Love and Friendship tells the story of Lady Susan Vernon who takes up temporary residence at her in-laws’ estate and, while there, is determined to be a matchmaker for her daughter Frederica – and herself too, naturally.
Going into this film, I knew nothing of this novella and I was never the biggest Jane Austin fan as I found a lot of her work almost ridiculously pretentious. I think studying English Literature at school kind of shot that one in the face though it did introduce me to one of my favourite 19th century novels in North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, which was brilliantly adapted by the BBC into a mini-series starring Richard Armitage. This is, however, besides the point. Knowing nothing about the Love and Friendship novella, I went into the film with no expectations and as a fan of Kate Beckinsale.
Despite the production being beautiful and the actors performing the screenplay amicably, the film was incredibly dull. The characters weren’t particularly engaging and often becoming tiresome after a while, especially the idiot character where you just wanted to kick him in the face for being so painfully cringy. The apparent snarky dialogue delivered through a blank face and clenched teeth became loathsome and almost repulsive.
I found myself becoming increasingly distracted, often regretting going to see this a film at the cinema. There was absolutely no likeable character that I wanted to root for that would connect me to the film and keep me entertained. This being said, when the film ended, I wondered what the entire piece had actually been about?
It’s so unmistakably British that sometimes it’s actually to its determent.