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The Last Letter from Your Lover

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What it’s about:

A London-based journalist uncovers a trail of letters from the 60s and begins to unravel the story of a passionate, illicit affair that took place on the French Riviera, which leads her back to her own newspaper—and forces her to question her own relationships.

Names you might know:

Felicity Jones (Rogue One, Theory of Everything), Shailene Woodley (Big, Little Lies), and Callum Turner (War & Peace) carry the film, which is adapted from the bestselling novel by JoJo Moyes.

Why it’s worth your time:

The draw is the dual star power of Felicity Jones and Shailene Woodley straddling dual timelines, delivering two intriguing, intertwined romances at once.

Still from Last Letter from Your Lover

Jones plays Ellie, a London-based journalist who’s been assigned to write about an editor who just died. After clashing with her newspaper’s archivist, Rory (Nabhaan Rizwan), she discovers mysterious love letters to someone identified only as “J”—signed by someone identified as “Boot.”

Through a series of flashbacks to the 1960s, we learn that J is Jennifer Stirling, a Jackie Kennedy-styled expat wife of a wealthy businessman. When we meet her, she’s recovering from amnesia in the wake of a car accident. “You call me Larry,” her icy husband (Joe Alwyn) says when she refers to him as Lawrence.

After her friend insists Jennifer has “a perfect life,” she’s not so certain. “I don’t know how I felt about my life,” she confides. We begin to see why. In between her husband’s frequent business trips, he scarcely acknowledges her, often treating her with clenched-jaw contempt.

When an intriguing foreign correspondent named Anthony O’Hare (Callum Turner) arrives at their resort in the South of France to interview Lawrence, he’s called off on another business trip, leaving Jennifer to entertain the journalist until he returns.

Back in present day London, Ellie begins to unravel what happens next by hunting down a series of increasingly passionate letters, which she finds with the help of the once ornery archivist, Rory, and a story of her own begins to unfold.

Still from Last Letter from Your Lover

The star-crossed lovers from the past, set against Ellie’s starkly modern single life, sets up the question of how much our memories can lock us into an illusion of a happier, more magical past, or how much they keep us stuck in our pain and loss, too fearful of striking out again.

The Last Letter from Your Lover ends on a hopeful note, one that can leave even the cynics feeling wistful.

The takeaway:

A date-night movie and summer escape watch all in one, the adaptation of the JoJo Moyes bestseller entwines two intriguing romances in one film, delivering a nostalgic, visually transporting film with cross-generational appeal.

Watch it with:

Your new relationship, your recently rekindled romance, or maybe your single parent … pining for that one who got away. Or just watch this one by yourself.

Worth noting:

Rated TV-MA, the steamy quotient on this one is a 6/10, and mostly attributable to the chemistry between Woodley’s “J” and Turner’s “Boot,” the mid-century Riviera setting, and the pair’s stolen moments. Very little skin or actual sex is depicted here.

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