Love & Friendship is based on the early novella Lady Susan by Jane Austen. She never submitted the epistolary novel for publication, and the movie is actually titled after another early work of Austen’s. Whit Stillman’s adaptation stars Kate Beckinsale as the scandalous widow, Lady Susan, and Chloe Sevigny as her American best friend
There are some verbal zingers in this film that are just delicious, especially when Beckinsale and Sevigny share the screen. The scene stealer, though, is Tom Bennett as the hilariously stupid but incredibly wealthy suitor Sir James Martin. In a twist, Beckinsale’s Lady Susan is pursuing a younger man (Xavier Samuel), and urging her daughter to marry Sir James Martin. Stephen Fry has a delightful cameo as Chloe Sevigny’s husband.
I saw the premiere at Sundance, and I think it will play extremely well on your TV like a great PBS series. But if you’re tiring of superhero fare and are looking for something adult to see in the theater, check out Love & Friendship. Three and a half stars out of five.