Easy Virtue

First slide

Glossy but ho-hum retread of an early Noel Coward play (1924), adapted by director and co-writer Stephen Elliott, wherein a landed young Englishman (Ben Barnes) brings home his vivacious new bride, a glamorous American widow (likable Jessica Biel) with a "past," who clashes with her husband's stodgy mother (Kristin Scott Thomas) and sisters, though winning the admiration of his more bohemian father (Colin Firth). The colorful period and background tunes are enjoyable, but performances are generally flat and the dated and unconvincing story is further sabotaged by a couple of morally problematic plot additions.

Watch out for: Unconventional view of marriage, divorce, assisted suicide, nongraphic sexual marital encounters, brief rear and partial nudity, some crass language and heavy smoking.

Rated: USCCB: O; MPAA: PG-13

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2009