Giles Keyte
Owen Gleiberman
May 27, 2009 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Easy Virtue

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
93 minutes
Wide Release Date
05/22/09
performer
Ben Barnes, Jessica Biel, Colin Firth, Kristin Scott-Thomas
director
Stephan Elliott
author
Noel Coward, Stephan Elliott, Sheridan Jobbins
genre
Drama

We gave it an B-

Jessica Biel in a teacup-rattling ’20s period piece? With her lewd pinup grin and husky flat voice, she sticks out like a sore starlet in Easy Virtue — but that’s the whole point in this loosely ”freshened up” version of a Noël Coward play. Biel plays the race-car-driving American bride of ?a British rich kid (Ben Barnes), who takes her to the family mansion. Once there, she squares off against her new ?in-laws — Kristin Scott Thomas as Barnes’ embattled mother, Colin Firth as the whipped-puppy patriarch — with vulgar vitality, even if the picture itself is only mechanically breezy. B?

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