The Last Letter From Your Lover was released on Netflix in the U.S. on July 23.
Based on Jojo Moyes 2012 novel of the same name, the romantic drama follows the lives of two women: Jennifer Stirling (Shailene Woodley) and Ellie Haworth (Felicity Jones).
Jennifer is an American woman living in London in the 1960s, while Ellie is a journalist who lives in the city in the 21st century.
Jennifer and Ellie’s stories intertwine when the latter discovers the love letters between the former and a mysterious lover named “B” (Callum Turner).
But how does the film differ from the book? And what changes were made?
What is The Last Letter From Your Lover novel about?
The novel opens with Jennifer in 1960, who is in the hospital after a car accident and can’t remember anything about her life prior to waking up.
She can’t recall who she is, who her husband Lawrence (Joe Alwyn) is, or even the accident that put her there. The only clue to her identity is a love letter from a mysterious person named “B,” begging her to leave her husband for him.
Meanwhile, in 2003 Ellie discovers the same letter in a box at her newspaper’s archive, and becomes determined to find more letters and discover what happened to Jennifer and her lover.
Her obsession with the love letters stems from her own chaotic love life, as she starts to believe that if the romance between Jennifer and “B” worked out, then perhaps she will find love as well.
Has the film changed much from the book?
The main aspects of the plot, namely Jennifer’s love letters with “B” and Ellie’s discovery of them, are predominantly the same.
However, while that may be the case there are also a number of small details that have been changed in the adaptation.
Ellie, for one thing, is embroiled in an affair with a married man named John in the book, a difficult relationship that does not feature in the film.
Instead, Ellie starts to have a romance with Rory (Nabhaan Rizwan), a man who works in her newspaper’s archives department, following a difficult break-up as they connect during her discovery and search for Jennifer’s letters.
Jennifer’s story has also changed from the book, in the film she and “B” are able to reconnect thanks to Ellie and Rory’s intervention, their misunderstandings and missed connections forgotten in favor of a sweet reunion.
In the book, however, the couple do not meet again, and instead Jennifer has learned to become an independent woman, free of her overbearing husband.
How involved was author Jojo Moyes in the making of The Last Letter From Your Lover film?
Moyes recently revealed that she worked with producers to make the film for over a decade, and was able to “give notes” to the scriptwriters when it finally went into pre-production.
In an interview with ScreenRant, she said: “Although I didn’t write the actual scripts for this one, I’ve been very much a part of the process.
“And for me as a writer, that’s a real privilege and something that you have to be careful of. I think, as a writer, you can’t just steam in and demand everything is done your way.
“You have to respect a director’s vision. Luckily, I think Augustine [Frizzell]’s vision is a great one.”
The Last Letter From Your Lover is available to stream on Netflix in the U.S. now.
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