An Ideal Husband

Bomb Rating: 

This is a very disingenuous fantasy film that takes place in an alternate universe in which British people are supposed to be blithely amusing.

In fact, there's not a person in this film who's not completely tickled with the predicaments of his or her own existence. At the heart of the story is Arthur Goring (Rupert Everett), content with the single life and not at all affected by societal pressure to stop masturbating and get married. When an old flame, Mrs. Cheveley (Julianne Moore), shows up and threatens to ruin the lives of his closest friends, Lady Chiltern (Cate Blanchett) and Sir Robert Chiltern (Jeremy Northern), Goring jumps into action.

Certainly Sir Robert isn't particularly tickled by Mrs. Cheveley's plan, but he's pretty tickled with Lady Chiltern, for whom he displays affection like a dog for a new chew toy. Meanwhile, Goring isn't thrilled with having to play savior, though it attracts the attentions of Sir Robert's sister (Minnie Driver). Throughout the entire dull exercise, the characters exhibit that smug self-assuredness that makes every non-British person in the world want to travel to London and spray the Queen with a SuperSoaker full of urine.

Things that bothered me about this film: Who the hell is the "ideal husband"? Is it Goring or Chiltern? In addition, there are two people in this film I'm sick of seeing. The first is Jeremy Northam, a one-trick pony who plays the suave, British guy in every single film in which he appears. The second is Minnie Driver, whose jaw looks like it would be better used for cracking walnuts than expelling the loads of tiresome dialogue this film has to offer.

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