Monday, May 20, 2013

P&P Challenge: Lost in Austen (2008) with Elliot Cowan and Jemima Rooper

I did not like the first half of the movie Lost in Austen. I wasn't a big fan of the acting at that point, and everything seemed very casual and a little confusing. However, this is one of those times when the end of the movie completely redeems the rest.

Where I agree with Elizabeth's actions in Pride and Prejudice, I disagree with Amanda's actions in Lost in Austen. She encourages candor and excitement wherever she goes, however, and that brings about an acceptable (if somewhat altered) resolution to the story. I think the actors became much more comfortable in their roles as they played the parts out, because I thought the acting fit perfectly toward the conclusion. The girl playing Jane did the best in my opinion, but I have yet to find any interpretation of Austen's novel where Jane was not in the top five. And Mrs. Bennet's role was completely different from the usual! While we always see a side of her that is focused on seeing her daughters married, this one certainly had a more ruthless and straightforward edge to her. At first this rubbed me the wrong way, but I realize it's just another interpretation of how her character might be up close and personal.

The three altered characters I really didn't like were Charlotte Lucas, Georgiana Darcy, and Mr. Collins. While Charlotte takes a stand for herself and sets off to be independent as a missionary, she is basically a miserable creature who has no other choice. She doesn't even seem to have the sensible composure I've come to know and love from the original character. Georgiana Darcy is basically a selfish child. When she doesn't get what she wants, she ruins someone else's life over it? That's not the sweet young woman I remember, although it does provide a happy alternative of character for George Wickham. In Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Collins is a pretentious, bumbling man, but he's not impossible to stand. He's not a romantic choice for a husband, but he is an acceptable one (for Charlotte anyway). In Lost in Austen, Mr. Collins is a disgusting creature. I'm not even sure how to describe him, because it makes me shudder just to think about it. Suffice it to say you would NEVER in a million years want to be his wife, or even the person to whom he's speaking, because he might be touching your hand or looking at you.

Overall, Amanda Price is pretty much what you never would but probably should expect from a modern, dissatisfied Austen fan thrown into the world of Pride and Prejudice in a different way and for a much longer time than she had originally planned. In the end (after the incredibly redeeming second half), I really enjoyed this movie. Because of the difference in the first and second halves, I'm halfway between keeping it and giving it to a friend.


  1. I too have mixed feelings over this movie. So many cute parts, yet so many crazy ones too. So far I haven't added it to my DVD collection. But I might one day. Who knows? It may grow on me? :)

    1. I know what you mean. I actually bought it before seeing it because I couldn't rent it anywhere. Maybe if I decide not to keep it I'll do a giveaway!