For the last half-hour, the director uses every trick in the book (rain machines, epic music, close-ups of sobbing girls) in a bid to jerk our tears. It was too much, too late. I was already looking at my watch.
A period excursion into unnecessary suffering, leaving a wide open opportunity for gloriously pained performances and a steady dispensing of anguish, but Summer in February just doesn't register as intended.
No sooner has Downton's Dan Stevens cast off Cousin Matthew's tweeds than he's back on screen as a stiff-upper-lipped toff. And if this wasn't typecasting enough, he's playing another thoroughly decent chap who is yearning after a flighty young woman.