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
During the end credits all of the musicians who played in the orchestra featured on the soundtrack are introduced in voice-over simulating the introductions from the bandstand of a live performance, with each musician playing a brief sample. 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 »
Easy Virtue - easy on the eyes - a charming and crafted film
It is not uncommon in a film to see British "stiff upper lip" challenged and outflanked by an outsider - normally an American. As a Brit you learn to put aside any feelings of protectiveness and sensitivity and try to give the film it's fair credit when such a story is presented to you.
In the case of this film - Easy Virtue - this is not difficult to do as it is a well acted gem of a period piece that overcomes any of the initial worries about stereotypes and charms and amuses all the way through.
Kirstin Scott Thomas is superb as the glacial matriarch, Colin Firth detached and louche as her distant husband, Jessica Biel believable as the breath of fresh air ( gust of cold wind ) introduced into the family by the eager but naive son.
Kris Marshall gives an amusing performance as the world weary - seen it all butler and as a whole this is a good enjoyable film.
Taken as it is from a Noel Coward play, I am not sufficiently qualifies to comment on how much , or little, the film has changed the spirit of the play - I suspect not a lot as Mr Coward delighted in ridiculing the sensibilities of the British gentry and if the stiff upper lip is going to be ridiculed by anyone better that it is a Brit !!
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