Pride and Prejudice

You probably had to read Jane Austen's classic in high school. I liked it back then, but another two-hour film adaptation of the awkward courtship between Elizabeth Bennet (Keira Knightley) and Mr. Darcy (Matthew MacFadyen) seems a little excessive. How slim on ideas must Hollywood be to warrant another one of these movies (see Bride & Prejudice or Bridget Jones's Diary for recent examples)? But, the studio did make it and I watched it, so here we go.

This Victorian romantic comedy follows the five Bennet sisters and a string of suitors as they all seek to get married. It begins with the arrival of Mr. Bingley (Simon Woods), his sister (Kelly Reilly) and Darcy to the country village that is home to the Bennets. As the film continues, it follows all the ups and downs of Victorian courtship.

Pride takes some liberties with the text, adding a line or two here or there and slimming the characters to broader archetypes than Austen painted. The general picture comes through well, though, and at a length that is watchable for modern movie audiences.

The acting is done well. Knightley's coy smile pulls her character through the film, as does MacFadyen's severity. But the characters are so simple, they sometimes come off like Victorian versions of the seven dwarves. Bingley -- Dopey, Liz -- Snarky, Darcy -- Mopey, Sis Bingley -- Bitchy ... you get the idea.

The movie was a lot better than I expected. It was entertaining, and it left me grinning. Pride will make a good date movie; however, because it's a rather simple story without much flash, it would do just as well as a rental.

Oh, and I'm trying to get on some movie posters so I'm also going to call it a "tour de force." See if that doesn't get me noticed by the studio.

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