I love to go to the movies. Even better? I love to go see a Jane Austen flick on the big screen. So when my friends and I decided to go see “Love and Friendship,” I was a happy camper.
This ditty is based on Miss Austen’s novella, “Lady Susan.” Being a lover of all things Austen, I was ready for new fodder. I’ve seen every version of “Emma” and “Pride and Prejudice” there is, along with the other lesser known movies. Jane Austen always seemed to touch on the fact that women of her time were little more than chattel or social pawns to climb the ranks in society. If you didn’t have the money, you weren’t much use to anyone.
Such is the case for Lady Susan Vernon. She may have the right name and connections, but she is broke and couch surfing at relatives. Her only hope rests in marrying off her eligible daughter to finance their lives.
Kate Beckinsale, in the lead role, nails the self-serving woman who digs her charms into the much younger Reginald DeCoursey, loaded with land, family and money. All the while, she strings on a married man and casually flirts with the outlandish Sir Martin.
Director Whit Stillman uses much of the original language. It takes a bit to get used to, even with a charming British accent. That said, he never loses the humor Jane Austen intended–right down to the miraculous pregnancy announcement.
Enjoy the breathtaking cinematography and costumes. But if you’re expecting lackadaisical dialogue, you should skip. Full eyes and ears on this one, folks.