Love and Friendship

6.41 h 33 min2016X-RayUHDPG
Set in 1790s London, LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP centers on the recently widowed Lady Susan Vernon (Kate Beckinsale), who seeks refuge with her in-laws to escape the scandalous rumors surrounding her private life. While at their estate the scheming Lady Susan decides it’s time to secure a husband for herself and for her somewhat reluctant and awkward daughter.
Whit Stillman
Kate BeckinsaleChloe SevignyXavier Samuel
English [CC]
Audio languages

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Supporting actors
Emma GreenwellJustin EdwardsTom BennettMorfydd ClarkJemma RedgraveJames FleetJenn MurrayStephen Fry
Katie HollyLauranne BourrachotWhit Stillman
Amazon Studios
PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
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Prime Video (streaming online video)
Available to watch on supported devices


3.1 out of 5 stars

4963 global ratings

  1. 29% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 15% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 15% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 18% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 23% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

aw6324Reviewed in the United States on March 4, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
Brings a lesser know Jane Austen work to life!
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This movie is based on a novella Jane Austen wrote while still young called "Lady Susan". The director of the film, Whit Stllman, wrote the screenplay (and also a novelization) and fleshed out Austen's short story. In my opinion he stayed very true to the source material, although I can't figure out why he changed the title from "Lady Susan" to "Love and Friendship" as Jane Austen also wrote a story by that title with wholly different plot and characters. At any rate, this film adaptation is lovely to look at and very fun to watch. The story is about a young widow who schemes to get her daughter married to a rather stupid, yet rich man, while she toys with the affections of her sister-in-law's brother (who will himself be wealthy one day) all the while wanting to be with another man who is married - although Lady Susan doesn't let that distress her much if at all. The characters are introduced by almost portrait-like shots, with a short caption giving their name and how they relate to the other characters. Lady Susan tries to stay a step ahead of everyone and steer events to the outcomes she wants using her wits and charm, and the help of her friend Alicia. The story isn't romantic, like we typically associate with Jane Austen's works. Lady Susan only uses romance as a way of getting what she wants, she's much more of an anti-heroine than a heroine. The supporting characters add much of the comedy to the film and are are well played by the actors. One thing I especially like is that important events in the plot occur when the characters receive letters. I think this is a nod to the fact that Austen's story was written in epistolary form.
If you like period films and don't believe they have to be melodramatic to be good, check out "Love and Friendship". If you are a fan of Jane Austen you will be pleased that one of her lesser known works has been brought to life, and pretty faithfully too.
243 people found this helpful
Fairy queenReviewed in the United States on November 29, 2019
1.0 out of 5 stars
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Predictably unwitty, poor acting from all, the costumes were literally the best part of this film. It wasn't serious enough to be clever, nor witty enough to be funny. It was like overacted theater of the absurd without the absurdity. It was free. I still want that hour of my life refunded. Sorry, not sorry.
76 people found this helpful
AlexReviewed in the United States on January 25, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
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I was compelled by the appalling 3 star average on this movie to write a review. I don't know what kind of sad Twilight fans have been disappointing themselves with this adaptation of a marvelous anti-romance novel, but this film truly deserves a better audience. Even modern fiction usually fails to depict women as cunning and compelling as Lady Susan, an exceedingly intelligent anti-heroine who is determined to be master of her own destiny (and that of her daughter) in a world that rewards only servility in her gender. Those looking for a fairytale wherein the subservient dimwit gets the prince had best look elsewhere. But the wise who value self-possession will be rewarded with a hilarious and astute period piece. Perhaps the happiest of endings in any work of Austen's.
38 people found this helpful
Mary ClaireReviewed in the United States on August 8, 2020
1.0 out of 5 stars
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I am a huge Austen Fan, admittedly i have not read all her works.. but this is just in poorly done. I will now be making a priority of reading Lady Susan; so as to only further infurtiate me, i'm sure. The language was wonderful, i enjoy watching historic drama's and i appreciate the lack of vulgarity otherwise this film left much to be desired. I can't even believe this is anything but loosely related to a Jane Austen writing. I will be reading Lady Susan and i hope i am correct that her work is MUCH better in virtue, morality, and in general than this movie. I didn't laugh, or cry, or anything... i sat the whole time in shock and confusion hoping it would get better. It does not.
26 people found this helpful
JaneReviewed in the United States on November 17, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
A Perfect Adaptation
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TL;DR Version: Perfect casting, perfect execution. Probably rich with anachronisms for the sake of presentation, but those things won't register much in light of a job well done.

The Long Version: ..A Review Effusive with Praise

There can be no more scathing indictment on humanity than the fact that the BBC version of Sense & Sensibility is rated higher than this PERFECT adaptation of Austen's novella, Lady Susan. What are you people on? Reviews that are based on a desire to ride your moral high horse as opposed to reviewing the actual movie are absurd, unhelpful, and not worth considering.

For those who haven't read it, Jane Austen's novella Lady Susan is a depiction of a recently widowed woman in Victorian England with no fortune, using everything in her power to advance her own safety and comfort. She isn't very uh... "honest" about it, but before you judge her too harshly, remember that seduction was the only power women of the gentry could wield to advance or sustain their position in society. This is not your usual novel and the story is told through a series of letters from one character to another.

Since Lady Susan was written as a series of letters, the makers of this film had to do a lot of work translating first-person monologues into a standard format movie. They have done a brilliant job. I would send thank you letters to the screenwriters if I could. I have seldom seen a better translation of the style, energy, and soul of a book into a visual format. Only the 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle does a better job, and that's because it was done as a series. They had more time to flesh things out and a bigger budget to do it. And considering Love & Friendship isn't a series, the creators did a remarkable job bringing Austen's complex and subtle characters to life.

What you see here is a perfect adaptation of book to film.

The casting is perfect. The costuming is beautiful, as is the scenery. Chloe Sevigny and Kate Beckinsale have excellent chemistry and are delightfully diabolical as Lady Susan and Alicia Johnson. It is everything I could ever hope for in a movie. The only short-coming is that Stephen Fry as the respectable Mr. Johnson doesn't get much screen time. Granted, it's in line with what is available from the source material, but it's the only thing I could think of.
24 people found this helpful
Disenchanted BuckeyeReviewed in the United States on March 5, 2017
4.0 out of 5 stars
Like Gwyneth Paltrow's Emma but without the sincerity
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This is a very light-hearted frolic when you're in the mood for something light and airy that doesn't take itself or the Austen genre too seriously. Like Gwyneth Paltrow's Emma but without the sincerity. Lots of backstabbing and you can root for the heroine without being disappointed that she gets out maneuvered. I love Kate Beckinsale and her range. She's shamelessly wicked in this movie and clearly enjoyed herself (as she should have). I enjoyed this movie enough to watch it twice. What more can I say?
67 people found this helpful
JGReviewed in the United States on October 29, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
This is a "spoof" story not a "serious believe me" story so don't expect normal this is a real story style acting
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I also thought this was a hilarious movie. I thought the sub-titles introduction of characters actually added to the movie as it is an interesting take on the list of characters that are often found in older books. Most critics appear to be taking this story way to seriously. This is supposed to be a funny, light-weight story and making a movie of this story where one "deeply engages with the characters" and all those other high-sounding phrases would take away from the main theme of the movie: how ridiculous some narcissistic people really are. It is a delightful evening of entertainment with beautiful costumes and settings. Any reader of romance knows where the story will go from the very beginning and can sit back and relax and appreciate the scheming Susan.
181 people found this helpful
A ReaderReviewed in the United States on March 26, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
but now I would like to read the book to see how it compares
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This is a witty film which highlights some of the less discussed behaviors of the Regency era, with Lady Vernon, a widow, setting out to marry her daughter well but to also catch a man for herself. As she states to her daughter "we do not live, we visit," it shows how a woman at the time was at the mercy and kindness of her friends and family. To be manipulative and cunning is what kept Lady Vernon and her daughter fed and housed much of the time.

I had never heard of this particular novella by Jane Austen, but now I would like to read the book to see how it compares. The film is funny and light and it was very enjoyable.
35 people found this helpful
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