Film Review: “Love & Friendship” (2016) ★★★★

Chloë Sevigny and Kate Beckinsale in Whit Stillman's LOVE & FRIENDSHIP. Photo credit: Ross McDonnell, Courtesy of Amazon Studios and Roadside Attractions .
Chloë Sevigny and Kate Beckinsale in Whit Stillman’s LOVE & FRIENDSHIP. Photo credit: Ross McDonnell, Courtesy of Amazon Studios and Roadside Attractions .

LOVE & FRIENDSHIP opens May 27 in Toronto (Varsity) and Vancouver (Fifth Avenue)!

Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Victoria, and throughout the spring in other cities.

Do you have a daughter that you would like to find a perfect husband for with a high income? And how about yourself, in the meantime to benefit from it? Well, if you are not so clear what to do and the steps to be taken, perhaps Jane Austen’sLady Susan” adapted onto the silver screen as “Love & Friendship” by Whit Stillman should be the first reference to be considered for your prosperous future.

The film is set in the 1790’s when Lady Susan, already widowed, takes into her own hands the future of her daughter, when she becomes determined to be the matchmaker of Frederica, and of course, not forgetting about herself as well. The appearance of Reginald DeCourcy (Xavier Samuel) sets a great game of manners for Lady Susan, whose every single word is perfectly calculated, manipulative, smart, and unpredictable for the others, while everything else is getting ready to get the exact outcome Susan expects.

Lady Susan plans ahead of time for Sir James Martin to soon become her daughter’s husband. But the problem is, Frederica does not wish to share the rest of her life with an absolutely silly man, on top of everything else with no judgmental skill. But that seems to not really bother Lady Susan, as she slowly with the help of her American friend Alicia Johnson, sets the cards the way that at the end of the day falls into her hand the way nobody could have expected.

“Love & Friendship” is a film with extremely hilarious lines and the right film to watch for everyone who likes films based on Jane Austen’s book.  However, keep in mind that Stillman’s film is the opposite of Emma or Pride and Prejudice, where the central character is not likable and unlikable character at the same time, but in a very funny way. Everything Lady Susan does here, none of our beloved Jane Austen’s character would have ever done.

In conclusion, Stillman, who also wrote the screenplay makes a charming, funny, and highly intellectual film that will leave you wanting to have more films like this. Kate Beckinsale as Susan Lady is extraordinary, while Tom Bennett’s Sir James Martin is so criminally silly that sometimes you want to punch his face as a wakeup call. But the thing is, when you watch such a delicate film, the last thing you ever want to get is a wakeup call because there is not many films like “Love & Friendship”. And when you get one, it’s just a feast for your eyes and ears to enjoy such a well-crafted film.


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