Wicked Little Letters (2024)

by | Apr 18, 2024 | Movie Reviews, New In Theaters, New On Streaming/Digital | 0 comments

Wicked Little Letters is a wickedly funny film that’s full of tons of heart and raunchy remarks to last you a lifetime. It’s only fitting that a posh and proper little town be the subject of lewd and sexual letters that send everyone into a panic. I’m not sure why it’s so satisfying watching prissy people react to offensive language, but here it’s handled so well and is even influenced by actual historical events. Make sure you bring a pen and paper with you while watching, because there’s a slew of insults and retorts that belong in everyone’s arsenal!

Wicked Little Letters

The town of Littlehampton, England is a place of wonderful neighbors and civility all around! That is, until Irishwoman Rose Gooding (Jessie Buckley) moves to town and brings her foul mouth and unapologetic attitude with her. Coincidentally, a series of raunchy and inappropriate letters make their way to Rose’s next-door neighbor, Edith Swan (Olivia Colman). Encouraged by Edith’s father Edward (Timothy Spall), the town suspects Rose is writing the letters and there are only a handful of women in the town who believe she may be innocent. Those women must find a way to convince the men and the police to keep searching and moving past their presumptuous ways.

On the surface, Wicked Little Letters struck me a cheeky and pleasant viewing experience that would tickle the itch I have for great British comedies. I did not, however, go into this film thinking that it would tie in so well with the Suffragette movement taking place at the same time as the film’s events. As quirky and lovely as Littlehampton presents itself, the men of the town are extremely stuck in their ways and hold on to beliefs that pre-dated the women of the town taking over the men’s jobs when they went off to war. We slowly see just how dismissive and rude the men of the town are, all while these awful letters are being sent to a woman who’s already hard enough on herself.

Jessie Buckley and Olivia Colman play wonderfully off of one another, filling the air with witty remarks and salacious sayings (much to the dismay of the men in the town). Buckley’s Irish transplant knows she sticks out like a sore thumb, but she also knows how kept down the women of the town are by men who are guilty of speaking exactly as she does. Olivia Colman’s character is a bit self-consumed, but as you spend time under her roof you quickly understand the effect her father’s presence has over her. The things she only dreams of doing or saying are exactly what gets Buckley’s Rose persecuted for so much by the townspeople.

At its core, Wicked Little Letters is as much a social commentary as it as a comedy, weaving real beliefs and remarks that men still make today when it comes to women and their place in society. Anjana Vasan plays a police officer in the film who’s often referred to as “woman police officer Moss” amid a cacophony of giggles. Townspeople, women included, question her position as a police officer and constantly make light of her abilities to solve crimes or even keep up with the rest of the male officers. At every turn, little remarks reveal plenty about the way this town views its women and while it is frustrating at first, things take a turn for the better when more of the women begin to speak their minds.

Wicked Little Letters continues my long-held belief that the Brits are masters of comedy and it’s even better when you can laugh and learn in the same sitting. Between moments of hearty laughter come some very serious, very impactful moments that give this film a whole extra edge to it. Jessie Buckley, Olivia Colman, and Anjana Vasan are all stellar and really add an extra layer of humanity to the situation at hand. Color me more than pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable and how meaningful this film ended up being!

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