Review of THE HAPPY PRINCE – Rated R – 1 hr. 45 mins. 

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THE HAPPY PRINCE – Rated R – 1 hr. 45 mins. 

DIRECTOR:  Rupert Everett 

WRITER:  Rupert Everett

STARRING:  Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Emily Watson, Colin Morgan, Edwin Thomas and Tom Wilkinson

Based on the real-life story of English Playwright and Poet Oscar Wilde (Rupert Everett)…we step into the flamboyant life, and last act for Oscar, having just been released from prison after serving 2 years for gross indecency, stemming from his affair with the young, and gorgeous  Alfred “Bosie” Douglas (Colin Morgan), even though he was married with two young sons…

Upon his release, and looking to get back to writing, his friends Robbie Ross (Edwin Thomas) and Reggie Turner (Colin Firth), come to aid  “Wild Oscar” in tranforming back into a normal existence within the outside world, thus back with his family, and a conventional way of life for the times…

When his lover Bosie intervenes, and convinces Oscar to venture back into a relationship with him, Wilde’s life seems to spiral out of control and into oblivion…as he ends up sickly, downtrodden, penniless and dying, at the ripe young age of 46….

I give THE HAPPY PRINCE a rating of WAIT AND CATCH THIS FILM ON NETFLIX or STREAMING:  Although I have adored viewing Everett’s work, and Firth’s too throughout the years, THE HAPPY PRINCE ended up being a real bore, with its dark cinematography, and single-dimensional storyline.  I headed into the theater anxious to see what Everett’s Directorial vision would be for this character, which I totally felt he would was so well suited to play ~ and in the end, it too, was one dimensional and boring.   I must also confess, that I felt his writing of Wilde’s life ~ even the short period that this film covers ~ despirately needed to facet in the other IMPORTANT dimensions of Wilde’s life, besides his homosexual exploits, and poor choice in men.  I found it very sad that we never touch upon his astounding works that were in publication and appearing on the stage, which he is so noted for, with the exception of the story that Wilde/Everett shares himself througout the length of the film, and of course, the name of the movie as well.  I did enjoy Firth and Watson’s small, but crucial roles within this storyline, and I also enjoyed Morgan and Ross’s portrayal of Wilde’s “men of choice”, but as a whole, this film lacks any depth or intensity the whole way through.   I feel that if you decide to head out to the theater to catch Everett in his directorial debut, you will end up leaving feeling slighted and disillusioned, as you really don’t get any feel for what a great playwright and poet  Oscar Wilde truly was, or any other dimension of his life, except his homosexuality.  Don’t get me wrong, I truly believe that everyone should love who they love, but I also think that Everett missed his opportunity to share too, some of the many reasons why Wilde was called one of the greatest playwrights and poets of his time…

Kathy Kaiser