We just came back from seeing the film Love and Friendship, which is based on Jane Austen’s unpublished novella, Lady Susan. This movie has an unbelieveable critics’ rating of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 99% audience rating. (These numbers are the highest I’ve ever seen for a film.) Needless to say, I was curious to see if those numbers jibed with my own perceptions of the film. Let me give you the short answer: Indeed they do.
This film is the story of one woman, Lady Susan, who is as unscrupulous as possible when it comes to matters of love and friendship. Without giving too much away, she has no visible conscience and is guided in all things by what she personally can gain. That being said, this could be a dark tale indeed, yet this is not how Austen intended it. This is in fact a comedy with a cast of characters who are engaging and a set of circumstances that keep the whole story moving at a good pace. It is also a period piece with excellent art decoration and costume design.
I am including a clip for your perusal. This has a good smattering of scenes to give you a feel for the movie. I highly recommend this film for a window into a complicated world of friends and lovers in a time when life was a good deal looser than one might expect.
Here’s the trailer: