Love & Friendship

Let me just interrupt your regularly scheduled programming and say stop what you are doing & GO NOW!!  It boggles my mind how one of the best movies I've seen in years is not playing in a full theater release.  So find a theater, get a babysitter, and make it happen you won't forget it.

We drove an hour last night to catch 'Love & Friendship' at the Grandin Theatre in Roanoke & once I got over the creepy gargoyles inside the old place, we were in for a treat.  You may not have even heard about the movie, so let me enlighten you, as any good Austen addict should do.

The movie title is a bit misleading since it's really about her novella 'Lady Susan'.  She did write as a teenager in journals, one of which was written as a series of letters which she entitled 'Love & Freindship'.  Yes, I promise I know how to use spell-check, but thats how she spelled friendship back in the day.  The director & all the smart Hollywood types figured that the regular public would more easily identify a movie as being one by Jane Austen if there was the typical '&' in the title, so they switched out the names.  Pride & Predjudice.  Sense & Sensibility.  Love & Friendship.  You get the idea.  Lady Susan didn't really fit the mold, especially since it's not nearly as famous as Emma or Persuasion.

I don't want to give away the plot because you just have to see the wit & situational humor for yourself.  But if you think Mr. Collins was a quirky soul, then you won't believe Sir James Martin in Love & Friendship.  Never have I seen a sillier character so perfectly portrayed.  Lydia Bennett has nothing on him.  In classic Austen style, the clergyman is less than astute, there's a scandal thrown in, & who to marry is always about the money and position.

Let's just say that I'm pretty sure this movie has moved into second place of my all-time favorite Austen adaptations, just behind the 1995 BBC Pride & Prejudice, and narrowly edging out my favorite of her books in the 1995 version of Persuasion.  So you need to see it.  Trust me. 

Even my husband, who I would say borderline loathes all things Austen, in his review after the movie, said "It's tolerable I suppose".  Ok, not really.  I gave him that line.  I'm sure Mrs. Bennett would have approved.