Parents' Guide to

The Importance of Being Earnest

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Romance and deception in Wilde's clever comedy of manners.

Movie PG 2002 93 minutes
The Importance of Being Earnest Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say Not yet rated
Kids say (4 ):

It's hard to botch anything that starts with dialog from Wilde, one of the English language's most witty writers, and this period production stays faithful to his clever words. The story is immensely entertaining, and the acting, for the most part, is first-rate. Firth is in fine form as a serious gentlemen pressing his request for Gwendolen's hand in marriage, and Everett holds his own as a charming rogue.

The women are almost as good, though sometimes they seem thinly drawn; Withespoon's English accent slips on occasion, and she and O'Connor are awfully quick to forgive their suitors' joint deception. Dame Judi Dench anchors the production as Gwendolen's outraged mother with a mercenary heart (and a dubious background) whose biggest concern is marrying off her daughter into a suitable family, and few actresses can handle a simmering glower of indignation better than Dench. But it all comes back to the story, considered one of Wilde's best, and the quick verbal repartee is well worth viewing.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate