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Movie Review: Easy Virtue

Alternate Title: Sad Dogs and Englishmen

Story: Boring and tedious are two of the words that come to mind as I try to remember this film that I saw at a screening 10 days go. It was directed by Stephen Elliott (Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) and written by Stephen Elliott and Sheridan Jobbins, based on a play by Noel Coward.

It is shortly after WW1 as we meet a repressed English gentry family who are holding onto their legacy and reputation despite the fact that their money is gone. The young master of the house returns from a trip abroad with his new bride who is a beautiful American race car driver. Can you already feel the tension? The lady of the house is appalled at her son's choice and fires non-stop pithy bon mots at the new bride. The man of the house is a WW1 veteran who has become a drunken recluse. The two sisters are catty, a bit wacky and altogether losers.

Combine the above with an overly long sequence about a dead chihuahua and I was long gone into a drift zone. The icing on the cake was a requisite fox hunt. Just about everything I deplore about the landed gentry was thrown into the mix for laughs. I did not laugh at all. I do not think Noel Coward would have laughed either.Oh - and did I mention they break out into once song too often?

Watch the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDgWWH2xyeQ

Acting: Jessica Biel as the American beauty did not have to stretch her talents at all. I found her to be vapid. Colin Firth did not seem to be interested in his role at all. Kristin Scott Thomas was the best thing about the film. Ben Barnes as the young groom, was an empty suit. Kris Marshall as the butler did make me smile a few times. Kimberly Nixon and Katherine Parkinson as the two sisters were nothing to write home about.

Trivia: As a child Jessica Biel initially pursued a career as a vocalist, performing in musical theater. Beginning at age nine, she starred in such productions as "Annie," "The Sound of Music," and "Beauty and the Beast."

Predilection: My good friend occasionally invites me to screenings with him. I say 'yes' as often as I can for his good company and for the opportunity to see a screening.

Critters: A poor chihuahua that meets with a thudding end. Foxes, hounds, horses and anything else the English gentry would want to shoot.

Food: Ham, turkey, asparagus, carrots, potatoes.

Sex Spectrum: Who cared?

Soundtrack: Some of the tunes were fun but for the most part the music had too large a role.

Visual Art: The estate was stunning.

Theater Audience: A fairly crowded screening - but not full.

Squirm Scale: I have absolutely no sense of humor when an animal gets hurt in a movie.

Drift Factor: Drift, drift, drift away I did.

Predictability Level: High

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: No

Big Screen or Rental: Rental would be fine.

Length: Under two hours