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Seeing Love and Friendship was like going to a The Cheesecake Factory; you know exactly what you’re gonna get and how you’re gonna get it. Even though I wasn’t familiar with the original work, I knew it would be a perfectly delightful escape in the world of Jane Austen that I know and love.  While this is no BBC Pride and Prejudice miniseries (which I own on DVD and watched religiously the entire summer before I moved away to college), it is delightful Jane Austen escapism, with extra humor and sass.

The drama starts immediately when two ladies escape into a carriage, fleeing a manor full of another woman’s shrieks. A few characters run outside to watch the carriage pull away, and the camera lingers on each face before text of their name, relation, and defining personality trait, are shown. This introduction continues to include characters we will meet later, which I found to be equal parts helpful and confusing. I appreciated knowing who everyone was, yet I couldn’t keep them all straight until I was further in the film.

Kate Beckinsale is our heroine, the beautiful, sultry, and wealthy widow Lady Susan Vernon.  The character of Lady Susan is known for being a big ol’ flirt, and a manipulative minx and of course, you can’t help but love her.  She is the one fleeing to her dead husband’s brother’s house (see what I mean about keeping it all straight?) to stay with the family because she apparently has no place of her own.

Lady Susan’s best friend and partner in crime is Alicia Jordan, played by Chloe Sevigny.  Mrs. Jordan is an ex-pat from Connecticut, and her stern, older husband Stephen Fry, keeps threatening to send her back to CT if she doesn’t end her friendship with Lady Susan. As someone who has spent many years in the aforementioned state, I LOVED that Connecticut was seen as a punishment.

Mrs. Jordan and Lady Susan’s friendship is a match made in heaven; they’re both so, smart, manipulative, and well dressed. I really want to start dressing like a slutty society lady from the 1790’s and I think I could pull it off.

Lady Susan’s daughter, Frederica, is away at school, so Lady Susan spends her time trying to arrange a marriage for Frederica in order to secure the family’s fortune.  Lady Sue has her sights set on the wealthy, yet extremely stupid, Sir James Martin, who is just an old timey David Brent. I swear, the actor just binge watched The Office, put on some tights, and went on set.  And that’s no shade! But I did feel the bit ran too long and eventually felt out of place. That very well could be my own personal bias (isn’t that what these reviewcaps are?) and I will say the other older ladies in the theater LOVED IT.

While Lady Sue is husband hunting for her daughter, she enjoys the company of her sister-in-law’s younger brother, Reginald DeCoursey. Reggie is a little slut-shamey about Lady Sue-dawg’s reputation until he meets her in person and his dick starts to dance in his pants.  The two of them enjoy many walkabouts around the property, and Lady Susan looks flawless for every single one.

Of course, Reggie falls for Lady Susan, and NO ONE in his family is supportive of his feelings.  Eventually, Lady Susan leaves her family’s country estate, and rents a place in London. Reggie comes for a visit and Lady Susan BREAKS HIS HEART because she’s secretly got a lil’ somethin’ somethin’ going on with the married man we met earlier in the film (thanks intro!).  While Reggie is no Mr. Darcy (NO ONE IS!) my heart broke for poor Reggie when Lady Susan ended their relationship. I grew to love the character throughout the course of the film, and the actor, Xavier Samuel, nailed the breakup scene.  He conveyed his character’s heartbreak while keeping in his gentlemanly demeanor so perfectly.

Don’t worry, Reggie isn’t heartbroken for long as he and Frederica, HIS EX LOVER’S DAUGHTER, start going for walkabouts and eventually, they get married. Woof.

If Freud were alive at the time, he’d have some very interesting things to say about this union. However, we’re in Jane Austen’s world, so there isn’t a gross underbelly to the match. If anything, we’re happy that the two youngins have found each other and get married. Our bad ass bitch Lady Susan gets everything she wants and deserves, as she ends up marrying Old Timey David Brent, securing her fortune, and also continuing her affair with the other rich hottie on the side. Yay! Everyone wins!

Like most Jane Austen movies, the plot is only as interesting as the characters and the dialogue, which I know I can’t recreate or do justice to. I wouldn’t pay regular theater prices to see this film (I attended a matinee) though if you’ve read the original story, maybe you’d feel differently. Any Austen fan will enjoy this movie, and I’m sure I’ll watch it again when it becomes available on Netflix or Amazon Prime or whatever. If you’re looking for a light, easily digestible, familiar escape into Austen-land, then take One Shot of whatever whiskey punch you’ve got in your drawing room, and go see Love and Friendship.
 


Comments

01/18/2017 1:16pm

Very impressive story of love thanks its much interesting for the love birds i am very happy to read this content thanks guys.

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03/03/2017 5:18am

This such an impressive work of Jane Austen! I have read the novella Lady Susan and the movie did justice to the excellent craftsmanship of the book. I must say that Kate Beckinsale was the perfect artist to portray Lady Susan. The characterization of Lady Susan and her portrayal of the character was brilliant. In terms of the technicalities, the special FX and cinematography was great. I commend the producers and the director for a job well done. For us viewers, it isn't just the cinematography and the story. It has to be both excellent so that we can achieve ultimate satisfaction.

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03/06/2017 1:59am

This is an interesting review. I would watch this movie. Thanks.

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05/01/2017 3:11am

Sometimes I need to watch such light and nice things! This one was very good!

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