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An Ideal Husband (1999)
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Review Date: July 10, 1999
Director: Oliver Parker
Writer: Oliver Parker
Producers: Bruce Davey, Uri Fruchtmann
Actors:
Rupert Everett
Julianne Moore
Cate Blanchett
Jeremy Northam
Minnie Driver
Plot:
The time is 1895, and society is run on extremely high morals. Men rule the country and women, well, women want to marry the "perfect" men. One particular "ideal husband" suddenly finds his career as a politician and loving marriage in complete jeopardy, when an indiscretion from his past is set to blackmail by a woman, in exchange for a political favor. His good friend, who at 36 has yet to encounter a need to get married, attempts to help him out.
Critique:
Charming, delightful, comical at times, interesting at others, this film is drenched in beautiful settings and costumes, witty dialogue, and a great cast of actors in their top form. The plot itself is not very thick, and does seem to finish just a little before its time, but for some very strange reason, kept me interested, kept me listening, and kept me watching. My best guess is that the solid performances from Julianne Moore and Rupert Everett were at the crux of my enjoyment, as well as the rest of the consistently entertaining cast, the moral intricacies of their day, and the well-styled direction coming from the man behind the film, Oliver Parker. Double-props go out to him from me, most particularly since I am generally bored stupid during these kinds of movies, so "good show, young man!". Now while I did enjoy watching the characters in the film jostle at the slightest impropriety or lie told by a person, I could not help but notice the lack of appreciation that today's society had towards any of their "simple" moral boners.

I guess we have all gotten so used to the immoralities running rampant today (The President of the United States was getting headjobs under his desk from an intern, for God's sakes!), that the outrage supplied by the characters in the film feel quite exaggerated. Then again, perhaps it is time for us to begin revising our own moral agendas of the day. Then again, perhaps it is time for me to loosen up and get back to my review of this film, instead of rambling on about stuff that is of no consequence to this critique, per se. Arrrumphh.....now where was I? Ah yes, despite my original misconception, there is no gay content in this film, despite its lead actor being an openly gay man, and the story being based on an Oscar Wilde play, another gay man. Now there's another remark that has absolutely nothing to do with my review, just a fact that I thought might help another sap like me, who would go in thinking the same. Overall, a harmless little ditty is this film, with some great performances from all involved, most particularly Julianne Moore as the Queen Beeyatch, and Rupert Everett as the ultimate slacker bachelor. It's funny, it's serious, there's romance, there are twists and turns, and all in all, it is quite pleasant to look at. Fun English times.
(c) 2014 Berge Garabedian
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