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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Everything Austen: "Pride & Prejudice: A Latter-Day Comedy"

Over at GoodReads last week, in the Jane Austen group, we were talking about this movie. I'd heard about it for several years (it came out in 2003) but just hadn't gotten around to seeing it. Well, as part of my plan to (1) complete my Everything Austen Challenges and (2) step away from my endless hours at the computer for awhile, I rented it and made my husband watch it with me.

One-minute analysis? We thought it was cute. It was faithful in many ways to the original, although updated to feature a group of Mormon college girls at Brigham Young University (proof yet again of Austen's genius in the creation of characters who are both universal and timeless). The Darcy in this story has a British accent and is a book publisher (perfect since Elizabeth is an aspiring novelist, yes?!); he also plays a mean game of tennis. And while I didn't entirely agree with the endorsement on the DVD cover that said the film would "...doubtless be compared to Clueless and Bridget Jones's Diary, but it's wittier than both," I did think there were quite a few funny scenes and that it was a sweet rendition of the story. The goings-on in Las Vegas were especially comical and, oh! Bingley's "Classics for Canines" infomercial is not to be missed :).

Does it hold up to a production with Colin, Matthew or even Sir Lawrence?? Well, no. But it is, as Jane might say, "diverting," and I was much amused during the 104 minutes. Also, kudos to the independent filmmakers who produced "Pride & Prejudice: A Latter-Day Comedy" on a shoestring budget of only $350,000. Hard to fault them on that.

We also watched Zac Efron and Matthew Perry in "17 Again," just because I was really in need of some pop culture. I didn't have overly high expectations, but I enjoyed the film more than I thought I would and found the best friend's secondary love story surprisingly funny...

Anyone else have impressions/thoughts on either of these movies? Any really good DVDs out there that you'd recommend renting?

10 comments:

Maria Geraci said...

I've seen this flic. It's pretty cute. Have you seen the Bollywood version of P&P? Bride and Prejudice? It's a musical (yes) and absolutely hysterical!

hmsgofita said...

This one especially hit close to home since I'm Mormon and grew up right by BYU! I thought it was hilarious! So glad you were able to watch it and enjoy it. I also enjoyed 17 Again. I recommend the Soloist as well, if you haven' seen that one yet!

Marilyn Brant said...

Maria~oh, yes!! I *own* Bride & Prejudice :). The dancing numbers are a riot--so fun! And the costumes are just beautiful, too. Plus, we get the handsome Martin Henderson as Darcy...

hmsgofita (Heather?)~With your Mormon background, I'm so glad YOU liked it! I thought the writer and director treated the religious aspect very respectfully, but a thumbs-up from you carries more weight than it would from me (since I'm Catholic :). And thanks for the recommendation on the Soloist--I'll definitely check it out!

Sandra Ferguson said...

Hubby and I were couch slugs this weekend. Yep, much to do but totally not motivated. We don't get many week-ends off so I'll enjoy it without guilt, thank you very much.

Two films to comment on: Crossing Over with Harrison Ford and others. Built around ICE or Immigrations Custom Enforcement. The film was fragmented and while it tied up all the ends there was so much misery -- okay, it's real life -- that I was left feeling terrible flat.

State of Play: Russell Crowe and Ben Affleck. This was a great film. A little 'deep throat' in the modern times, but exceptional well done. Female lead: Helen Mirren is new for me. She's cute and holds up well against Russell Crowe, which can't be easy. Absolutely worth the two hours.

Pamala Knight said...

I think I've seen portions of this film on Youtube and I thought it was very cute. A bike scene or something like that.

I don't have anything further to contribute to the adult recommendation list (I just saw State of Play too) because all my summer movies were geared towards my relentless nine-year old, who wanted to see SHORTS or the guinea pig movie or anything else where people got slimed a lot. lol. Sorry about that.

T U Dawood said...

Definitely check out Lost in Austen. You can watch it out youtube in parts.

Marilyn Brant said...

Sandra~thanks for the advice on *both* films! I've heard good things about State of Play, too, so I'll have to give it a try ;).

Pamala~LOL! I was forced into watching the guinea pig movie also...and that one with the aliens in the attic so, unfortunately (!!), I know just what you mean about "slime."

T U~oh, yes! I *loved* "Lost in Austen"! I saw it first on YouTube and, then, just gave in and bought it. Fun story concept :).

Pamela Cayne said...

I hadn't heard of this version, yet I have been curious about Bride and Prejudice--I seem to be hooked on those wonderful Bollywood films!

Recent films for me are pretty low. We've been rewatching Deadwood and drooling over the characterization and dialogue, and with the new season of TV coming up, it's hard to find time in between Glee and Castle and all of those other scrumptious offerings!

Robin said...

I haven't seen this version. I'm glad you enjoyed it. And I haven't rented a movie in a while - so maybe I'll check this one out! Or Bride & Prejudice - haven't seen that either.

Hope you have great weekend!

Marilyn Brant said...

Pamela~I saw last night's season premiere for Glee and am still really enjoying it. Lots of delightful quirkiness there--plus the musical numbers are hilarious :). Can't wait for Castle to start!!

Robin~Bride & Prejudice is pretty funny--I think you'd enjoy it :). Hope you have a great weekend, too!