Australian Council on Children and the Media

Love and Friendship

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Not recommended under 10, parental guidance 10 to 12, due to themes and lack of interest.

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Love and Friendship
  • a review of Love and Friendship completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 14 July 2016.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 10 Not recommended due to themes and lack of interest
Children aged 10 to 12 Parental guidance recommended due to themes

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Love and Friendship
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild themes
Length 94 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Based on the Jane Austen novella, Lady Susan, Love and Friendship is an irreverent look at the life of the upper classes in the late 18th Century. Lady Susan Vernon (Kate Beckinsale) is a very attractive and witty widow who is also very manipulative and used to getting her own way. She is determined that her daughter Frederica Vernon (Morfydd Clark) will get a good education and that she will marry the likeable but dim-witted (and rich) Sir James Martin (Tom Bennett). Frederica is vehemently opposed to the marriage.

Lady Susan is also interested in finding a new husband for herself.  She takes up temporary residence with her sister-in-law Catherine DeCourcy Vernon (Emma Greenwell), and shows interest in Catherine’s younger, handsome brother Reginald (Xavier Samuel), much to the growing concern of Catherine and her parents Lord and Lady DeCourcy (James Fleet and Jemma Redgrave).

Meanwhile it becomes apparent that Lady Susan has been having a secret liaison with Lord Manwaring (Lochlann O'Mearáin) and his wife Lady Manwaring (Jean Murray) becomes aware of this. The interweaving of loves and friendships becomes quite complex but with surprising results.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Infidelity; adultery; relationships

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

None of concern

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

Nothing of concern

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Nothing of concern

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Nothing of concern

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Nothing of concern

Product placement

Nothing of concern

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • It is implied that Lady Susan is two-timing Reginald and Lord Manwaring. (Nothing is actually shown).
  • Lady Manwaring accuses Lady Susan of having an affair with her husband

Nudity and sexual activity

Nothing of concern

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • social drinking at a wedding

Coarse language

None of concern

In a nutshell

Love and friendship is a romantic comedy set in the late 18th Century with lavish costumes and sets. It is fast paced and clever with an intricate plot and interweaving of relationships that make it more suitable for older children, teens and adults. There is, however, nothing violent or scary in this movie.

The main message from this movie is that the women from that period had little but their wits and charm to rely on to succeed in life. Parents may wish to discuss Lady Susan’s behaviour, whether it was justified by her situation, and what else she could have done.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • determination
  • strength of character

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