Easy Virtue – 7

A rich farrago of witty repartee, courtesy, I suppose, of Noel Coward’s original script. The American living by her wits, and considerable beauty, plopped in the middle of the decaying English aristocracy is, by now, a well-worn, time-honored conceit, but nonetheless open to japes and gibes, the latter most expertly delivered by Kristin Scott Thomas. Jessica Biel and someone named Ben Barnes played the short-term romantic couple – she, the veteran of love; he, the naïve romantic – but it was Colin Firth lurking in the background who, we always suspected, would steal the show. Unless, that is, one counts the proper but tippling butler – a symbol, perhaps? – who gets the last, and best, line.

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