I managed to watch 5 new-to-me Austen-related movies/shows this month and figured I’d do a recap of each. My thoughts are rather lengthy, so I’ve split this into two parts.
Scents & Sensibility
This garbage fire adaptation features two sisters who must take any job they can get after their millionaire father is jailed for fraud. Elinor takes a cleaning job at a spa while Marianne is a copy girl (yeah, she just makes copies and puts together reports all day) at an advertising firm, though she also makes scented healing lotions as a hobby. While the two struggle to adjust to “normal life” (though they still have an apartment nicer than any I’ve ever lived in), they find romance and also battle the bitch who blatantly steals Marianne’s potion recipes.
Things this movie has in common with the original: There are sisters named Elinor and Marianne Dashwood (they do have a younger sister Margaret still though she’s just sick with something that requires $3,000 medication and they either never said what it was or I missed it), they fall in love with dudes named Edward and Brandon (and Willoughby I guess), they lose their fortunes, Fran is a bitch to them for no reason, and everyone gets married at the end.
I didn’t think this movie was going to be quality, but I figured it would be cheesy or bad enough to be entertaining – it wasn’t, it’s just regular bad. Elinor struggles to find a job before landing at the one at the salon because she’s been tainted by her dad’s bad rep. I get it, but I was so bored that I also wondered why anyone bothered to interview her, since her name would be on her resume. Then I wondered if it’s even legal for them to have her in for an interview, look at her name and immediately tell her they’re not going to hire her. Marianne on the other hand, lied about her last name and that got me wondering how she wasn’t immediately found out because I figure most states need at least one form of ID to verify who you are, or at the very least for payroll purposes.
Other notes I wrote while watching:
Marianne makes lotion…that heals people?!
Unsuccessful job hunt montage
Brandon isn’t old…sad!
Obvious douchebag is obvious – insincere apology is insincere – suspicious behavior is suspicious
Elinor immediately believes bitch she barely knows over the guy she’s been dating?!
Man fixes car for helpless woman cliché
Teamwork to defeat villains montage
Haha omg evil Fran is Edward’s sister!?
Brandon proposed after like, a month? What is the timeline here!?
The best part of this movie is that after the happy ending there are like little updates on the other characters. It’s just ugly text slapped next to a picture of the actor clearly photoshopped onto a background, like Margaret on a horse farm. The best one was Daddy Dashwood in his obviously fake orange jumpsuit behind obviously fake bars. They definitely just sloppily cut out a picture of the actor’s unhappy face and slapped it in the fake jail picture.
In case you couldn’t tell, I didn’t like this movie and I wouldn’t recommend it, even for diehard fans of Austen adaptations.
Like most mini-series, this did a much better job than any movie adaptation (cough –theonewithPaltrow – cough) of encapsulating the hilarious, flawed and romantic characters that Austen created in her novel.
The casting was 100% perfect in this series. Emma is a delightful mix of silly and sensible and she’s utterly charming. Knightly was equally charming and for once, I found Johnny Lee Miller attractive (it’s got to be the Regency clothing – I totally dig it). Dumbledad (yep, going with it) was low key and his lines were few but he was an excellent background hypochondriac and I was glad to see he wasn’t stealing the show. Seriously, every character was so well-done. Especially the actress who played Mrs. Elton. She’s that woman with the snobby face who played a bitchy sister in some Amanda Bynes movie or something.
I’ve only read the novel once (shame on me, I know) so I can’t speak to the accuracy with any certainty, but it sure did feel accurate! With four episodes of an hourish each, they did a great job and I didn’t feel overwhelmed like I do with Colin Firth rendition of P&P (sacrilege, I know). I’m glad they threw in some kissy bits at the end too – I can’t say it enough, Austen’s novels just need a little smooching!
I loved this so much that even though it’s currently free on Amazon Prime, I bought it for $6.99 anyway. I’ll grant you that $6.99 isn’t all that much, but it’s so rare for me to purchase movies or TV shows, so that’s saying a lot!
If you like Emma, or enjoy Austen adaptations in general, I highly recommend this one!
I’m pleased that Emma was fantastic and if you’ve seen either of these, I’d love to chat about them. Click here for part two!
*images from Google