There’s no one to like. I liked the movie Love and Friendship but I didn’t really like any of the characters in it. I’m a Jane Austen fan and so I was looking forward to seeing Love and Friendship based on a novella Austen wrote in the form of a series of letters. The movie is filled with witty and erudite dialogue, eye-catching period costumes, great acting and humour. There just isn’t anyone to like.
Lady Susan the main character is manipulative, self- centered, cunning, a heartless flirt with an acerbic tongue. Her daughter Frederica is too innocent and shy. Frederica’s suitor James Martin is an out and out fool, dim witted and silly. Lady Susan’s best friend Alicia is as heartless and conniving as Lady Susan. Reginald who is in love with Lady Susan is way too idealistic for his own good.
None of Jane Austen’s protagonists are perfect. My favorites Elizabeth Bennet, Emma Woodhouse and Elinor Dashwood all have character flaws. But despite these you like them, feel attached to them and care about what happens to them. That wasn’t the case with Lady Susan in Love and Friendship at least while I watched the movie. I have to admit in retrospect I realized Lady Susan’s devious actions actually did bring a good measure of happiness to both her and her daughter. Maybe she wasn’t as unlikeable a heroine as I thought.