Unleashing Mr. Darcy (2016)

On Saint Patrick’s Day, my sister and I wanted to watch As Luck Would Have It, but I needed a Hallmark subscription and signed up for the seven day trial with full intention to end it as soon as the film was over.

Even though I chose not to renew the subscription, I still had the rest of the week to use it and decided to peruse what films and TV shows were being offered. Once such film I saw was Unleashing Mr. Darcy and I figured why not take advantage and use this time to review it.

This movie was terrible! I struggled so much with watching it that I actually had to stop watching it twice as the Elizabeth depicted in this was one of the worst I have ever seen.

The hallmark film is based off a book and while Unleashing Mr. Darcy could be seen as clever; I’d rather it be called Elizabeth Bennet the Incredibly Rude Girl.

Ugh…this girl

The film starts off with Elizabeth Scott (Cindy Busby), a history teacher, being bribed by the father of one of her students who wants his son to get a passing grade so he can continue to win at lacrosse. She refuses most definitely and then decides to spend her birthday doing her favorite thing; attending a dog show with her pup.

At the dog show she spots the very handsome dog show judge, Donovan Darcy (Ryan Pavey), and is smitten. When it is her turn to be judged; Darcy is extremely professional and this upsets Elizabeth. She’s mad that he didn’t fawn over her or “at least smile” as she tells him.

Yes, she’s incredibly rude to a judge who is currently judging her dog. She’s astonishingly unprofessional and rude. She then goes to her sister and friend and talks bad about Darcy, even though he did nothing wrong.

Elizabeth wins the dog show and instead of being pleased that Darcy is a professional and judged her on her dog’s merits than her terrible rudeness, she continues to talk about how terrible he is, when he did nothing to her.

Wow!

Afterwards they go out to celebrate Elizabeth’s birthday when it just so happens Darcy is eating there too with his sister. He is polite and says hello; along with introducing his sister, Zara. Zara makes a joke about her brother being important and her being a little person and Elizabeth is incredibly rude again, to his face and in front of everyone!

Her sister and family friend all are in shock, but Elizabeth defends her rudeness claiming he had it coming and that even his sister doesn’t like him. Ugh I had to stop watching as I really wanted to smack this girl.

Seriously!

After a day I picked up the film and Elizabeth gets accused of asking the parent for a bribe (the parent lying about what really happened) and is suspended. She is later let go and without anything else to do, she takes up her friend’s offer to be a dog handler and train her dogs. She moves to New York City to stay with the family friend, and moves right across the street from Darcy.

When she sees Darcy she continues to be incredibly rude to him for absolutely no reason at all and he remains classy and polite to her; although I don’t know why as she doesn’t deserve it.

Darcy’s dog is having puppies and he invites Elizabeth to see them. She goes over but he has been called away with a work emergency (she being very rude about it) and meets Darcy’s aunt and “supposed fiancé” (his aunt’s choice). Darcy’s aunt is rude but Caroline isn’t that terrible, I would rather she date Darcy than the Elizabeth featured in this film.

I know sacrilege, but I can’t help it, this Elizabeth is terrible.

Later Elizabeth gets word that the father that accused her of bribery, is trying to sue her. She is very upset over it all and goes for a walk with her dog. She runs into Darcy who is polite, asking her about her day and again she is incredibly rude, yelling at him and accusing him of never having a hard day and having no real problems. Mr. Darcy is a gentleman and ignores the terrible behavior; and for some reason that I cannot understand falls for her.

Someone get this boy some help.

Elizabeth later finds out from her friend that Darcy’s “perfect life” (her preconceived notions/prejudices) is not so perfect after all as Darcy is an orphan and he was left in charge of his sister even though she was very young and he was barely out of high school. He really fought to have her as he didn’t want them to be separated as he didn’t want Zara to lose another person in her life. Yeah feel bad Elizabeth, feel bad.

Again I had to take a break as she was just so infuriating. It turns out Elizabeth is fantastic at dog showing and winning ribbon after ribbon. Her friend continues to try and match Darcy and Elizabeth up, constantly trying to find a way to throw them together, etc.

In the end they have their happily ever after but I hated this film. Elizabeth was rude and immature; having none of the warmth or wit that causes viewers to admire her. Darcy was perfectly fine and I didn’t understand her dislike as nothing he did merited this “disgust or frustration.” He never insulted her or did anything to deserve this ire.

The only good part of the film was the Henry and Jenna/Mr. Bingley and Jane scenes as they were adorable. The problem was there wasn’t enough of them.

Ending remark:

For more hallmark Jane Austen film reviews, go to Christmas at Pemberley Manor (2018)

For more films based on Jane Austen, go to Pup Fiction: Wishbone (1997) or How I’m Trying to Brainwash My Six Year Old Niece Into Liking Jane Austen (and Wishbone)

For more Jane Austen film variations, go to I Watched Austenland (2013) With My 14 Year Old Niece

For more Pride and Prejudice, go to Marrying Mr. Darcy Card Game Undead Expansion Pack Review

For more Pride and Prejudice variations, go to Longbourn’s Songbird