HUMAN NATURE: A lot better than I thought it would be. I'm unfamiliar with the director, but Charlie Kaufman, it seems, can do no wrong. Funny, profound after a fashion, competently if not spectacularly directed. Some great, quotable lines and clever gags. Relentlessly postmodern, cutting the rug out from under you at every turn (which I mean as a compliment, of course, not a criticism). Tim Robbins was terrific, and the movie allowed me to nurse my growing crush on Miranda Otto by having her trot around in her underwear a lot. Not quite as spectacular as "Being John Malkovitch" or as brilliant as "Adaptation", but better than "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind". And, strictly from a chauvinist point of view, I'm extremely pleased that we're in the rare position of talking about a writer the way we normally talk about a director or an actor.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST: Bleah. The problem with this adaptation is that it underplays the main strengths of the play. The director (another one unfamiliar to me) tries to expand the plot (TIOBE has a dull, predictable plot) and the settings (TIOBE is a prototypical drawing-room comedy) and gets altogether too fancy with his direction (TIOBE is a writer's play, not a director's play). Worst of all, the actress who plays Aunt Augusta is subtle and refined, where the play screams for a terrifying dragon lady. The tremendous strength of the play rests on its incredible dialogue; that's what you have to lead with. If you want plot and setting, adapt a different play. Also, Reese Witherspoon is grossly miscast as Cecily; it's not quite Keanu-Reeves-in-'Dangerous-Liasions' level, but it's close.