An Imperfect Match: MR. MALCOLM'S LIST
Mr. Malcolm's List is a charming and witty romantic comedy that showcases a talented cast and stylish production design. Based on the novel by Suzanne Allain and directed by Emma Holly Jones, this film portrays a young British woman in 19th century England, who is intent on taking revenge on the suitor who rejected her.
Considered the most eligible bachelor in London, The Honorable Mr. Jeremy Malcolm (Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù) escorts one of high society’s most sought after beauties, Julia Thistlewaite (Zawe Ashton), to the opera one night. However, he declines to call on her again which indicates his rejection of her, thus “ruining” her reputation. She discovers from her cousin, Lord Cassidy (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), that she fails to meet an item on Mr. Malcolm’s list of requirements for a bride. Determined to exact revenge, she proposes that her childhood friend Selina Dalton (Freida Pinto) should display all the attributes of his ideal match – and then turn the process on him with Selina’s list of unattainable attributes.
Mr. Malcolm's List is a delightful romcom that will sweep viewers away with its witty humor, charming characters, and gorgeous production design. This film is a light take on the classic Austen-style period romance, with a feminist twist that makes it empowering and enjoyable.
Mr. Malcolm's List boasts a talented cast of up-and-coming actors, including Gemma Chan, Freida Pinto, and Sope Dirisu. While the chemistry between the actors is palpable, the characters and their motivations appear a bit underdeveloped, making it difficult to fully invest in their romantic entanglements. However, the film does challenge traditional gender roles and societal expectations to a degree, giving agency to its female characters and exploring themes of love, identity, and self-discovery in a way that feels fresh and empowering.
The film's costumes and production design create a lush and stylish period setting that embodies a visual feast, transporting viewers to a bygone era of wealth and excess. The lush setting, complete with candlelit ballrooms, masquerade ball, and sprawling country estates, is sure to sweep romantic viewers off their feet.
Mr. Malcolm's List is still an enjoyable and entertaining movie that may please period romance enthusiasts. It is a fun and light-hearted escape, but Jane Austen fans and those looking for a more nuanced and thought-provoking story may be mildly disappointed.