenched British stuffiness out the window.


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2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Veronica Whittaker
Jim McManus ...
Jeremy Hooton ...
Joanna Bacon ...
Cook / Doris / Beatrice
Maggie Hickey ...
Georgie Glen ...


Between world wars, the Whittaker's estate is sinking; only the iron will of Mrs. Whittaker staves off bankruptcy while she awaits her son John's return from the continent. To her dismay, he brings a bride: an American widow who races cars. The bride, Larita, thinks she and John will visit and then go to London, where he'll work and she'll race. But John is to the manor born, and mother is nothing if not a master at plans and manipulation. Soon it's all-out war between mother and bride, with John's father, a burnt out veteran of the Great War, in the bride's corner ineffectually. Mother has a plan to join with the neighboring estate; only Larita is in her way. Can't we all get along? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In a family that prides itself as proper, vice becomes a virtue. See more »


Comedy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual content, brief partial nudity, and smoking throughout | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:





Release Date:

19 June 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Buenas costumbres  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£225,772 (UK) (14 November 2008)


$2,656,324 (USA) (2 October 2009)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Though not expressly stated, the story gives the impression that Larita is somewhat older than John (she repeated refers to him as a boy). In fact, Jessica Biel is actually younger than Ben Barnes by several months. See more »


While in the nursery, John refers to something not scoring Larita any "brownie points." This phrase did not originate until the 1960s. See more »


Mrs. Whittaker: You're smiling, Jim.
Mr. Whittaker: Oh God forbid. The wind might change.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There's a Director Wrangler listed in the credits. See more »


Referenced in Late Night with Jimmy Fallon: Episode #1.59 (2009) See more »


Mad Dogs and Englishmen
Written by Noel Coward
Published by Chappell Music Ltd. (PRS)
All rights administered by Chappell & Co. Inc.
Licensed courtesy of Warner Chappell Music Ltd.
Performed by Andy Caine with The Easy Virtue Orchestra
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Brilliant from start to finish
11 November 2008 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

From the flamboyant director of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, this sublime adaptation of Noel Coward's tragic-comic play zings with dazzling wit and impeccable timing delivered by acting of the highest order. Who knew Jessica Biel could be so delicious as the American interloping fallen woman? Among the British stars, Colin Firth provides the counterpoint gravitas as a WWI surviving member of the "lost generation" who turns the tables on his insufferable wife (Kristin Scott Thomas) and besotted son. Easily one of the most entertaining movies of the past several years, it deserved the genuine spontaneous standing ovation at the world premiere screening I attended at the Toronto film festival. Scott Thomas is devastating in a totally different French-speaking role in "I've loved you for so long", for which she deserves an Oscar nomination. But see this for arch Brit humor at its finest.

56 of 87 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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