As an encore to his popular 1999 adaptation of Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband
, director Oliver Parker takes on the Irish playwright's best-known play, a self-consciously trivial affair about two best friends who pretend to be an imaginary wastrel named Ernest. Puritanical John Worthing (Colin Firth) lives a sober life on his Shropshire estate with his pretty young ward, Cecily Cardew (Reese Witherspoon), and her prim governess, Miss Prism (Anna Massey). Every few weeks, "Jack" makes his way to London to check up on Ernest, his tragically dissipated younger brother. Ernest, of course, doesn't really exist: He's just a pretext that allows "Jack" to escape his du...