Lady of the Manor screens a small-town comedy, elevated by the tickling performance of Melanie Lynskey. The film creates parallels between a lady from the 18th century and a modern woman. The contrast brings about inevitable humor, and its laugh-out-loud moments make the ride entertaining.
However, the Lady of the Manor heavily relies on its humorous script and forgets to explore the necessary drama. As of which, the film tickles you, but in the end, it leaves you with nothing to remember. The filmmaking techniques, be it direction or cinematography, aren’t alluring enough. Thus, it can easily be labeled a popcorn flick made for “pure entertainment” and nothing else.
The film is directed and written by brothers Christian Long & Justin Long, while Justin Long also plays the lead opposite Melanie Lynskey.
‘Lady of the Manor’ Plot Summary
Lazybones Hannah (Melanie Lynskey) lives in her boyfriend, Todd’s apartment in Savannah. For a living, Hannah works as a drug deliverer and rides her bicycle throughout the city. In short, she is aimless and unemployed and feeds off her boyfriend’s income. Hannah gets an assignment for delivery but ends up at the wrong address. At the house, she meets a kid, and before she can communicate further, some cops arrest her for solicitation of a minor and the intent to sell narcotics to minors. Hannah ends up in jail, and a furious Todd breaks up with her.
Meanwhile, a rich, spoiled brat, Tanner Wadsworth, is handed over the responsibility of overseeing the day-to-day operation of his ancestral property, Wadsworth Manor. The Manor is a pillar of historic Savannah and thus conducts daily tours for the tourists. Tanner tries his best to avoid responsibility, but his father, Grayson Wadsworth, who is running for Mayor, threatens to cut off his allowances. Hesitantly, Tanner agrees and reaches the Manor.
At the Wadsworth Manor, a tour guide/actress dresses up as Lady Wadsworth and enlightens the tourists about the prestigious history of the Manor. After the tour, Tanner asks the actress out on a date, which she bluntly refuses. Out of luck, Tanner fires the tour guide and hunts for a new one.
In the night bar, Tanner meets a drunk and devastated Hannah and finds her an easygoing woman. He offers her the job to become a tour guide at the Wadsworth Manor. Hannah instantly agrees and starts living in the Manor and performs her job with utmost clumsiness. Looking at his casualness in portraying Lady Wadsworth, the ghost of Lady Wadsworth appears and coaches Hannah to be more “Lady-like.”
‘Lady of the Manor’ Ending Explained
On of her first days as a tour guide, Hannah met a nerdy history professor, Max. The two quickly became friends, and Hannah started visiting Max’s office for the most trivial affairs. In the meantime, Max fell in love with Hannah but soon found out that she was already dating Tanner.
Hannah was about to express her feelings to Tanner when the house-lady, Nia Pipkin, revealed that Tanner was already married. She confronted Tanner, who promptly fired her and hired another tour guide for his amusement. Hannah left the Manor, but the ghost of Lady Wadsworth followed. When Lady inquired why Pipkin fired Hannah from the job, Hannah looked curious. She informed Lady Wadsworth that Tanner fired her because the house belonged to the Wadsworth family.
At that juncture, Lady Wadsworth revealed that she had made it explicitly clear in her will to hand over the Wadsworth Manor, her beloved father’s house, to the Pipkin family because she couldn’t bear children of her own. It turned out that after her accidental death, her husband, Richmond Wadsworth, remarried and began a new legacy of his own. He even forged a new will and stole the property from poor Pipkins.
Hannah investigated the mystery, and Lady Wadsworth told her that she made a duplicate copy of the will, which she hid inside a book, The American woman’s home by Harriet Beecher. However, when Hannah sneaked into the Manor to steal the will, Tanner caught her red-handed. She threw the book at the ghost as a reflex, but it fell into the fireplace and burned to ashes. In the absence of any first-hand evidence, Hannah researched and re-read Lady Wadsworth’s journal and discovered some intriguing points that may prove the Manor’s ownership.
Hannah and Max, dressed up as Richmond and Lady Wadsworth, arrived uninvited at Grayson Wadsworth’s Mayor campaign ceremony at the Manor. On stage, Hannah announced that Lady Wadsworth had left the Manor to Josephine Pipkin (ancestor of house workers Nia and Marcus Pipkin). For the evidence, she read an excerpt from Lady Wadsworth’s journal that underlined whoever possessed the historical hat of General William Tecumseh Sherman would be the rightful owner of the Manor. She opened the glass case and revealed to the guests the initials JZP (Josephine Zelda Pipkin) stitched inside the hat.
Hannah also revealed that Lady Wadsworth didn’t die of an accident. Her husband, Richmond, murdered her because she could not bear children, so her husband became increasingly agitated. With crowds murmuring in the Manor, upcoming Mayor Grayson made a wise political move by bequeathing the Manor to his housekeepers, Nia and Marcus. After the truth came to light, the ghost of Lady Wadsworth disappeared.
A month later, Hannah became a permanent tour guide at the Manor and moved in with Max. Nia and Marcus left their job with Wadsworth and started managing the Manor on their own. As Hannah came out for the day’s tour, she found Lady Wadsworth standing among the crowd. She exchanged a few words with her when suddenly, police arrived and arrested Hannah. By failing to register as a sex offender within 30 days, she violated the penal code. The violation connects back to the first sequence where Hannah enters a wrong address and tries to sell drugs to a minor. The film ends on a happy note.
Lady of the Manor is a 2021 Comedy film written and directed by brothers Christian Long & Justin Long.