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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Melodrama > Literature > Class Division > Comedy > British > Love & Friendship (2016/Sony Blu-ray)

Love & Friendship (2016/Sony Blu-ray)

Picture: A Sound: B+ Extras: C Film: B+

Based on Jane Austen's novel Lady Susan, Whit Stillman's Love & Friendship (2016) tells the story of Lady Susan Vernon (Kate Beckinsale), a recently widowed woman of the nobility and while her husband is barely in the grave is already looking for husband number two. As she inherited no money, she 'visits' her wealthy in-laws and stays as a 'temporary' guest and looks for prospective husbands for her and her reluctant daughter, Frederica. She set her sights three men and seduces them all at the same time, her sister-in-law's young brother Reginald Decourcy, the scattered brained Sir James Martin and Lord Manwaring (who's already married).

Lady Susan Vernon's reputation proceeds her and she is known to be the biggest flirt and scandalous woman of 'Society'. She is both a seductress and a succubus (and she is a 'widow' in more ways than one). Men find themselves powerless and unable to resist her charms and wicked wiles. Young, old or even married makes no difference to her ...all Lady Susan requires of them is to be rich/wealthy. She makes uses of men's weaknesses, giving false promises and even using her own daughter if it will help her get ahead. She cleverly plays an innocent, frail woman, pitting suitors against one another, but really she depends on men being a 'gentlemen' and to be 'charitable' to her. However, her biggest downfall is when her suitors start talking with one another and realize how she is playing them all.

This was an amusing comedy making fun of English high society, that women of society are trained to manipulate men and men are to provide lavish comforts to woman. While set in a beautiful English countryside with wonderful costuming and cast of characters, it paints English noble woman are like high end courtesans scavenging for their targ- ...*ahem* husbands. The cast (including Stephen Fry and Chloe Sevigny) is solid and the period look works.

The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer is an HD shoot, but looks exceptional, while the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is very clean and well recorded, so playback performance is top rate. Extras include behind the scenes and trailers.

- Ricky Chiang


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