I have a fondness for romances. While I love stories with every type of relationship and genre, a good romance leaves the viewer feeling hopeful and full of joy. When I watched the trailer for Mr. Malcolm’s List, I thought it looked fun, delightful, witty, and reminiscent of Bridgerton in all the best ways.
Mr. Malcolm’s List is an upcoming period romantic drama directed by Emma Holly Jones and written by Suzanne Allain, based on her novel of the same name. In the film, Mr. Jeremiah Malcolm (Sope Dirisu) is looking for a wife, using a list of qualifications. When he rejects Julia Thistlewaite (Zawe Ashton), she seeks revenge on him by recruiting her cousin Lord Cassidy (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) and her friend Selina Dalton (Freida Pinto) to help. She asks Selina to charm Mr.Malcolm and, in turn, rejects him. But the plan does not go as planned with the pair, as Selina becomes fascinated by Mr.Malcolm, and to confuse matters more, another suitor, Captain Henry Ossory (Theo James), enters the scene. Chaos ensues, and the question becomes, will hearts end up broken?
What made this successful in several aspects. The first is that the characters break the typical romantic archetypes. The cast is diverse, for starters, and both women, Julia and Selina, are intelligent women who are not quite what you expect. Julia is smart but excels at more than just book smarts; she is also insightful and kind, while Julia seems acerbic and self-centered but cares far more for her friends than you expect. She also has her skills, and despite Jeremiah’s rejection of her, she has her own appeal to the right person. Mr. Malcolm is not interested in just any woman to marry; he wants someone as intelligent and accomplished as his mother, who is a formidable character. The characters, including Lord Cassidy and Captain Henry Ossory, are full of surprises.
The next element that makes for such an entertaining movie is the humor and comedic elements. The wit of the conversations and the sarcastic rejoinders by Julia, Selina, and Malcolm make for hilarious insights. There is also the hypocrisy and falsehoods that make this so entertaining. The dialogue and intrigue, as well as the over-the-top scenario, are part of the comedy. There is also a minor character, Gertie Covington (Ashley Park), who is just over-the-top funny and impossible not to laugh at her antics and conversations. And the witty banter would not work as well, but the characters are all likable in different ways.
The actors are incredible at their performances. Freida Pinto is empathetic and warm, infusing her character with intelligence and humor. Zawe Ashton is hilarious as Julia and brilliant at demonstrating subtle emotions in her portrayal of Julia. Sope Dirisu is strong and charismatic in the lead romantic role. At the same time, the secondary performances by Theo James and Oliver Jackson-Cohen have moments where they shine in their roles. Doña Croll, as Lady Kilbourne and Mr. Malcolm’s mother, completely steals every scene she has in this movie.
Now, this is a romantic drama, so there are very predictable elements, including the nature of how the romance ends. And while some of it is expected, Mr. Malcolm’s List is nonetheless adorable, the conversation is witty, and the predictability is counterbalanced by the humor and the surprises in the characters, and you will fall in love with the secondaries.
Mr. Malcolm’s List is delightful, entertaining, and everything you want in a great romance for lovers of the genre. It is as diverse and fun as Bridgerton, and much like that beloved series, it is as funny and surprising. You will love this film if you like a romantic drama, witty conversations, and over-the-top schemes. I know I found it quite lovely and entertaining.
Rating: 4 out of 5 Gossips
Official Website: Mr. Malcolm’s List | Official Website | July 01 2022
Mr. Malcolm’s List
When she fails to meet an item on his list of requirements for a bride, Julia Thistlewaite (Zawe Ashton) is jilted by London’s most eligible bachelor, Mr. Malcolm (Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù). Feeling humiliated and determined to exact revenge, she convinces her friend Selina Dalton (Freida Pinto) to play the role of his ideal match. Soon, Mr. Malcolm wonders whether he’s found the perfect woman…or the perfect hoax.
MR. MALCOLM’S LIST opens in theaters on Friday, July 1, 2022.
ONE-LINER: A young woman courts a mysterious wealthy suitor in 19th century England.