6.7/10
19,769
84 user 135 critic

Easy Virtue (2008)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Romance | 19 June 2009 (USA)
Trailer
2:02 | Trailer
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
2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jessica Biel ... Larita Whittaker
Ben Barnes ... John Whittaker
Kristin Scott Thomas ... Veronica Whittaker
Colin Firth ... Mr. Whittaker
Kimberley Nixon ... Hilda Whittaker
Katherine Parkinson ... Marion Whittaker
Kris Marshall ... Furber
Christian Brassington ... Phillip Hurst
Charlotte Riley ... Sarah Hurst
Jim McManus Jim McManus ... Jackson
Pip Torrens ... Lord Hurst
Jeremy Hooton Jeremy Hooton ... Davis
Joanna Bacon ... Cook / Doris / Beatrice
Maggie Hickey Maggie Hickey ... Millie the Maid
Georgie Glen ... Mrs. Landrigin
Learn more

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Storyline

Between world wars, the Whittaker's estate is sinking. Only the iron will of Mrs. Veronica Whittaker (Dame Kristin Scott Thomas) staves off bankruptcy while she awaits her son John's (Ben Barnes') return from the continent. To her dismay, he brings a bride: an American widow who races cars. The bride, Larita (Jessica Biel), 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, Mr. Whittaker (Colin Firth), 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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Let's Misbehave! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although she plays his younger sister, Katherine Parkinson is three years older than Ben Barnes. See more »

Goofs

Both Larita and Marion are seen reading "Lady Chatterley's Lover," which was not published in England until 1960 (the film is set in the late 1920s or early 1930s). (Of course, Larita could have brought the book with her from the Continent.) See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Whittaker: Smile, Marion.
Marion Whittaker: I don't feel like smiling.
Mr. Whittaker: You're English dear, fake it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The band playing the closing music calls out its members' names. See more »

Connections

Featured in MsMojo: Top 10 Tango Dance Scenes in Movies (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

You're the Top
Written by Cole Porter
Published by WB Music Corp. (ASCAP)
Licensed courtesy of Warner Chappell Music Ltd.
Performed by Andy Caine and James Gillan with The Easy Virtue Orchestra
See more »

User Reviews

 
Light Frothy Fun and more
24 February 2010 | by Brian B-2See all my reviews

I enjoyed this movie a fair bit more than the average viewer, if ratings are to be believed.

This very British film is a nice switch from the typical Hollywood romantic comedy, and does not attempt to squeeze within the conventional mold which runs from Four weddings and a Funeral through Love Actually and beyond. The wry influence of the original Noel Coward play becomes fresh again decades later.

Colin Firth is especially adept underplaying the dissolute father in law. He is just there, being, not acting.Totally believable and convincing. When his character is illuminated in a brief soliloquy two thirds of the way through the movie, he is brilliant, and without the ham fisted exposition of so much modern writing, the entire family story is explained, and powerful social commentary on topics from hereditary lands to fox hunting to war to social decay to euthanasia are digested without chewing.

A great example of "Show, not tell".

Jessica Biel is beautiful, here as always, and is never requested to do more than she is capable of. I particularly liked how the film makers did not beat us over the head with her sexuality, going with a muted sensuality most of the movie, except in key scenes where her full power is unleashed to excellent effect.

Kristin Scott Thomas is well cast as the domineering disapproving mother in law, and the British supporting players are treats, though I thought Ben Barnes as the love interest lacked the presence to hold his own in this cast.

We could use more movies like this.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

UK | Canada

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

19 June 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Easy Virtue See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$110,443, 24 May 2009

Gross USA:

$2,656,784

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$18,463,793
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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