DVD review: Easy Virtue
Director Stephan Elliott (“The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert”) adapts the early Noel Coward play “Easy Virtue” into a motion picture starring Jessica Biel, Colin Firth and Kristin Scott Thomas.
Biel stars as Larita, a breezy American race car driver who marries into an upper-crust British family in the 1920s. Mrs. Whittaker (Thomas) is opposed to the marriage, having intended her son John (Ben Barnes) to marry Sara Hurst (Charlotte Riley), whose father owns the neighboring farm. Mr. Whittaker (Firth) responds well to Larita, but he’s barely present in his own life — he’s never recovered from his days in the first World War.
Biel is pretty far from her “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry” and “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” remake days. If casting Biel seems out of place with British mainstays Firth (“Bridget Jones’ Diary”) and Thomas (“Gosford Park”), it only highlights, in a meta-textual way, Larita’s fish-out-of-water presence with the Whittakers.
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