A Good Woman

on February 03, 2006 by Shlomo Schwartzberg
Helen Hunt and Tom Wilkinson shine in this handsome but superficial adaptation of Oscar Wilde's "Lady Windermere's Fan." Set mostly on Italy's Amalfi coast in 1930, the film begins with the erotic Mrs. Erlynne (Hunt) forced to leave New York, having seduced one husband too many. Once in Italy, she sets her sights on Robert Windermere (Mark Umbers), an American newlywed vacationing with his wife Meg (Scarlett Johansson). Meanwhile, the rakish Lord Darlington (Stephen Campbell-Moore) is intent on seducing the naive Meg. Secrets are reveled, characters rise or fall to the occasion and Wilde's bon mots fill the air.

Excepting Hunt and Wilkinson, who galvanize the screen when they're together, "A Good Woman" isn't all that interested in its protagonists. The younger set, especially Johannson and Umbers, are particularly ill-done by the one-note script, and Wilde's repartee (and Howard Himelstein's dialogue) wears thin quickly. There's usually more to Wilde than this film indicates. Starring Helen Hunt, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Wilkinson and Stephen Campbell-Moore. Directed by Mike Barker. Written by Howard Himelstein. Produced by Alan Greenspon, Jonathan English, Steven Siebert and Howard Himelstein. A Lions Gate release. Drama. Rated PG for thematic material, sensuality and language. Running time: 99 min

Tags: Helen Hunt, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Wilkinson, Stephen Campbell-Moore, Mike Barker, Howard Himselstein, Alan Greenspon, Jonathan English, Steven Siebert, Lions Gate, Drama, classic, adaptation, vacations

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