The Importance of Being Ernest This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   I confess - I hate reading plays. So, when Ilearned I had to read The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde that was setin the 1890s, I was not exactly thrilled. After two hours of painstaking reading,I still could not recall any thrilling experience. From the written words alone,I found it difficult to detect any biting sarcasm or create the characters in mymind. Such hindrances made it impossible for me to appreciate Wilde's work. Butto my good fortune, I had the opportunity to see Oliver Park's film adaptation.With characters I could see and a dialogue I could hear, the play came alive andI was finally able to recognize and appreciate Wilde's genius.

"TheImportance of Being Earnest" is a comedy about mistaken identity that takesplace in English high society. The two main characters, Jack Worthing andAlgernon Moncrieff, are wealthy young men who both create imaginary members ofsociety to make their lives more interesting. Jack invents a brother, Earnest, togive himself an excuse to travel from his country home to London; Algernoninvents a friend, Bunbury, for just the opposite reason - to have an excuse toleave the city for the country.

During their frequent trips to visittheir creations, both fall in love with beautiful women, Jack with GwendolenFairfax and Algernon with young Cecily Cardew. It at first appears that nothingcould be better, but their deceptions inevitably catch up with them and cause aplethora of amusing incidents.

The star-studded cast is reason enough toexpect this movie to be worth seeing. Colin Firth (Jack Worthing) and RupertEverett (Algernon Moncrieff) have such great chemistry that it seems the tworeally could be best friends and brothers in real life. They excellently portrayhigh-class Englishmen.

The immensely talented and hard-working JudiDench perfectly plays her role as a very stereotypical lady of the manor. As forFrances O'Connor (Gwendolen) and Reese Witherspoon (Cecily), what more needs besaid except that they are great and beautiful! And, although Anna Massey (MissPrism) and Tom Wilkinson (Dr. Chasuble) do not have standout performances, theydo add to the movie. The magnificent chemistry among the cast and their superiorperformances really bring the play to life.

Although the plot is a bithokey, the setting and cast create an enjoyable viewing experience. There aremany scenes that keep you laughing. And, as the movie's dialogue and plot arealmost exactly like the play, I was finally able to appreciate this literaryclassic. I highly recommend this movie.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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