Avid Austen fans don’t only read her books, sew gowns for balls they will never attend and watch period adaptions over and over again, they indulge their thirst for Jane’s romances by cringing and oohing their way through the modern films. I’ve discovered some pretty good ones.
Lost in Austen
Amanda Price (Jemima Rooper) is a 21st century girl, unsatisfied by a sloppy, noncommittal boyfriend. She finds herself messing with history’s most beloved romance when she discovers Elizabeth Bennet (Gemma Arterton) coming out of a door in her bathroom from another world. The the plot of Pride and Prejudice falls apart as Miss Price tries to get Bingley (Tom Mison) and Jane Bennet (Morven Christie) to stay together despite the constant attentions that Bingley shows to Miss Price. Mr. Darcy (Elliot Cowan) is appropriately disapproving, which contrasts comically with Amanda’s Regency missteps. Amanda not only continually embarrasses herself, she discovers that she might not have known the characters as well as she had thought.
This is Bollywood meets Jane Austen in the twenty-first century. And it’s wild. The classic story is charmingly brought to life through the vibrant colors of India and hilarious tunes of Hindi films. Lalita Bakshi (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) is the Elizabeth Bennet who is resisting being forced into marriage and hating the awful American man, William Darcy (Martin Henderson), who is trying to westernize the the Indian town with his hotels. Unlike these other modern adaptions, the film follows faithfully the story of Pride and Prejudice. But it adds catchy musical numbers like: “No Life, Without Wife.”