Roadside Attractions | Release Date: May 13, 2016
6.9
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 111 Ratings
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Positive:
76
Mixed:
20
Negative:
15
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6
TVJerryMay 28, 2016
Don't get excited when you find out that this is based on Jane Austen's novella "Lady Susan." Although it's set in the lovely 18th century locales of the author's other tales, the central character (Kate Beckinsale) is unlike her typicalDon't get excited when you find out that this is based on Jane Austen's novella "Lady Susan." Although it's set in the lovely 18th century locales of the author's other tales, the central character (Kate Beckinsale) is unlike her typical heroines. She's a selfish, dishonest, scheming widow who manipulates everyone around her to find husbands for herself and her daughter. Although Beckinsale is lovely, she doesn't possess the charismatic qualities that could have made the character compelling. She dominates the dialogue and there's lots of it…not much of it as clever as needed. The only memorable character (Sir James Martin) is played with delightful dizziness by Tom Bennett. The surprisingly colorful costumes are exquisite and there is a lively pace that keeps the film afloat. It may look like a typical Austen flick, but lacks the elegant charm and romantic appeal we've come to expect from the genre. Expand
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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2
NerdConsultantOct 17, 2016
This is a film that was drastically oversold by the critics. It’s a film where very little to nothing happens. Kate Beckinsale tries her best with it but ultimately it’s a flawed film. There is very little that happens in the film and whenThis is a film that was drastically oversold by the critics. It’s a film where very little to nothing happens. Kate Beckinsale tries her best with it but ultimately it’s a flawed film. There is very little that happens in the film and when things do start getting going, the film ends!!! Admittedly I am not the target audience for this film, I am not a fan of period dramas, especially the Jane Austen period dramas as I think they are often stuck in a formula that is tired and old and they don’t try to do anything contemporary with it, the trailer for this film alluded they were going to to that with this film, however, it doesn’t fully commit to that. The film is not really funny, not very interesting, I would skip it. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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3
DavidnbMay 30, 2016
Kate B, and Cloe S seemed to think that they were in a high school production of the Importance of Being Earnest. KB in particular was in way over her head, delivering each line as an epigrammatic bon mot, rather than an expression of herKate B, and Cloe S seemed to think that they were in a high school production of the Importance of Being Earnest. KB in particular was in way over her head, delivering each line as an epigrammatic bon mot, rather than an expression of her truth, some very bad acting here. she was in way over her head. Fortunately, the rest of the cast were fine actors, and managed to pull this out being a total disaster.

There is a reason that this is Jane Austen's least known work.
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1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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9
brownbatMay 20, 2016
One of Whit Stillman's best, and a great adaptation. In an interview on Bullseye, Stillman explained how most Austen adaptations can fall short, by playing up the romanticism and missing Austen's cutting humor. This was more faithful toOne of Whit Stillman's best, and a great adaptation. In an interview on Bullseye, Stillman explained how most Austen adaptations can fall short, by playing up the romanticism and missing Austen's cutting humor. This was more faithful to Austen, and her material was a great vehicle for Whit Stillman's approach to dialogue-driven comedy, which has always felt like a mix of classic and modern. If you like Stillman, or if you've just been waiting for an Austen adaptation that captures her tone better, you'll love it. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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6
Brent_MarchantMay 26, 2016
Excellent production values, capable acting and witty writing aside, this period piece comedy ultimately comes off as largely inconsequential. The dry humor is mildly amusing, and the conniving protagonist plays like Joan Collins Lite, butExcellent production values, capable acting and witty writing aside, this period piece comedy ultimately comes off as largely inconsequential. The dry humor is mildly amusing, and the conniving protagonist plays like Joan Collins Lite, but otherwise there's not much to this lightweight fare to significantly engage the viewer's attention. Just because it's Jane Austen doesn't mean it's good. Expand
4 of 5 users found this helpful41
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5
foxgroveJun 6, 2016
The reasons that this less well known Jane Austen novel has taken so long to reach the screen becomes all too obvious in this unsatisfactory adaptation. Whilst the screenplay is very literate and not without its moments of humour, the barrageThe reasons that this less well known Jane Austen novel has taken so long to reach the screen becomes all too obvious in this unsatisfactory adaptation. Whilst the screenplay is very literate and not without its moments of humour, the barrage of verbiage finally adds up to little in the way of real drama. The cast give it their all and Kate Beckinsale is suitably conniving and manipulative as Lady Susan. Ultimately, though, it remains a resolutely small and unambitious chamber piece. The high production values that helped elevate both ‘Emma’ and ‘Sense and Sensibility’ are sorely missing here, even if the costumes on display are beautiful in themselves. Love and Friendship is finally and fatally undone by its lack of dramatic incident. Expand
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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1
KittyRoseranchMay 25, 2016
I am a Jane Austen fan so had to see this flick. Too bad so sad:
Beautiful costumes with lousy daily wig work. Redundant screenplay with flat scene work. Expositional character introductions felt dumbed down.
This movie falls so far below
I am a Jane Austen fan so had to see this flick. Too bad so sad:
Beautiful costumes with lousy daily wig work. Redundant screenplay with flat scene work. Expositional character introductions felt dumbed down.
This movie falls so far below what we've seen with Emma, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice et al. The locations were promising but the cinematography disappoints.
Beckinsale's Lady Susan was not likeable or vulnerable in the least. For example: with Emma we know that she is manipulative and sometimes thoughtlessly wicked but we still root for her because Gwyneth Paltrow gave her a heart and a character arc.
I'm Glad we saw a matinee and didn't waste full price.
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2 of 4 users found this helpful22
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2
swingMay 13, 2016
I guess you have to be a Jane A fan. I love period movies and literate ones as well. But Jane wasn't my cup of tea. Silly English humor. There was a dash of that. But there wasn't enough to make me love
this movie. I didn't relate to any of
I guess you have to be a Jane A fan. I love period movies and literate ones as well. But Jane wasn't my cup of tea. Silly English humor. There was a dash of that. But there wasn't enough to make me love
this movie. I didn't relate to any of the characters, empathize with them, or like them. It's very talky, and sometimes difficult to catch all the dialogue. It's too bad because with those critics four star ratings, I wanted to feel something. Come to think of it, I did. --the urge to leave the theater. The movie wasn't for me, though there was some cackling by those ladies in the movie theater who must have heard something that I didn't.
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3 of 9 users found this helpful36
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2
GreatMartinMay 27, 2016
Most people know Jane Austen’s from either reading her books “Pride & Prejudice”, “Sense & Sensibility” or seeing the many TV or movie versions of those books and “Mansfield Park” and “Emma”. The movie I saw this afternoon “Love andMost people know Jane Austen’s from either reading her books “Pride & Prejudice”, “Sense & Sensibility” or seeing the many TV or movie versions of those books and “Mansfield Park” and “Emma”. The movie I saw this afternoon “Love and Friendship” is a novella, entitled “Lady Susan”, which she wrote but never finished and was finally published about 75 years later after her nephew took over the task to do just that.

In this film directed by Whit Stillman, who also wrote the screenplay based on the novella, there are a lot of smart, funny, sophisticated lines telling the story of the beautiful, widowed Lady Susan and her manipulations to get her daughter and herself married by any means. We meet many of their relatives, friends and eligible men with the latter being picked by Lady Susan for a role she has picked for each.

The cast, starring Kate Beckinsale as a beautiful, believable Lady Susan and including such actors as Morfydd Clark, Xavier Samuel, Emma Greenwall, Justin Edwards, Jemma Redgrave, Stephen Fry and James Fleet, among others, fit in with the Jane Austen English characters with only Chloe Sevigny standing out for the wrong reason. Tom Bennett provides many funny moments but he seems too silly for the film and story.

Stillman does a good job of directing and offers a first rate production though at time the actors talk to low and/or a bit hard to understand, swallowing up the words in their accents.

Though I would not recommend seeing “Love & Friendship” I do know it will send me to reading the novella “Lady Susan” so I can read the words of Jane Austen and see how, if, Whit Stillman added to the screenplay or undermined the original story.
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0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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8
nutterjrDec 29, 2016
Genuinely fun, witty and at times laugh out funny in ways I did not think a Jane Austen's story could be imagine. Lady Vernon is devilishly charming and deceitfully charming played by Kate Beckinsale who even though has not impressed meGenuinely fun, witty and at times laugh out funny in ways I did not think a Jane Austen's story could be imagine. Lady Vernon is devilishly charming and deceitfully charming played by Kate Beckinsale who even though has not impressed me before is delightful here, whilst Tom Bennet's preposterous upper class twit Sir James is the film's true scene-stealer. The script and dialogue are so tight and full of brilliant one-liners that the film screams for a second viewing which I will gladly oblige should the opportunity arise. Expand
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8
BikerjamesMay 31, 2016
Kate Beckinsale shines as the scheming Lady Susan. Tom Bennett is hilarious as the silly Sir James Martin and the rest of the cast great as well. The dialogue is quick and occasionally difficult to follow, but you can still keep up with theKate Beckinsale shines as the scheming Lady Susan. Tom Bennett is hilarious as the silly Sir James Martin and the rest of the cast great as well. The dialogue is quick and occasionally difficult to follow, but you can still keep up with the movie even if you miss a phrase here and there. Costumes and locations were excellent. Most of the movie takes place indoors, which makes it feel like you are watching a play. Thoroughly entertaining. Expand
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9
jhepJun 29, 2016
This film works so well because it’s a kind of cautionary tale about toxic agendas and the people who become “possessed” by them. The film is a kind of horror story in which all the horror is just below the surface where (as Freud and JungThis film works so well because it’s a kind of cautionary tale about toxic agendas and the people who become “possessed” by them. The film is a kind of horror story in which all the horror is just below the surface where (as Freud and Jung etc. have observed) it can do the most damage.

Kate Beckinsale, the delightful star of the film, and director Whit Stillman succeed so brilliantly in concocting their sardonic vision of 18th century English society that in many ways the result invites comparison with Alexander MacKendrick’s great and scathing 1957 muck-raking classic “Sweet Smell of Success”.

Beckinsale’s inspired, in fact jaw-dropping performance here as a sort of wayward 18th century Soccer Mom run amok and gone dangerously to seed is a challenge to describe in mere words. But begin by thinking Anne Bancroft’s Mrs. Robinson in “The Graduate” meets Nancy Reagan on a Bad Hair day and you are on the right track…..In fact all of “Love and Friendship” feels VERY CONTEMPORARY and can be seen as a political metaphor for the emergence of today’s neoliberal social and economic environment complete with 1%-Push Coming Austerity-Shove !…..In a world in which the Looking-Out-for- Number-One lifestyle has become the order of the day and successfully implanted into our DNA, Kate Beckinsale’s sociopathic Lady Susan could easily be running for political office on a “Let them eat cake” ticket.

The film has a few momentary missteps and unfortunately these come in first five minutes and can have the effect of setting off considerable alarm bells……Happily this lapse in creative judgment is momentary and film quickly finds its own rhythm and soon moves from strength to strength. (The early lapses consist of a few “goofy” shots in which we are rapidly shown the names and faces of a dozen or so characters in the story. However, these shots which are intended as a sort of parody of early silent movies. are done so rapidly as to be meaningless as information and (more grievous artistically) don’t really work as parody because they’re out of place with the very traditional and very solid narrative that follows.

Whit Stillman is an extremely interesting filmmaker and his films “Metropolitan” and “The Last Days of Disco” are two of the most original American films of recent memory. Even more good news here is that both Kate Beckinsale and Chloe Sevigny who star here also starred in “The Last Days of Disco” and each instinctively understands “the Stillman universe”. In fact Beckinsale’s performance here is nothing short of mesmerizing and you can’t wait to see what she will say or do next !……But anyone deciding to see the film should go prepared for a more sombre Jane Austen story than usual (the Nancy Reagan/Mrs. Robinson angle) so maybe think Jane Austen with a hefty dollop of Henry James ……. but let me qualify this statement by pointing out that the note of moral seriousness is always present in Jane Austen’s work (and Whit Stillman’s for that matter) and that Austen has a knack of making her “sunshine” so welcome precisely because her “clouds” are real clouds and portend real downpours !……In fact Whit Stillman‘s “Love and Friendship” works so well because he understands this so thoroughly.
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7
namelessJun 4, 2016
It's a very good movie but you have to pay attention. The pacing was a little too regular for me, started to lose focus in the middle. The ending is left a bit ambiguous which threw things off for me. We were led through most of the film andIt's a very good movie but you have to pay attention. The pacing was a little too regular for me, started to lose focus in the middle. The ending is left a bit ambiguous which threw things off for me. We were led through most of the film and our job was to keep up and then it ended like some art film. Can't agree with the negative reviews. Expand
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6
jgzegerApr 8, 2017
Kate Beckinsale is good and the costumes in this movie are great, but I think it will appeal mostly to fans of Jane Austin films about 18th century British upper class society, their lives and loves. I'm not.
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9
SpangleMay 27, 2016
Love & Friendship is a truly brilliant film from director Whit Stillman. As whitty, subtle, sharp, and smart, as ever, Stillman expertly brings Jane Austen's work to life in this fantastically funny film. Outlandish and truly hysterical, LoveLove & Friendship is a truly brilliant film from director Whit Stillman. As whitty, subtle, sharp, and smart, as ever, Stillman expertly brings Jane Austen's work to life in this fantastically funny film. Outlandish and truly hysterical, Love & Friendship touches on themes such as marriage, love, religion, and, as with all Stillman films, the bourgeoisie. This film really portrays the upper class as being incredibly uppity, insipid, and stupid, in the most hysterical ways possible. Incredibly well-written, this very large cast of characters are all handled very well during this short 90 minute film with all of their subplots being expertly handled by Stillman's sure hand. Featuring good cinematography and incredible production/costume design, Love & Friendship's look an feel is as lush, extravagant, and gorgeous, as required of a period piece. In terms of the acting, Kate Beckinsale is a comedic wonder in this film. Completely deadpan with great delivery and timing, Beckinsale sweeps you off your feet with fantastic delivery of Stillman's witty and subtly brilliant dialogue. Overall, Love & Friendship is a true wonder of a film that will go down as one of the funniest films of 2016. Expand
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5
LeZeeSep 29, 2016
A mother's quest to find a perfect man for her beloved daughter!

I am not the audience for it and I realised that only after watching it. There's no other way, besides, I like Kate Beckinsale a lot and don't want to miss it out. I like
A mother's quest to find a perfect man for her beloved daughter!

I am not the audience for it and I realised that only after watching it. There's no other way, besides, I like Kate Beckinsale a lot and don't want to miss it out. I like periodic drama, those colorful costumes, horse riding, proper English and the culture, all of them very interests me. Particularly Jane Austen's work, I don't think anybody would miss it if they know her masterworks.

But my issue was the presentation. It looked a lot like a stage drama than a motion picture, anyway all the Jane Austen work is like that only. I'm not doubting the actors, in fact, not just my beauty queen Kate Beckinsale, all of them were good. Also thought the story was good which I felt kind of similar to 'Emma' by the same author, yet I'm disappointed with the way it was narrated for the screen.

I know some people liked it, and my choice of words may annoy them, but I don't want to offend them or the film, just wanted to say what I felt, that's all. My bad luck, the film was not what I wanted. Slow film, but the length was good enough to forget any lags in the pace. Other than one thing what I said bothered me the most, this is a nice film, definitely not bad to watch it once. I said that believing you might be different than me. So that is an indirect suggest, but if you are another me, I'll favour you to skip it. Anyway, many would watch it by the time go on and going give their's the good, the bad and the ugly opinions and nobody can stop it.

5/10
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9
GinaKMay 30, 2016
I didn’t expect to like this movie, but I really loved it. It is beautiful to look at, full of excellent performances, especially Kate Beckinsale and Chloe Sevigny, and it has a brilliantly witty script. I saw a quote from a review in an adI didn’t expect to like this movie, but I really loved it. It is beautiful to look at, full of excellent performances, especially Kate Beckinsale and Chloe Sevigny, and it has a brilliantly witty script. I saw a quote from a review in an ad for this film that said it was “screamingly funny” – and believe it or not – it is. The only problem is that you have to have a little patience with it – there are many characters and Whit Stillman does his best to present them as quickly and economically as possible – but once you catch on to who is who and what exactly they are after, the film is very, very funny. Expand
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7
BrianMcCriticSep 4, 2016
Normally not my cup of tea, but Love & Friendship works because of the incredible wit and charm of the writing and the performances of this great cast. B+
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9
marcmyworksDec 15, 2016
A beautiful and hilarious film. Kate Beckinsale truly proves that she can act beyond the 'Underworld' films. This is a tale of a manipulative mother trying to marry off her daughter (as well herself) while sponging off her relatives in the meantime.
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6
badgerryan19May 19, 2017
Very good production values, acting, and surprisingly funny at point. Kate Beckinsale stands out big time in this adaptation of Jane Austen's book. I thought it was a bit slow for me though.
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7
tethysdustSep 14, 2016
This was not really the kind of movie I normally watch, but it was pretty funny. Things did not go as I expected for the main character, which is always a nice surprise.
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10
ThomassAug 21, 2016
Love and Friendship, oddly named,is really quite excellent. It's one of those movies you have to play close attention to in order to get the machinations going on and the success or lack of. A great change of pace from bullets,car chases andLove and Friendship, oddly named,is really quite excellent. It's one of those movies you have to play close attention to in order to get the machinations going on and the success or lack of. A great change of pace from bullets,car chases and superheroes. Expand
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7
smiyamotSep 9, 2016
An English talky movie about life in the 1800's, that is, how the upper class schemed to find suitable rich spouses. Pretty (or handsome) but poor upper class looked for a match with rich but not pretty or smart types. Seems so petty nowAn English talky movie about life in the 1800's, that is, how the upper class schemed to find suitable rich spouses. Pretty (or handsome) but poor upper class looked for a match with rich but not pretty or smart types. Seems so petty now but that was life back then, oh wait, maybe that's life now, not sure, ask the Kardashians. The movie itself was done in a distinctive style, giving each actor an introduction and close up as they appeared in the movie; a nice touch. You have to be in the mood for this movie or you'll snooze through it. Expand
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9
RAISEDbyWOLVESJun 5, 2016
Lady Susan manhandles,manipulates and seduces, and that includes the audience. She is impossible to ignore and Sir James Martin is simple and simply hilarious. I didn't think Jane Austen was this funny.Kate Beckinsale and Tom Bennett shouldLady Susan manhandles,manipulates and seduces, and that includes the audience. She is impossible to ignore and Sir James Martin is simple and simply hilarious. I didn't think Jane Austen was this funny.Kate Beckinsale and Tom Bennett should be remembered when it comes to award season. Expand
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7
amheretojudgeJun 4, 2018
not so lovable but surely a trustworthy friend..

Love & Friendship It's a bit cheesy, ridiculous and ironic tale retold in a light manner and keeps it all on surface despite of possessing such a deep and layered concept. Having said that,
not so lovable but surely a trustworthy friend..

Love & Friendship

It's a bit cheesy, ridiculous and ironic tale retold in a light manner and keeps it all on surface despite of possessing such a deep and layered concept. Having said that, it doesn't suggest in any way that it doesn't lacks issues; it is chalky around the edges and volatile on emotions. The screenplay is fast paced and well structured; something that is unfamiliar to such genre, and that is what hooks the audience and keeps them on the edge of the seat. The technical aspects like production, costume and make-up design along with background score, is not one of its strength. The adaptation by Whit Stillman is smart and finely edited which latter also helps him on executing the anticipated vision as it grows effortless. It is quite difficult to portray such manipulative dislikeable character (addition to that she is hilarious too in her brutal sarcastic nature) and still mark an impression; is one of the main reason why Kate Beckinsale seems an appropriate choice. The tone of the feature is poised and visually rich that may come off a bit pretentious as it lacks proper technical aspects that should have actually been supportive and instead falls against it. Love & Friendship is not so lovable but surely a trustworthy friend that has an immensely powerful central character that changes one's perspective through its twisted yet somewhat justifying act.
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