6.9/10
20,724
147 user 104 critic

The Importance of Being Earnest (2002)

Trailer
1:37 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (HD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
In 1890s London, two friends use the same pseudonym ("Ernest") for their on-the-sly activities. Hilarity ensues.

Director:

Oliver Parker

Writers:

Oscar Wilde (play), Oliver Parker (screenplay)
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

An Ideal Husband I (1999)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Sir Robert Chiltern is a successful Government minister, well-off and with a loving wife. All this is threatened when Mrs Cheveley appears in London with damning evidence of a past misdeed.... See full summary »

Director: Oliver Parker
Stars: Rupert Everett, Julianne Moore, Peter Vaughan
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

When Algernon discovers that his friend, Ernest, has created a fictional brother for whenever he needs a reason to escape dull country life, Algernon poses as the brother, resulting in ever increasing confusion.

Director: Anthony Asquith
Stars: Michael Redgrave, Richard Wattis, Michael Denison
Easy Virtue (2008)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

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.

Director: Stephan Elliott
Stars: Jessica Biel, Ben Barnes, Kristin Scott Thomas
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A man marries an heiress for her money even though he is actually in love with her friend.

Director: James Ivory
Stars: Uma Thurman, Jeremy Northam, Kate Beckinsale
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

1930's London. Two sisters - Madeleine and Dinah - One marries Rickie, the other falls in love with him. He begins an affair which is to have repercussions throughout their lives.

Director: Thaddeus O'Sullivan
Stars: Helena Bonham Carter, Olivia Williams, Paul Bettany
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

In 1890's England, two friends use the pseudonym, Earnest, for their on-the-down-low activities, add in love and a strange coincidence and things get very funny.

Director: Adrian Noble
Stars: David Suchet, Emily Barber, Michael Benz
Vanity Fair (2004)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Growing up poor in London, Becky Sharp defies her poverty-stricken background and ascends the social ladder alongside her best friend, Amelia.

Director: Mira Nair
Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Romola Garai, James Purefoy
Emma (1996)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

While matchmaking for friends and neighbours, a young 19th Century Englishwoman nearly misses her own chance at love.

Director: Douglas McGrath
Stars: Gwyneth Paltrow, James Cosmo, Greta Scacchi
A Good Woman (2004)
Drama | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

While retaining her secret identity, the illustrious Mrs. Erlynne (Hunt) saves Lady Windemere (Johansson) from making a grand social faux-pas with the scoundrelly Lord Darlington (Moore).

Director: Mike Barker
Stars: Helen Hunt, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Wilkinson
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A man returns home with his bride-to-be, an actress, who turns out to be the sister of his family's maid.

Director: Eric Styles
Stars: Julie Andrews, Edward Atterton, William Baldwin
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rupert Everett ... Algy
Colin Firth ... Jack
Frances O'Connor ... Gwendolen
Reese Witherspoon ... Cecily
Judi Dench ... Lady Bracknell
Tom Wilkinson ... Dr. Chasuble
Anna Massey ... Miss Prism
Edward Fox ... Lane
Patrick Godfrey ... Merriman
Charles Kay ... Gribsby
Cyril Shaps ... Pew Opener
Marsha Fitzalan ... Dowager
Finty Williams ... Young Lady Bracknell
Guy Bensley Guy Bensley ... Young Lord Bracknell
Christina Robert Christina Robert ... Duchess of Devonshire
Edit

Storyline

Two young gentlemen living in 1890's England use the same pseudonym ("Ernest") on the sly, which is fine until they both fall in love with women using that name, which leads to a comedy of mistaken identities... Written by arson83

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Everybody Loves Ernest... But Nobody's Quite Sure Who He Really Is.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

21 June 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ernst sein ist alles See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$500,447, 27 May 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$8,378,141, 29 September 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film takes place in 1895. See more »

Goofs

When Jack and Algy are picking flowers, and Gwendolen and Cecily ride through the woods sidesaddle, their legs change sides from the left (correct) to the right. See more »

Quotes

Algy: But why does your aunt call you her uncle?
[Reading cigarette case]
Algy: "From little Cecily, with her fondest love to her dear Uncle Jack." There is no objection, I admit, to an aunt being a small aunt, but why an aunt, no matter what her size may be, should call her own nephew her uncle, I can't quite make out.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the funeral for Bunbury, Colin Firth's Earnest is seen getting a tattoo of "Gwendolyn" on his posterior See more »

Connections

Version of The United States Steel Hour: Who's Earnest? (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

Lady Come Down
Music written by Charlie Mole
Lyrics by Oscar Wilde
Performed by Colin Firth and Rupert Everett
Courtesy of Fragile Music Ltd.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

I loved it!
24 June 2003 | by unclepeteSee all my reviews

There do seem to be some scathing reviews here, but I have to say that I loved it!

I first started by reading the play, then watching the 1952 version, and then this latest reworking. The cast were absolutely stellar, though I'd go along with the criticism that they were just a little too deadpan in places. The sheer quantity of wit and wordplay in this script make it difficult to keep up, and it's often only in a reading that you realise that just about every other line is a hilarious gag.

I really can't understand an earlier criticism that a viewer couldn't make out any of the dialogue. I though it was wonderfully recorded with crystal clear diction throughout, but maybe that's an international difference. I'm lucky to make out about one third of anything the children say in 'To Kill a Mockingbird'.

Anyway - it was well filmed, great locations, and wonderful wit delivered by beautiful people. I loved it.


30 of 43 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 147 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed