Love and Friendship is a film set in the lavish drawing 18th century English society and portrays the scheming of a gorgeous and intelligent widow, Lady Susan Vernon (Kate Beckinsale) (McCarthy 2016). While she waits for social chatter about an indiscretion to pass, she takes temporarily resides at her in-laws’ estate and at the same time seeks a wealthy husband not only for herself but also her only daughter. However, she also flirts with a married man, Lord Manwering, which brings in the thematic scheme of promiscuity. Later, she also convinces the wealthy Sir James to ditch his proposal to her daughter and instead marry her. On the other hand, her daughter also falls in love and marries another man. Thus, this paper will show that promiscuity and deceit are the key themes communicated by the film Love and Friendship.
The methodology is based on the Feminist Film Theory to show that the film essentially objectifies women sexually. The underlying themes of the film that the producer effectively delivers albeit basing the delivery on comedy are promiscuity and deceit (Bradshaw 2016). From the perspective of production design, a critical review of the costume design also reveals that when Lady Susan Vernon is in the countryside, she is mostly clad in mauve, black and grey attire that matches the mourning attire of that period; however, once she gets to London, she transforms into much brighter colors as well as corseted dresses. Ideally, the costume design heightened the characters by allowing them latitude to be bold (Phillips 2016). Thus, this project will explore how the production design was used to develop the theme of promiscuity in the film Love and Friendship. The qualitative and exploratory methodology focuses on scandalous relationships.
Bradshaw, P 2016, Review of Love and Friendship, viewed 12 February 2016, https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/may/26/love-friendship-review-whit-stillman-austen-drama-is-a-racy-delight
McCarthy, T 2016, Love & Friendship: Sundance Review, viewed 12 February 2016, http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/love-friendship-sundance-review-858759
Phillips, M 2016, Director Whit Stillman on adapting Jane Austen for the big screen, viewed 12 February 2016, http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/movies/ct-whit-stillman-love-and-friendship-20160511-column.html