A Good Woman – Review

Worth seeing: for traditionalists who like lavish costumes and locations
Director:Mike Barker
Featuring:Scarlett Johansson, Helen Hunt, Mark Umbers, Stephen Campbell Moore, Tom Wilkinson
Length:93 minutes
Certificate:PG
Country:US
Released:13th May 2005

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

Wealthy American Robert (Mark Umbers) and his new bride Meg (Scarlett Johansson) arrive on Italy’s Amalfi coast, where they settle in among the ex-pat community.

Chief among them are a group of aging, amiable toffs – led by Tuppy (Tom Wilkinson), a charming, young British aristocrat, Lord Darlington (Stephen Campbell Moore) and a mysterious, New York Socialite, Mrs Erlynne (Helen Hunt).

Against the backdrop of the build-up to a birthday bash, thrown in Meg’s honour, a series of misunderstandings and incorrect assumptions play havoc with the emotional ties that bind the characters together.

Illicit affairs seem justified and relationships seem threatened – but as secrets are revealed, it becomes clear that nothing is quite what it seems.

WHAT’S IT LIKE?

This adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s “Lady Windermere’s Fan” is just what’s required from a period piece: lavish costumes and locations, quaint morality and unrequited love.

And as you’d expect from Wilde’s pen, it’s overflowing with unfortunate misunderstandings, coincidences and one-liners so sharp and frequent, it’s often hard to keep up.

The performances fit the time and the place, but the direction seems laboured and the overall story a little flat.

In an age when cinema-going audiences expect increasingly different and brave films, this will ultimately appeal largely to those whose tastes are firmly routed in the past.