(georgekelley.org) If you are a fan and count among your favorite books any or all of the great Jane Austen canon, you will be unhappy about this latest venture which skims the surface of one of her earliest efforts. Written when she was 14 as an epistolary novel entirely in letters from and to the main characters, it foretells the genius of her mature works.
(archive.org) In their hunger to find another Austen work besides the six great novels, all of which have been recreated for film and stage many times, the producers have taken the froth without the heart. This film is funny, as her book was funny and satiric. I have read Lady Susan (original title) and enjoyed it, but it does not have the depth and humanity of her great works.
(curzonartificialeye.com) All the superficial aspects are there–the sets, costumes, and witty dialogue along with a healthy slice of social criticism. But it is as if the Vienna Philharmonic had decided to perform a Symphony written by the eight-year old Mozart–“not bad for an eight-year old” you’d say, but would you be listening to it if it wasn’t Mozart?
(imdb.com) Austen is not just another novelist whose works can be transformed into a delightful period costume drama; she is one of the greats. The subject of all her books is marriage, and she endears herself to us with her mordant wit, her devastating insight, and above all, her warmth towards real love.
Good cast with Kate Beckinsale, Stephen Fry, Jemma Redgrave, and others, directed by Whit Stillman who wrote “Metropolitan” and “Barcelona.” See it if you like and enjoy it, but remember to catch one of the better films of Austen’s other works,
or better yet, read them if you haven’t had the great pleasure of doing so already.