Rent Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018)

3.5 of 5 from 993 ratings
1h 41min
Rent Can You Ever Forgive Me? Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
  • General info
  • Available formats
Melissa McCarthy is masterful in the captivating account - based on a true story - of a down-and-out writer who resorts to lies, deceit and outright crime to get back on top.
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Anne Carey, Amy Nauiokas, David Yarnell
Nicole Holofcener, Jeff Whitty
Melissa McCarthy
20th Century Fox
2019, A Brief History of Lesbian Cinema, Acting Up: British Actors at the Oscars, Award Winners, Through Time, A Brief History of Film..., Top 10 Bookshop Scenes, Top Films
Release Date:
Run Time:
101 minutes
English Audio Description Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Digital 5.1
English Hard of Hearing
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.40:1
  • Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary by Marielle Heller: Outtake, Vet's Office, Cat Cafe, Lee and Jack Drink, Ms. Whitman Short
  • Promotional Featurettes: Elevator Pitch, Becoming Lee Israel, Likely Friends, A Literary World
  • Audio Commentary by Marielle Heller and Melissa McCarthy
  • Galleries: Unit Photography Gallery, Lee Israel Letter Gallery
  • Theatrical Trailer

More like Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Found in these customers lists

Reviews (15) of Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Entertaining and Intelligent - Can You Ever Forgive Me? review by JR

Spoiler Alert

Jack, Lee's drinking buddy and accomplice calls Lee ' a horrible c***'. And she is. The only living being she is capable of showing love towards is her cat. She is a misanthropic drunk with criminal tendencies, but the film makes you care deeply about her and Jack. The film is based on Lee Israel's book about how she came to be convicted of forgery; and in the hands of scriptwriters Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty, is witty, intelligent, entertaining and melancholic with first rate performances by Melissa McCarthy and Richard E Grant.

15 out of 16 members found this review helpful.

Interesting, sad, beautifully made but by no means a comedy - Can You Ever Forgive Me? review by PR

Spoiler Alert

Amazed that this has been marketed as a comedy. It really isn't. It's beautifully shot, excellently acted & the soundtrack is absolutely lovely. It's evocative but very melancholy & one part actually made me cry.

So don't watch this expecting anything upbeat or LOL - it really isn't.

PS: Great soundtrack though!

7 out of 7 members found this review helpful.

Not the comedy we were expecting to see - Can You Ever Forgive Me? review by EP

Spoiler Alert

This film starts with Melissa McCarthy portrayed as a pathetic has-been writer who is too belligerent to conform to her agent's ideal of an ace biographer.

It then morphs to a hard-up writer in desperation (quite sad) considering any way to survive in New York whilst looking after her cat.

She then meets an old queen (Richard E Grant) who seems sparkly eyed and full of fun but is also hard-up and boozing with no fixed abode.

The 2 of them carry on about forging letters from deceased famous writers for cash.

It is mostly pathos comedy and there are few laugh out loud moments. It is generally well acted by the main parts but in a you know what your getting kind of way.

I was slightly let down by this film as I had higher expectations for the comedy element but if you want to see a bittersweet comedy drama then this might be for you.

5 out of 6 members found this review helpful.

Critic review

Can You Ever Forgive Me? review by Mark McPherson - Cinema Paradiso

Lee Israel’s crimes were somewhat small and bereft of smarts when it came to getting away with it. Thankfully, her biopic has been given a certain humanity in her desperation as a writer. It’d be so easy to contort her tale into a silly heist, especially considering the eccentric talent assemble for such a picture. But Can You Ever Forgive Me sidesteps such easy storytelling for something more heartfelt without overdosing on the sincerity. Something tells me Isreal would hate that kinda heartwarming writing.

Mellisa McCarthy plays Lee as a female author who can’t quite get her life together in 1991. She resides in a dirty apartment with her sick cat, her evenings spent reciting old movies on television she has clearly watched multiple times. She’s lacking in funds and hasn’t sold any mesmerizing writing in ages. She hears about Tom Clancy getting a huge contract and explodes. Her agent tells her that she can’t give Lee such a deal because she won’t write anything and refuses to go on tours. She needs a hit manuscript and fast.

Or she could take the alternate route of faking long-lost letters from famous writers that she can sell for an extraordinary amount of money. And since inspiration is in low supply, Lee favors the path of forgery. She becomes rather good at it as well, making sure the writing, paper, signature, and even the typewriter are perfect. It’s not until she starts hearing about authenticity experts that she becomes worried. By the time she starts literally stealing documents, she’s shaken. And by the time the authorities are after her, she’s a mess of emotion.

McCarthy’s performance in this picture is one of her finest. She’s a collected mess of sorts as the perfect storm of a woman just desperate and brash enough to see the headlights heading towards her. She wears her heart on her sleeve, letting all the bitterness, joy and sadness flow out of her when life throws her hardship. Part of the joy mostly comes from her gay best friend Jack Hock, played by an exceptionally spry Richard E. Grant who can light any room on fire with his smile. He’s inept as Lee is at this forgery game but still gives it a go and sticks by his best friend with a constant smirk. When the heat becomes high and Jack must make sales, he’s so giddy and impressed that he ever got away with it he nearly squeals when showing off the cash. They have plenty of cute moments together and it’s brilliant to watch them bicker and chortle at the games they play.

Can You Ever Forgive Me pulls a rather surprising trick out of its hat by not only making Lee seem like an understandable criminal but a lovable one as well. McCarthy and Grant play such sincere social misfits that it’s hard to be mad at their blissful ignorance. When the two discuss their fluctuating poverty situation, Jack regales Lee with his strategy swiping toothpaste from the store without the store knowing. He caps his story with his technique being a win-win, though Lee will correct him that he doesn’t understand what he’s talking about. The same goes for Lee in how she believes she can fake her way into paying bills. But damned if there’s not a moment of brilliant chemistry between the two that makes one hope they’ll get away with a crime they had no hope of pulling off for a long time.

Unlimited films sent to your door, starting at £15.99 a month.