Love & Friendship (review)
Don’t get excited when you find out that this is based on Jane Austen’s novella “Lady Susan.” Although it’s set in the lovely 18th century locales of the author’s other tales, the central character (Kate Beckinsale) is unlike her typical heroines. She’s a selfish, dishonest, scheming widow who manipulates everyone around her to find husbands for herself and her daughter. Although Beckinsale is lovely, she doesn’t possess the charismatic qualities that could have made the character compelling. She dominates the dialogue and there’s lots of it…not much of it as clever as needed. The only memorable character (Sir James Martin) is played with delightful dizziness by Tom Bennett. The surprisingly colorful costumes are exquisite and there is a lively pace that keeps the film afloat. It may look like a typical Austen flick, but lacks the elegant charm and romantic appeal we’ve come to expect from the genre.
(3 / 5)