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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie celebrates love, above anything else. It also displays the notion of regret, although the subtext is that people should make the most of life and take what opportunities they have. The benefits of communication -- be it through writing letters or through more modern means -- is also examined. Curiosity and perseverance are also clearly on display. Some infidelity.
Positive Role Models
In flashbacks to the 1960s, society is portrayed as being dominated by men with women seen as second-class citizens. This is in contrast to the scenes set in the present day. For example, in the past, a controlling Laurence stops his wife Jennifer drinking. In the present, Ellie has agency over her own body, and decisions. Some characters have affairs. Laurence makes a waiter speak English rather than let him speak in his native tongue -- even in his own country.
Violence & Scariness
A car accident occurs, though it's more dramatic than graphic. But someone involved is seen with blood on their face, and later it's learned they died in the crash. A husband gets rough with their wife, and threatens them in an intimidating way.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Two characters have sex up against a wall in an empty room in a public venue. Characters discuss sex including one-night stands. Two characters are seen in bed together, seemingly naked under the sheets, having just had sex.
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Several uses of the word "f--k" as well as "s--t." The British slang term "shagging" is used when discussing sex.
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Products & Purchases
The characters are rich, and seem to enjoy spending their money on lavish things like sports cars.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters are seen smoking throughout, especially in the 1960s sequences, where they smoke at dinner tables, and in their work offices. Characters drink too, including downing alcohol and doing shots. One character is shown to be very drunk and another character discusses having a hangover.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Last Letter from Your Lover is a moving romantic drama -- based on a 2008 novel -- with some sexual content, occasional strong language, smoking, and drinking. The action moves between modern day and the 1960s as Ellie (Felicity Jones), a journalist, and Rory (Nabhaan Rizwan), an archivist, find some letters belonging to two lovers from the 1960s, played by Shailene Woodley and Callum Turner. The movie is about both love and regret with characters left wondering "what if." It also examines our relationship with communication and very much celebrates the written word. The sexism portrayed in the 1960s scenes may spark conversation among families. In one scene, a husband is seen roughing up his wife, threatening her with more violence. In contrast, women are portrayed as having much more agency over their decisions, and their bodies in the present day -- as depicted by Ellie choosing to have several one-night stands. Sex is discussed on several occasions, but is only depicted once, when two characters engage in intercourse up against a wall. A car accident results in the death of a driver -- they are seen with blood on their face. Characters use "f--k" frequently, as well as "s--t." There is also a lot of smoking, particularly in the flashbacks where cigarettes are smoked in restaurants and offices. Drinking is frequent too, with one man evidently drunk, and another woman complaining of a bad hangover. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Adapted from Jojo Moyes book -- she also co-wrote the script -- this is one of the most profoundly romantic movies of recent years. Interweaving narratives between the 1960s and the present day, The Last Letter from Your Lover takes a striking and provocative look into the perennial question of, "what if?" Romance is very easily misjudged on screen, but this remains unapologetically romantic, in a way that is sincere and endearing. It has cynicism, in the form of Jones' Ellie, which is needed. But it also celebrates love, and the idea of two people simply meant to be with one another.
The performances elevate the material. Jones shines, as ever, alongside the blissfully earnest Rizwan. While both Woodley and Turner -- as the star-crossed lovers in question -- share a remarkable on-screen chemistry, which is essential to a film of this nature working. Be warned, this is a movie that is likely to make you cry. But in between your tears, you'll also be treated to a fantastic soundtrack.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.