Book to Movie – The Importance of Being Earnest

Yesterday, I listed some of my favorite soundtracks. (You can find the post here.) Sitting at the number 3 spot was the 2002 The Importance of Being Earnest soundtrack. Well, I loved the soundtrack, and I thought the movie was just as good!

The Importance of Being Earnest is the story of a man named Jack. Jack claims to have an unprincipled younger brother named Ernest who lives in town. Because of his unprincipled and immoral ways, Jack must visit his brother all the time to try and straighten out the messes he creates. However, when Jack is in town, he actually becomes Ernest Worthing, so that he can do what he wants to do. The play gets more complicated than this with romantic entanglements and long lost relatives, turning it into a crazy and laugh-out-loud Victorian comedy!

We decided to try the 2002 version of the play available to watch instantly on Netflix. I really enjoyed it! The plot remained faithful to the play and contained many of its original lines; however, the movie took liberties with the smaller details, such as making Alergnon the older brother, while in the play he was the younger brother. The movie also changed Jack’s real name at the end.  In the play, he discovered his real name was Earnest. In the movie his real name was John, but he lied and said it was Earnest. The backstory of Lady Bracknell being a dancer was not suggested at all in Wilde’s play. A few more silly scenes not found in the play included Gwendolen having Earnest’s name tattooed on her backside and Cecily daydreaming about knights in shining armor, but I felt as if these minor additions added to the ridiculousness of the situation in a way that kept with the play’s original feel. Another enjoyable element of the play was the excellent casting. I thought that Cecily and Algernon were especially well done, as Cecily looked young enough to be the age she was in the play and Algernon looked like the trouble-making gentleman that he was supposed to be. I also liked the added touch of Jack wearing glasses and his alter ego Earnest going without them. Of course, yesterday, I mentioned how much I loved the soundtrack. It was a great fit for the movie. Even the credit song was terrific!

Here’s a clip from the movie:

What do you think of this movie? What versions have you seen? Comment below and tell me!

~ Kayla

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