Lost in Austen

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Posted April 9, 2009 in The Small Screen

Imagine if you stepped through a hidden door in your bathroom and found yourself in Pride and Prejudice. That’s what happens to Amanda Price (Jemima Rooper) in this British mini-series repackaged here as a feature film. Amanda switches places with heroine Elizabeth Bennet and tries her best to keep Austen’s novel on track without its protagonist. Themes of longing for a simpler time (and then experiencing it), plus the disappointment of reality vs. fantasy are explored to humorous end. Amanda’s Mr. Darcy—played by Elliot Cowan with a meta-eye to Colin Firth’s 1995 BBC version of Darcy—alternately frustrates her and lives up to his fictional romantic hero status. Rather like well-written fan-fiction, Amanda has a bit of “Mary Sue-ness” about her, but isn’t grating, and the difficulty of being a modern woman in the Regency era is adequately addressed (having had a live-in boyfriend is a no-no, for sure!). All in all, Lost In Austen is an enjoyable addition to the Austen-genre to watch if reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies isn’t the right sort of an Austen fix for you. Catch this one to compare to the American feature film rumored to be in production.

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