What exactly is a good woman? Based on main character Stella Erlynne's (Helen Hunt) opening line, "Some women bring happiness wherever they go, some bring it when they go." One doesn't have to wonder long which type she is, for as she delivers this voice–over line, we see her trying in vain to sign her hotel meal bill to three different married men. Apparently, their wives are sitting at the next table watching with cat–like glee as their mouse dangles perilously and pennilessly.

It's 1930s New York, and it seems the local crop of married male meal tickets has dried up for Stella. So she sells her jewelry to buy a ticket to the Amalfi coast in Italy, home of the rich and famous—though Stella secretly admits she's "infamous and poor." Almost instantly she sets her sights on a fellow vacationing American couple, the Windermeres—especially the dashing husband, Robert (Mark Umbers).

Though Robert and his wife, Meg (Scarlett Johansson), are arrow–straight, gushy newlyweds, the busybody locals soon observe Robert sneaking off to meetings with Mrs. Erlynne. And local playboy Lord Darlington (Stephen Campbell Moore) is only too happy to keep Meg company in his absence. Darlington is relentless in his pursuit of the young beauty, but at least he's honest: "How can I seduce you if you always bring your husband?" he asks one day before taking her to lunch.

It's such lines that make this adaptation of Oscar Wilde's play "Lady Windermere's Fan" a delight. Most of these one–liners center on relationships, decadence, and other people's business, such as Lord Darlington's declaration that "the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about at all." His elder crony Tuppy (Tom Wilkinson) ...

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A Good Woman
Our Rating
3 Stars - Good
Average Rating
 
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Mpaa Rating
PG-13 (for thematic material, sensuality, and language)
Directed By
Mike Barker
Run Time
1 hour 33 minutes
Cast
Helen Hunt, Scarlett Johansson, Milena Vukotic, Stephen Campbell Moore
Theatre Release
May 13, 2005 by Lions Gate Films
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