Spread it or ignore it?

rom-drama netflix Your lover’s last letter is a side story with Felicity Jones as a modern day journalist who discovers a series of mash letters describing the extramarital affair of Shailene Woodley’s underrated wife in 1960s London society. Disappointment: Jones and Woodley do not share any scenes together. But there’s always hope that they’ll make people laugh and shed a tear or two with a little light com and heavy melodrama, isn’t there? Let’s find out.

The essential: LONDON, 1965: A rainy day. Jennifer (Woodley) is brought home from the hospital. She sits in front of her bedroom vanity, trying to cover her facial scars. Things are embarrassing, because she has the old amneezh. She was in a car accident and now her memories are cloudy and / or blank. She puts on her best eyeliner and lashes on the bed (LONDON, 1965) and her husband Larry (Joe Alwyn) seems more than a little cautious. Larry must be old money because they live in a lush place with too many rooms and staff and lots of books. Later, they go to a dinner party and she finds out that Larry is the type to tell the maid when she shouldn’t have another glass of wine. Can I hear the strings swelling? I think I hear the strings swell.

Meanwhile, in the smartphone days, Ellie (Jones) wakes up next to a guy and tries to chase him away, but he reminds her that she slept at SON’s. Whoops. She then calls him by a name that is not his name. Oops again! She goes to the London Chronicle office, where she is a feature film writer. Her next assignment is a memorial to a former editor, which requires a trip to the archives, which are run by Rory (Nabhaan Rizwan), a soft-spoken bureaucrat who very politely reminds her that she needs an appointment. you and has to fill out application forms and spit out her gum before she can read aging materials, and he’s so cute and boring.

Back in the 60s. Jennifer opens one of the many books and pulls out a letter addressed to her – a love letter. Flashback to six months earlier, when she and Larry are in France, a place where he works and she is sitting in a one-piece lounge chair and big sunglasses and an even bigger hat. They’re having lunch with a reporter who writes a profile on Larry, and that reporter is Anthony (Callum Turner), who is absolutely handsome. Being a very important businessman, Larry is called in for professional reasons for several days, leaving both Jennifer and Handsome Anthony with plenty of free time in a very picturesque location. They go sailing together, go for a walk together, have a drink together and dance together, and then they do other more naked things together. It’s just nature taking its course, of course. And then the love letters begin, letters full of words, handwritten and heartfelt, to “J”, from “Boot”, and I forget why that is her nickname, but right? so cute ?

And again in the present, when Ellie stumbles upon one of those word-filled, handwritten, open-hearted letters to “J” from “Boot.” Then another, and another. She seems to be a bit drawn into this verboten romance, and so does Rory. And then she and Rory have to go down to the archives in the basement, then have a drink and dance, then return to her apartment, where she learns that he is a guardian, probably because he has a cat and a considerable collection of records. vinyls. . Back and forth we jump, through the decades, knowing that a tragedy is going to strike, with the crash and the amneezh, and now I think Ellie hears the strings swelling, maybe even woods too. floating with vigorous fingers, because an extraordinary woman and an extraordinary handsome man seem to have lived long lives with a serious case of desire.

Photo: Parisa Taghizadeh / NETFLIX

What movies will this remind you of? : Relevant context: Your lover’s last letter comes from a novel by Jojo Moyes, who also wrote Me before you (and its three sequels!), adapted into a film with Emilia Clarke. So there is a point of reference for you among the fictionalized details of the 60s, I don’t know, An education or, uh, Driving in a car with boys, and some old-fashioned The lake house vibrations, what about letters and desires, so many desires.

Performances to watch: It’s remarkably easy to appreciate Jones’ female version of Hugh Grant’s stutter, even though her character is slimmer than the weekday print edition of the newspaper she works for.

Memorable dialogue: One for Jones: “I think you’re great, Rory.”

And one for Woodley: “Boot? Would you like to kiss me please? [CELLOS]

Gender and skin: Not much beyond a fairly docile PG-13 locker room doinking. Too many desires, not enough burns.

Our opinion :Your lover’s last letter is beautifully performed, beautifully photographed, well rated, and written in an absolutely conventional fashion, its assemblage of characters and situations designed to meet expectations rather than challenge them. Jones generates a touch of quirky charm in the idiosyncrasies of Ellie’s modern wife, and Woodley brings enough slightly tangible heartbreak to Jennifer’s romantic debacle to keep the character from blowing away in a light breeze. As for the men, Alwyn and Rizwan give us the impression that there is something interesting in their head, even if the script does not show an interest in them.

Maybe if we work hard enough we can compare and contrast the romantic struggles of today with those of half a century ago, but frankly, this is not a chicken wing with a lot of meat on it. At least director Augustine Frizzell adorns many standard scenes with visual depth – Anthony desperately searches for his love in a busy train station, a wide-angle shot and melodrama of the fateful smoldering car crash, Jennifer reading a letter d love on a deep background. purple beach as the sunset glows orange-red – even though all of these ’60s settings resemble a meticulously assembled Smithsonian exhibit depicting mid-century British upper crust life. The film is pleasantly paced and never quite boring, its viewability factor moderately high. Woodley and Alwyn don’t spark enough passion to make this an unforgettable affair, but it is certainly one to be perfectly fine with.

Our call: Stream it. Your lover’s last letter isn’t a tearful, so if you’re looking for that level of release, go elsewhere. But it’s passable like a finely prepared plate of romantic meat and potatoes, comfort food lightly drizzled with bathos, waiting to appease your hunger for a little escape. You probably won’t regret watching it.

John Serba is a freelance writer and film critic based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Read more of his work on johnserbaatlarge.com or follow him on Twitter: @johnserba.

Flux Your lover’s last letter on Netflix

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