Saturday, February 14, 2015

4 Jane Austen Inspired Romantic Movies


“You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope...I have loved none but you.” 

― Jane Austen, Persuasion

More than 200 years after she wrote her novels, the beloved British author is as relevant and iconic as she was years ago. Her stories and characters resonate through generations. 

And as far as movie adaptations, there has been plenty of productions. There is an abundant number of admirers of Jane Austen's writing.

Photo from Wikipedia

Here are the 4 romantic movies that were inspired by Jane Austen. And I consider them my favorites as well.


1. Sense and Sensibility -This 1995 movie directed by Ang Lee and starring Kate Winslet, Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman and Greg Wise is as timeless as ever. Emma Thompson won an Oscar for Adapted Screenplay. 

If you're planning something romantic, watch this movie to received tips. Reading poems, singing duets, preparing a picnic, coming to the rescue---old-fashioned courting beats everything else!

I've watched this movie more times than I can remember. You'll also see Hugh Laurie (from the popular TV show, House M.D.) and Imelda Staunton (more popularly known as Dolores Umbridge) play husband and wife. 

Plus it's nice to see Alan Rickman be a romantic lead. Today's generation might remember him as Professor Snape in the Harry Potter movie franchise. I especially like the scene where he was reading poetry to Kate Winslet who plays Marianne Dashwood.

Alan Rickman and Kate Winslet

Hugh Grant and Emma Thompson

2. Clueless - For those folks who grew up in the 90's, Clueless is one of our top romantic movies. Alicia Silverstone stars as Beverly Hills teen, Cher, who in her quest for true love, ends up in numerous funny situations with her friends and classmates. I wonder how Jane Austen would react if she watched the movie.

Jane Austen's novel, Emma, inspired writer/director Amy Heckerling to make Clueless. Aside from giving us unforgettable taglines such as "As If" and "Whatever", it also made teenagers aware of Jane Austen.

Paul Rudd stars as Cher's romantic interest, Josh. And the late Brittany Murphy also starred as Tai, Cher's social experiment.

Paul Rudd and Alicia Silverstone

The Clueless Cast

3. Pride and Prejudice - One of my favorite lines in this movie that Mr. Darcy delivered, was not even written by Austen, ("My affections and wishes have not changed, but one word from you will silence me forever. If, however, your feelings have changed, I will have to tell you: you have bewitched me, body and soul, and I love, I love, I love you. I never wish to be parted from you from this day on"). 

Onscreen chemistry between Matthew Macfadyen and Keira Knightley
But still, this movie 2005 version is a favorite of mine. The casting was superb! Donald Sutherland as Mr. Bennet was sympathetic as well as indulgent. Jenna Malone as Lydia was so shallow and frivolous that you would want to lock her up in a room. Miranda Pike was effective as the quiet and timid eldest daughter, Jane. Brenda Blethyn as the scheming Mrs. Bennet was a direct contrast to Elizabeth played by Keira Knightley.

The wedding night scene
With her bone structure and waif-like figure, Keira was the perfect actress to play Elizabeth Bennet. The onscreen chemistry between Matthew Macfadyen (who played Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy) and Keira Knightley contributed to the film's success. 


4. Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) -After watching the 1995 TV version of Pride and Prejudice starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle, author Helen Fielding was inspired to base her own Mr. Darcy after Firth's character. A modern Englishwoman on her journey of self-discovery ended up being entangled with two handsome and talented Englishmen. 

The film is a classic British comedy. It had Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth and Hugh Grant in the lead roles. As the only American in a mostly British cast, Renee even got an Oscar nomination for her portrayal as Bridget Jones.

Crazy love triangle


What's your favorite Jane Austen inspired movie?

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