This author is not expressly familiar with Jojo Moyes. He can make some general assumptions about the vibe given off, based on the ubiquity of seeing her romance novels in the bestseller charts. On the surface, they appear to be the sort of thing exclusively targeted at wine moms who run book clubs. Nevertheless, viewers have to look at everything with an open mind. Even adaptations of authors look like they are distinctly not made for 26-year-old males. Surprisingly the irritating thing about The Last Letter From Your Lover as a film is that half of it is perfectly decent. Taking place across two timelines in the modern section Felicity Jones and Nabhaan Rizwan discover a series of letters. These lead back to the mid-1960s. In the period half Shailene Woodley gets herself caught in a love triangle with Joe Alwyn and Callum Turner. This reviewer is not going to claim the modern portion is anything revolutionary. It’s a very typical contemporary romantic comedy. That said Jones and Rizwan deliver charming performances. They have some gently amusing banter. The ending is certainly manipulative and heartstring-pulling. This is typical for something that is designed to get middle-aged women to sob uncontrollably. This reviewer can’t deny that for as much as the mechanics were undeniably noticeable the ending was actively quite touching.
The problem here is the 6o’s material Shailene Woodley is a very solid choice for your romantic lead. Unfortunately, the man she has chasing after her are the most generic beefcake’s that it’s possible to see in this kind of narrative. Even by the standards Of something that’s meant to have a level of self-insertion available for the reader/ viewer these characters are impressively wooden. It’s a shame. As things progress the film loses potential every time it cuts back to an aggressively dull Woodley scene. Those that are a sucker for these kinds of rom coms might get something out of it. The film is a theatrical release in the UK thanks to StudioCanal and it’s on Netflix internationally. It’s hard not to feel like streaming is likely the better home for it. Especially given that a lot of streaming material has now morphed into the home of the mid-tier melodrama.
The Last Letter From Your Lover is probably fine as wine drinking Sunday night viewing. It doesn’t have a great deal of appeal beyond a very specific audience who might well lap it up. It would be easy to get irritated by these viewers. Ultimately it’s not worth the time and effort. For all the genuine criticisms one can level at a phone like this if it works for the target audience it will have done a certain amount of its job. For the half of this film that unironically works this viewer would say that it mostly does.