The new movie called LOVE & FRIENDSHIP is a very funny comedy set in late18th century England. Based on an early novel by Jane Austen, the movie’s main character is an attractive widow and mother who has no money and no place to live. But what this arrogant, self serving woman does have is a spectacular ability to manipulate people.
Lady Susan: My brother in law is very rich. In one’s plight, as they say, is one’s opportunity.
Kate Beckinsale is Lady Susan, the haughty widow who knows how to get her way, an important skill for any woman of her century when females were second class citizens at best, and marrying for security was often a necessity.
Woman: Does this woman always get her way?
Susan’s sister: She has an uncanny understanding of men’s natures.
Lady Susan’s only friend is married to an older man for his money.
Susan: What a mistake you made marrying him. Too old to be governable, too young to die.
Man in the street: Lady Susan!
Susan: How dare you address me, sir. Be gone or I will have you whipped. Outrageous!
Friend: Have you never met him?
Susan: No, I know him well. I would never speak to a stranger like that.
Lady Susan moves into Churchill, the household of her brother-in-law where she hopes to find a wealthy husband for her daughter and perhaps a new partner for herself as well.
She doesn’t care that the major candidate, the wealthy Sir James Martin, is a total fool.
Sir James: Churchill. That’s how you say it. All together like that. I’d heard church and hill but couldn’t find either. All I could see was this big house. (laughs)
During all this, Lady Susan is having an affair with a married man.
Woman: Have you seen my husband?
Lady Susan: Horrid woman. Deranged. If she were going to be jealous, she should not have married such a charming man.
LOVE & FRIENDSHIP is a smart comedy full of funny dialogue and amusing characters. But this is Beckinsale’s movie. Her inspired performance makes Lady Susan delightful in spite of her outlandish behavior.
Terry Hunter, Hawaii News Now. firstname.lastname@example.org