Review: It's romance, times two, in 'The Last Letter From Your Lover'

Shailene Woodley and Felicity Jones head up two love stories, separated by several decades, in delightful Netflix offering.

Adam Graham
Detroit News Film Critic

Sumptuous but never stuffy, "The Last Letter From Your Lover" is a charming double romance that tells two love stories for the price of one. 

In 1965 London, Jennifer Stirling (Shailene Woodley) is unhappily married to an English diplomat (Joe Alwyn). She falls for a journalist (Callum Turner) on assignment to do a profile on her husband, and they carry out a secret affair, corresponding to each other through love letters, using the code names J and Boot.  

Shailene Woodley and Callum Turner in "Last Letter From Your Lover."

In modern day England, Ellie Haworth (Felicity Jones) is a reporter coming off of a bad breakup and nursing her wounds with one night stands. She stumbles across a collection of the aforementioned love letters and begins to piece the story of the two lovers together, along with the help of an awkward but sweet archivist (Nabhaan Rizwan) for whom she begins to fall. 

Working from a script based on Jojo Moyes' 2012 novel, director Augustine Frizzell seamlessly bounces back and forth between the two time periods, letting both love stories play out naturally. The luxe period fashions in the '60s story are lavish and rich, while the modern day romance crackles with playful energy. 

It's all very easy to get swept up in, with just enough soapy melodrama — there's a memory loss plotline tossed in for good measure — to make it feel urgent.

Jones, in particular, gets to loosen up in a way she usually doesn't on screen, and she's a delight as a modern woman klutzing her way through her love life. That the two storylines find a way to intersect isn't a surprise, that they happen to do so gracefully is all part of "The Last Letter's" magic.


'The Last Letter From Your Lover'


Not rated: adult situations

Running time: 110 minutes

On Netflix