Two young gents have taken to bending the truth in order to put some excitement into their lives. Worthing (Colin Firth) has invented a brother, Earnest, whom he uses as an excuse to leave his dull life behind to visit Gwendolyn (Frances O'Connor). Montcrieff (Rupert Everett) decides to take the name Earnest when visiting Worthing's young and beautiful ward, Cecily (Reese Witherspoon). Things start to go awry when they end up together in the country and their deceptions are discovered. Based on a play by Oscar Wilde.