*This review is based solely on the movie. I have never read thebook or heard of it until I saw the film.
A good love story is supposed to grip the audience by the throat. You want to feel the anxiety, not knowing if the potential lovers will be together by the end. It should be a heart stopping, blood pumping through your brain experience.
The new Netflix movie, The Last Letter from Your Lover, is based on the Jojo Moyesbook of the same name. In 1965, the marriage between Jennifer Stirling (Shailene Woodley) and her husband Lawrence (Joe Alwyn) is on the rocks. She starts seeing Anthony O’Hare (Callum Turner) on the side. It quickly blossoms into a full blown love affair. They write to each other, trying to keep the romantic flame alive while Jennifer maintains the façade of a happy marriage.
In our time, Ellie Haworth (Felicity Jones) is journalist whose newest assignment is to uncover the secrets behind the newly discovered letters. Working with colleague Rory McCallan (Nabhaan Rizwan), they start to fall for one another as the decades old truth begins to slowly reveal itself.
Just like anyone, I like a good love story. But it cannot be a romance just for romance’s sake. There has to be a legit reason as to why certain characters walk into the sunset together. While the 1960’s narrative was reasonably compelling, the modern narrative felt forced. Whatever it is that brings two people together, there was nothing that made me believe that Ellie and Rory would work as a couple. It felt forced and dragged down the movie as a whole. I would have preferred that they remained colleagues without crossing the line into a relationship.
Do I recommend it? Not really.
The Last Letter from Your Lover is available for streaming on Netflix.
Stories of boys having adventures and stepping out into the wider world is nothing new. But girls doing the same thing is still, even in 2019, is still not told as often as boy’s adventure stories.
In 2005, An American Girl Adventure aired. Based on the books and the dolls by the American Girl company, Felicity Merriman (Shailene Woodley) is growing up in Revolutionary Era America. Felicity is enamored of a horse who she believes is being mistreated by it’s owner. In addition to her desire to free the horse, Felicity is watching her world being torn apart by politics. Some of those around her support those who would see America as a stand alone nation. Others support the King of England.
Like many young girls, I read and was thoroughly enamored of the American Girl books. As an adult, I enjoyed this television movie. I very much appreciated how independent and strong Felicity was, especially given the time period she is living in. But, I would warn that it would help to have some knowledge of the narrative from the books before watching this movie.
You say that you are not a feminist. You say that the label of feminism is “divisive”.
Feminism is not about hating men or switching roles where the female is dominant and the man is submissive. Feminism is about our rights as women to have our voices heard and choosing to live our lives as we see fit.
Without feminism, your role in Divergent would have never existed. You would be forced to play characters in romantic melodramas or comedies where the movie ends with the same old happy ending. Their opportunities for education, for professional advancement, for personal happiness would not exist. Similarly, your education would be limited. The professions that would be open to you would limited. You would be expected to marry, have children and keep a house. That would be the extent of your life.
So before you say that you are not a feminist, remember the women who fought long and hard for you to say those words. Remember the women who gave you that voice and paved the way for the opportunities that you take for granted.