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Last Letter from Your Lover, The


Stars: Shailene Woodley, Felicity Jones, Callum Turner, Joe Alwyn, Nabhaan Rizwan, Wendy Nottingham, Ben Cross

Director: Augustine Frizzell

The soap suds are as high as an elephant's eye in this vapid and faintly ridiculous romantic drama. Partly set in 1965, it runs like a Liz Taylor reject from about the same era. Indeed, Woodley even looks a bit like Taylor and has about the same emotional range (it's not a compliment).

She plays the wife of a wealthy industrialist (Alwyn) who disses her at every opportunity. Small wonder then that she's gradually drawn into an affair with the journo (Turner) who's doing a piece on her husband.

We switch to present day and the sparky Jones is a bed-hopping London reporter who tracks down love letters lodged in the paper's archive, and pursues Woodley's story through her correspondence, with the help of the publication's archivist (Rizwan) with whom she forges an amusingly bantering relationship, which later (unfortunately) turns to romance.

Too little Jones and too much Woodley is the least of the problems in this film, directed in spiritless fashion; it's all horribly dated slop. The two stars and Jojo Moyes, author of the original best-seller, were executive producers, which presumably means they put money into the thing and had some say in its development. What were they thinking?

The late Ben Cross, playing an older version of the '65 character, appears towards the end in his last film appearance.

David Quinlan

UK 2020. UK Distributor: StudioCanal. Technicolor.
110 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 02 Aug 2021