A GOOD WOMAN is a well-made, beautfully shot, superbly acted, rip-roaring romantic comedy. And not before time. Still, we would hardly expect less from a movie based on Oscar Wilde's "Lady Windermere's Fan" and starring actors such as Helen Hunt, Tom Wilkinson and eye-candy in the form of Scarlett Johanson. The plot has Scarlett and her new husband honeymooning on the sun-drenched Amalfi coast in the 1930s. They stumble upon Mrs. Erlynne, a woman of "a certain age" who makes a living spongeing off rich lovers. The husband befriends Mrs. Erlynne, much to the young wife's consternation. She is almost tempted to run off with handsome young Lord Darlington. Meanwhile, Mrs Erlynne has a new admirer in the shape of another aristo, played by Tom Wilkinson. In case this sounds a little contrived and pretentious, let me reassure you that the director and screenwriter handle it all with a light touch. This may be a costume drama, but it moves along quickly and with charm and wit. The dialogue is fantastic and beneath the dazzling wit, we see a deep understanding of the vulnerabilities and frailties of a happy and enduring marriage.
A GOOD WOMAN premiered at Toronto in 2004 and went in Europe in Spring 2005. It went on limited release in the US on the 3rd February 2006 and is available on Region 2 DVD.