An Ideal Husband

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: +2 1/2

This movie, based on an Oscar Wilde play about aristocratic English society in the 1890s, is much like watching a PBS Masterpiece Theater production. Lady Chiltern (Cate Blanchett) and Sir Robert Chiltern (Jeremy Northam) have social status, charm and perfect manners, but more important, they are deeply in love. Sir Robert, respected for his intelligence and fairness, holds an influential seat in Parliament. Into this perfect setting suddenly appears a threat to Sir Roberts career and marriage. The scheming, beautiful Mrs. Chevely (Julianne Moore) returns to London to make sure her sizable investment in a proposed Argentine canal is protected. She connives to blackmail Sir Robert, assuring his influence in Parliament so England will support the canal. Included in the talented cast are Minnie Driver as Mabel, Sir Roberts lovelorn sister, and Rupert Everett as Arthur, a wealthy bachelor determined to remain just that. AN IDEAL HUSBAND offers audiences a clever but not-too-complicated hour and a half of entertainment. It may be too sedate for action-loving moviegoers, but AN IDEAL HUSBAND will appeal to adult fans of sophisticated drama.

The films only mystery is its PG-13 rating. Recent PG films have had more offensive content than AN IDEAL HUSBAND. During the opening credits an obscured view of a nude woman leaving a bed flashes across the screen. Also, one brief scene of a married couple in bed with sex implied has no nudity or graphic movements. Typical of the time period, ladies wear elegant ball gowns with rather low-cut necklines. Mrs. Chevelys shady past alludes to a scandalous liaison and she purposely tries to arouse suspicions about her private conferences with Sir Robert. Deception, false assumptions and gossip are all main ingredients of the plot, but nothing is done in bad taste. The Chilterns learn that putting loved ones on a pedestal can be dangerous and true love requires forgiveness. Arthur learns that love cannot be bought, but must be freely given and takes great courage. Slightly offensive dialogue includes one regular and one exclamatory profanity, plus four mild crudities. AN IDEAL HUSBAND, a tasteful adult love story, qualifies to be put on our list of recommended movies.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Miramax Films, 375 Greenwich, NY, NY 10013

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Few (4) timesMild

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: Few (2) timesRegular 1 (for G-sake), Exclamatory 1

Violence: None

Sex: None; Implied once (married couple in bed)

Nudity: Once (very brief flash of nude woman leaving bed); Near Nudity few times (low-cut ball gowns)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Few times (social drinking)

Other: Deception and gossip have negative consequences; positive messages about honor, love, forgiveness

Running Time: 96 minutes
Intended Audience: Teenagers and adults

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