Viewers typically don’t like book to screen adaptations. Then you have me who tends to keep visual storytelling more present in my memory. Plus often times watches something without having read the book which means I won’t go “backwards” and read it after. Such is true of this adaptation from Netflix, The Last Letter from your Lover.
The Last Letter from Your Lover (2021) Netflix Film Review
Feeling as though she’s nothing but a thing, like a book on a neat bookshelf, in her own home, Jennifer Stirling (Shailene Woodley) is unsettled. She’s just returned from hospital and all she knows of her past are the things her husband Laurence (Joe Alwyn) shares. She knows they’re comfortable and live a wealthy lifestyle but beyond being American and married to a British man, Jennifer has no memory in the wake of a terrible accident. Where was she going…?
Fast forward years after Jennifer’s 1965 accident and intrepid reporter Ellie Haworth (Felicity Jones) is researching for her latest editorial. After some back and forth with the archive gatekeeper Rory (Nabhaan Rizwan), she discovers, quite by mistake, a letter that appears to be a small part of a passionate love affair. Desperate to know more, Ellie begins to try harder to find more letters. What begins as a job may turn out to be something far more than Ellie could ever imagine.‘THE LAST LETTER FROM YOUR LOVER’: MORALLY WRONG BUT ROMANTIC DRAMA #THELASTLETTERFROMYOURLOVER #LASTLETTER #FELICITYJONES #SHAILENEWOODLEY #MOVIES #JOEALWYN #NETLIX #NETFLIXMOVIES #PERIODDRAMA #ROMANCE #JOJOMOYES Click To Tweet
Not unlike my normal way to watch popular movies, when this released, I was aware of it, but didn’t immediately jump on the “must watch” team. Based on a novel by Jojo Moyes the story follows in her usual, from what I understand, stylings. Most of the story is this kind of dramatic pause, piecing together parts of the story before it pulls things full circle.
The cast is all really good if not a bit eclectic in who they pull together. Alwyn and Jones seem the more proper British talent; Rizwan is a new name although the “play” between he and Jones is fun (and makes for a low-key but still cute first interaction); Woodley is the American teen star who holds her own; and then additionally there is stars like Callum Turner (War & Peace, Emma.) and Zoe Boyle. Everyone does a good job, and honestly, I don’t think there’s a one I don’t like in how they portray the character. Meaning they rise to the task of helping us see their character for who they are.
Additionally, much as we perhaps want to be swept up in the romance, I really appreciate Jennifer. I appreciate that while she’s morally wrong she does still have a grip on reality. This to me makes her one of the actual stronger and smart women I’ve seen on TV. Despite the promises, her caution is honest and justified. This is one of those movies that allows the what if of a happy end while simultaneously giving us a realistic one. It’s a nice ribbon to tie on what is a solid production with pretty costumes and of course, some nice romantic moments, too.
You can stream The Last Letter From Your Lover digitally on Netflix
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Content: there’s about 4-5 f-words. Sh*t is used frequently and there’s British crudities like “shag.” There are about 5 sex situations. One is a girl waking up the morning “after,” both under the sheets and she leaves; we also see three instances of couples falling into bed (clothed) kissing and caressing before the scene cuts to an “after” or re-dressing. One scene is a bit more descriptive and shows a couple ducking into a room. They remain clothed, but there is a close up or two of caressing the leg and facial expression. There’s some thematic elements like threats and someone grabs another person and extends a verbal threat. The film is TV-MA but really is “tame” by comparison to most with the rating. Were it not for the multiple f-words (to be PG-13, there’s usually only one allowed), they may have been PG-13.
Photos: Netflix / Skydance Films