love & friendship

FILM REVIEW: “Love & Friendship” is Austen-tatiously funny

Director Whit Stillman brings a little-known Jane Austen novella to life, with help from Kate Beckinsale's delicious performance

It shouldn’t come as a shock that Jane Austen and Whit Stillman are a match made in heaven. His films, starting with 1990’s “Metropolitan,” have chronicled the lives of East Coast preppies in the same arch, comedy-of-manners style as Austen’s novels. The ins and outs of romantic scheming, clever conversation for its own sake, and societal maneuvering are depicted with tongue ever so slightly in cheek.

Now he’s actually adapted one of her works, wisely avoiding the iconic, oft-filmed books for the posthumously published short novel “Lady Susan.” The movie’s more conventionally Austen-esque title, “Love & Friendship,” is taken from another unpublished story, one that Austen wrote as a teenager.