I haven’t read, hadn’t even heard of the text being adapted here—Austin’s “Lady Susan” and called a novella in the credits—but watching it, something about this unstoppable woman with her American friend made me imagine Austin writing with Henry James sitting at her elbow whispering in her ear. (Although obviously I hear the echo because she was whispering in his.)
My pleasures here are pretty specific and fully non-literary. I think Kate Beckinsale is great in even her worst movies (and am bothered that everyone else doesn’t), so seeing her in something wonderful is, well, wonderful.
And Tom Bennet’s Lord Martin may be the most perfect comic invention of 2016. His idea of what a good-natured simpleton trying to appear to be a sophisticated nobleman looks like had me in tears. I need a Martin in my gang of friends.