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Easy Virtue (2009)

Jessica Biel , Ben Barnes , Stephan Elliott  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jessica Biel, Ben Barnes, Kristin Scott Thomas, Colin Firth, Kimberley Nixon
  • Directors: Stephan Elliott
  • Writers: Stephan Elliott, Noel Coward, Sheridan Jobbins
  • Producers: Alexandra Ferguson, Barnaby Thompson, Cindy Wilkinson Kirven, Douglas Hansen
  • Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 15, 2009
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002I5GNZQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,634 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Easy Virtue" on IMDb

Special Features

Deleted Scenes
Blooper Reel
Commentary with Director Stephan Elliott & Writer Sheridan Jobbins
New York Premiere

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

A lighthearted adaptation of a Noel Coward play set in the late 1920s, Easy Virtue stars Jessica Biel as Larita, an adventurous American who marries John, the naive, British heir (Ben Barnes) to a crumbling family estate. Whisked into the less-than-receptive bosom of John's kin, Larita soon finds herself drawing the scorn of her mother-in-law (Kristin Scott Thomas), who would have preferred John marry a longtime sweetheart from his own genteel community rather than a brash Yankee. Eager to move to London, Larita knows the longer a post-honeymoon John visits his family the harder it will be for the newlyweds to live on their own terms, and she's right. Giving up on any notion of fitting in, Larita suffers a few embarrassments before fighting back. But nothing can help her once a past scandal encroaches on her dream of happiness.

Co-writer and director Stephan Elliott (The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) keeps everything breezy and fun, though the clashes between Larita and her malicious mother-in-law are keenly felt. Elliott's period sensibility is very strong, not least of all his appreciation of John's father (Colin Firth), a restless intellectual and member of the so-called Lost Generation of World War I veterans. Firth's performance as a man distanced from his family's preoccupations and material woes is a real highlight of Easy Virtue. When he dances a tango, late in the story, one can see years of repressed desire erupt in him. --Tom Keogh


Stills from Easy Virtue (Click for larger image)











Product Description

Jessica Biel, Colin Firth, Kristin Scott Thomas and Ben Barnes bring Noël Coward's witty comedy of manners magnificently to life in this "deliciously cheeky" (Ella Taylor, The Village Voice) adaptation from director Stephan Elliott (The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert). When British playboy John brings his new wife Larita - a race car-driving feminist from Detroit - home to meet the family at their country estate, pretty much everyone's expectations are disappointed. His snooty mother is offended by Larita's carefree American ways, while Larita does everything she can to get her mother-in-law to loosen up, which only annoys her even more. John's sisters have diametrically opposed feelings about their new sister-in-law, but his father is intrigued to have finally found another who sees through the family's façade - and takes great perverse pleasure in watching his wife meet her match.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy Virtue February 24, 2010
Format:DVD
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. Based on the original play by Noel Coward, 'Easy Virtue' encompasses sharp wit, romance and drama; and although it is set in 1920s England, it is far from the typical period drama that might be expected. Biel has a captivating presence, bringing classic Hollywood glamour to the movie. A thoroughly enjoyable British comedy.
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 for the entire package, but... September 13, 2009
Format:Blu-ray
...I know the cost is going to be a killer. To summarize quickly before a long worded review - this is your typical solid Sony BD presentation of a good film, so I suppose one will have to weigh out how much they love the content.

I felt this to be a great comedy presentation of a 1920s Brit piece that came across on Blu beautifully. The English countryside estate (a lovely looking acreage and interior) is filled with a wonderful cast of snobs, naive youth, seasoned work staff, and a comic relief father played perfectly by Colin Firth. He was the strong point of the movie and I laughed almost every time he spoke. The story follows the introduction of an American wife into this mix played adequately by Jessica Biel. As the weeks progress we get to see a spattering of visuals, comedic schticks, and life lessons learned by all until the surprising end. I do not feel the criticism I have read here and elsewhere is valid since this is meant to be a light take on this sociological experiment, yet exquisitely preserved.

The overall colors were a little drab, but some of the landscape exteriors and one interior dance scene showed some vibrancy. The TrueHD was fine, and actually played best when the music was active (which is being interjected often). The supplements were thorough for a film like this, including:
* 5 minutes of 4 deleted scenes - would have been fine left in the film.
* 8:30 minutes of bloopers - they were actually funny and seemed appropriate for the extras inclusion since this was a humorous film.
* 6 minute New York Premiere Featurette - more of an ad plug with some red carpet interviews and too many film clips.
* Commentary by the director and writer - this was actually one of the better ones I have heard in some time.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie July 28, 2009
Format:DVD
I loved watching this movie. If you have seen some of Noel Cowards work done before (Relative Values), you'll remember the humor he brings to the plate. Stephan Elliot truly had his hands full with four great cast members! You will laugh, you will be upset, you will be astonished and that it what makes this movie such fun to watch! It's been described as "meet the very posh british parents" but I think it's much, much more. And, a great performance of the Tango done by Jessica Biel and Colin Firth!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 Star, Cheer You Up Movie June 19, 2010
By British
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I am always looking for a movie that I can watch that will entertain me and sometimes, help chase away the blues. I am generally not a romance movie fan, so I nearly passed this movie by. I did watch this movie however, and boy was I glad that I did. The plot very entertaining and the scenery, the clothes, the actors were all eye candy. The music selected for the movie helped set the tone. Was it a socially important movie? No, not unless you think that bringing a smile or laugh to someone has value (which obviously I do.) This movie is what it is. You either get it...or you don't. A big thumbs up, in my book.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this movie! July 21, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I saw Easy Virtue 5 times in the theatre when it was in limited release and would have seen it more given the chance! The acting is suberb by the whole cast. Ben Barnes (of Prince Caspian fame) plays love struck young Englishman John Whittaker who marries American race car driver, Larita (an elegant, witty Jessica Biel) bringing her home to his manipulative disapproving mother (the always fabulous Kristin Scott Thomas), vacant war damaged father (Colin Firth in a beautifully natural performance), and provincial sisters Marion and Hilda. Snappy dialogue and machinations ensue on both sides in the battle for John's future.

This is often billed as a comedy and though it IS very funny, there is drama and deeper meaning, as well. Director and co-screenwriter Stephan Elliott (Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) manages to find something sympathetic in each character while taking a delicious potshot at upper-crusty English society. Little is left of the Noel Coward play it's based on (thank goodness), but it's witty enough that it sounds like Coward. Elliott creates a visually rich and dynamic piece packed with fun period music (I LOVE the soundtrack!).

Marius de Vries builds a beautiful period score along with some contemporary songs made to sound like period pieces (I especially love "Sex Bomb"). Ben Barnes has a gorgeous voice and besides singing to charm everyone in the movie, provides the soundtrack with two of my favorite songs, "A Room With a View" and "I'll See You Again". Jessica Biel opens the film with a lovely "Mad About the Boy" and helps Colin Firth and Ben Barnes on "When the Going Gets Tough the Tough Get Going".

I highly recommend this gay, bittersweet romp!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A Satisfying Diversion
With the star power of Colin Firth, Kristen Scott Thomas and a Noel Coward play, I had supremely high expectations for this inter-war period piece. Read more
Published 8 days ago by L. M. Keefer
5.0 out of 5 stars Jonnie has brought an American racecar driver home and Mummy is VERY...
Oscar Wilde would have LOVED this version of his play as much as he would have loved the man who directed it, who also directed "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Beth Woehrle
5.0 out of 5 stars I could watch this every day and not get tired of it.
This movie had everything great acting, great music, great story, and an exceptional cast. The tango alone was worth the price of the film.
Published 14 days ago by Geradine Dinardo
1.0 out of 5 stars i tryed to buy the SD version and your software sead it was not...
I then orered th HD version and we watced it please remove the charge for the SD verion you charged me twice for the same Movie. Richard Hodder
Published 2 months ago by RICHARD HODDER
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Little Known Movie
Marvelous cast, including Jessica Biel and Colin Firth. But also just a really interesting story and ending. I love being able to watch it whenever I wish.
Published 2 months ago by Honest Abe
5.0 out of 5 stars Fans of Colin Firth
I really enjoyed this movie. If you liked the movie, "The Importance of Being Ernest" with Colin Firth, you will like this. It has humor but with very British overtones. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Suzi
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a classic!!
One of the best movies ever!!! Acting is superb and the story is true to life!!! This is a must see!!
Published 2 months ago by Kim O'Dea
4.0 out of 5 stars Under-rated film but worthy of far more consideration
This film is a delightful period piece with Jessica Biel, Colin Firth, and Kristen Scott-Thomas. It is under-rated as was the film "Breaking Away. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jill Ghnassia
5.0 out of 5 stars While an English "class" setting.....
While the plot is entwined within the English 'class' system, it so clearly applies to any society regarding what is and is not proper, and though subtle I definitely was moved by... Read more
Published 3 months ago by snowball
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good-probably under-rated.
This a good movie, probably under-rated. Personally, I loved it but others may only just like it. Wish it had been longer. Good performances by the whole cast. Read more
Published 4 months ago by C. Hamilton
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