ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

"Love & Friendship" Movie Review

Updated on January 3, 2020
popcollin profile image

Collin's been a movie critic since 2009. In real life, he works in marketing and is also a novelist ("Good Riddance" published in Oct 2015).

Love & Friendship
Love & Friendship | Source

Nestled snuggly between the superheroes and raunchy comedies, occasionally summer gives us a nice little gem of a movie, and this year it comes in the form of Whit Stillman’s Love & Friendship. Coming out of the theater, you half-expect a gentle snow to be falling while you chat with fellow theatergoers about the end-of-year Oscar race… but the dog days are underway, and the only Oscar talk involves Mr. Mayer’s famed wieners.

Just because the calendar says July, don’t be fooled--there’s still room for a beautifully-crafted film with a razor-sharp screenplay and witty performances. Adapted from one of Jane Austen’s earliest works, the epistolary Lady Susan, Love & Friendship is about as perfect a film as you could ask for, so long as you're asking for a period comedy with corsets, bustles, and dialogue so drole that it takes a beat or two for the hilarity to hit you. (And it will hit you.)

Kate Beckinsale stars as the recently-widowed Lady Susan Vernon, a woman on a mission to find a man of means, even if it takes conniving, duplicity, and even a little dirty pool to make it happen. After being shunned from one estate for dipping her toes where they shouldn’t have been dipped, she makes haste to her brother-in-law Charles’ place in hopes of starting anew. There she meets Charles’ wife’s brother Reginald (Xavier Samuel), a worthy prospect. (And, yes, that makes him Susan’s brother-in-law’s brother-in-law, in true Austen fashion.)

Complicating things further is the arrival of Susan’s teenaged daughter Frederica (Morfydd Clark), who Susan has promised to the deliciously idiotic Sir James Martin (Tom Bennett). Frederica wants nothing to do with him, however, leaving her devious mother to cook up a new scheme, aided by long-time American ex-pat friend Alicia (Chloë Sevigny).

Stillman, who first made waves back in 1990 with Metropolitan (before casting Beckinsale and Sevigny as best friends in 1998’s The Last Days of Disco) brings his trademark Woody Allen/Aaron Sorkin-ish dialogue back to theaters, aided by the, well, sense and sensibilities of Austen’s supreme wit. It’s nothing less than a match made in heaven, particularly in moments like the one we get as Lady Susan bemoans Alicia’s ill-suited husband as being “too old to be governable, too young to die”. It enough to make you wish Stillman would try his hand at other Austen works. Immediately.

Beckinsale, who hasn’t really been seen in theaters since she kicked Colin Farrell around in 2012’s Total Recall remake, is perfectly cast as Lady Susan. From the outset she seems to have been born to play the part, as she brings a (delightfully deceitful) charm and magnetism. It may be her best role yet, and it’s certainly among the best of the year so far.


Chances are, Love & Friendship will go largely unnoticed--particularly during this time of year, as people clamor for 3D explosions and mindless comedy--but anyone looking for a nice, gentle break will get it with one of the year’s smarter comedies. A rare treat, indeed.


4.5/5 stars

'Love & Friendship' trailer


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)