Friday, February 20, 2015

Movies for Austen Lovers

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Jane Austen has inspired millions of writers around the world, and those include screen writers. In addition to all the Austen-prequels and sequels, not to mention the whole "Regency" genre, there are some remarkably entertaining movie spin-offs. Here are some of the best:

1. Bride and Prejudice
Austen goes Bollywood! This seems a perfect match, considering most Bollywood movies are centered around family life and marriage. Mr. Collins becomes Mr. Kohli, the Americanized business man, and while Elizabeth/Lalita (played by Aishwarya Rai) has one less sister, the details are quite true to the novel.

2. The Jane Austen Book Club
For each of the women in the Jane Austen Book Club, there is a parallel in one of Austen's books. The fun part is figuring out which character is which. And for a film dealing with the modern problems of relationships, it has a true Austenesque happy ending, so stick with it! Also the screenplay contains numerous pieces of Austen trivia which fans will enjoy. Based on the book by Karen Joy Fowler

3. Scents and Sensibility
The Dashwood sisters must survive after their father is arrested and they lose their family money. Flowers are the answer!

4. Bridget Jones's Diary
Misunderstandings abound in this hilarious version of Pride and Prejudice. Bridget (Renée Zellweger) is a modern-day Elizabeth Bennett with both silly parents and friends, and while she desperately seeks female empowerment in her life, she still manages to fall for a her Wickham-like boss, Hugh Grant. Meanwhile, her Mr. Darcy (Colin Firth, in a hat-tip to his role in the BBC version of P&P) is left wondering why she doesn't like him. A treat for all Austen-lovers. Based on the book by Helen Fielding.

5. Austenland
A woman obsessed with all-things Austen visits and English resort where she can immerse herself in her fantasy world while longing for her Mr. Darcy.

6. You've Got Mail
Writer Norah Ephron penned the script as an homage to Pride and Prejudice, as well as honoring previous movies dealing with the theme, such as "The Shop Around the Corner" and the remake "In the Good Old Summertime" (see below). Meg Ryan, Tom Hanks and a great cast of character actors bring the story to life, as well as the literary life of New York City. And while the movie is already dated - AOL's "you've got mail" with cyber-honking is a thing of the past, and ebooks are replacing actual bookstores - we are still in the digital age of online matchmaking, where misunderstandings (or understandings) abound.

7-8. In the Good Old Summertime is the 1949 musical version of the earlier black-and-white 1940 movie The Shop Around the Corner. And while not specific adaptations of Pride and Prejudice, they both have the same theme of bad first impressions being resolved through growth and love letters.

1 comment:

  1. Yikes in my old age I've come to like Austen but Margaret Atwood works for me too.....:)