Pride & Prejudice: A New Musical

So I was on instagram, like always these days, and someone shared in their stories that Streaming Musicals was going to do a free live streaming film premiere of the new production of Pride and Prejudice: A New Musical. 

Or watch it!

I had seen it shared on facebook, I even shared it myself, but hadn’t really decided if I was going to watch it or not. However, after seeing everyone sharing about how much they enjoyed the virtual tea conference that occurred the day before, and that I couldn’t go to as I’m still going into work, I was like I’m not missing out again-I’m watching it.

I love musicals, in fact I studied drama in high school and attended a college prep/art school.

My senior project for my drama class was we had to find a musical, budget it, design costumes, set, etc-and create a look book with our findings. I of course being a Jane Austen fan actually chose a Pride and Prejudice musical, although that one was called, First ImpressionsSo not only did I want to see this because I love Jane Austen, but I was excited to see how this compared to the 1959 musical.

Hmmm…

So at 7 o’clock PST I got my pot of tea, computer, notebook, and sat down to watch.

The actual production was performed and filmed at Palo Alto’s TheatreWorks in Silicon Valley, where it ran December 4-January 4. Book, music, and lyrics were written by Paul Gordon, and of course Jane Austen.

It was really interesting watching it this way. I know I appreciated it as I may live in California but that does’t mean I have the time or money to see it live, so even though COVID-19 is a serious downer, I’m thankful it gave someone like me this chance to be a part and view this musical.

Hosts:

Before the production started we were hosted by three ladies, who unfortunately I only have two names, Beth Leavel and Julie James. They gave a little preshow talk, but I didn’t think it was as well done as Hillari DeSchane’s talk before the Mansfield Park Opera. I guess they thought that most people would already know the story, but I still think it would have been wise to have a quick summary of the book, the time period, and place for anyone who didn’t.

Hmm…

One lady described the summary of Pride and Prejudice as being a boy is rude to a girl, tries to ask her out and she refuses, but then she finds out he is rich and wants to be with him.

What are you talking about?

That really bothered me as it is 100% inaccurate. They knew from the beginning he was rich, richer than Mr. Bingley in fact, and it wasn’t seeing the house that changed her mind so much as seeing how he acted at Pemberley and how the servants praised him.

But they did have very high energy though, and when they returned at intermission they hosted the question and answer session better.

Quick Summary:

The story is really about a mother who wants to marry her five daughters as she constantly worries that her husband will die and leave her and her daughters with little to live on (her husband’s estate is entailed and neither person was very good at saving). She tries to match them up with any eligible men whether or not they want it.

 Netherfield Park is let and with it comes single and wealthy Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy. Mr. Bingley falls for the eldest daughter, Jane Bennet, and she falls for him. No ones tries to win Mr. Darcy as though he is rich, he is very proud looking. Elizabeth overhears him make a unflattering remark about her and she is extremely angry.

Her sister goes to visit Mr. Bingley’s sister, Miss Caroline Bingley, and grows ill after being caught out in the rain. Elizabeth goes to stay and take care of her sister, also spending time with the Bingleys and Mr. Darcy.

Later, Elizabeth meets a man, Mr. Wickham, who says he grew up with Mr. Darcy and shares how Darcy kept his inheritance, forcing Wickham to join the military instead of the church. Elizabeth is pleased to have another reason to dislike Darcy, besides her wounded pride, and Wickham spreads the story throughout the community.

Mr. Bennet’s cousin Mr. Collins, who will inherit their home, comes to visit and plans to ask one of the Bennet girls to marry him. Mr. Bingley holds a ball, and Elizabeth hopes to dance with Mr. Wickham, but he doesn’t come and she ends up dancing with Mr. Darcy. Her siblings also are very embarrassing and her mother.

So embarrassed

Mr. Collins asks Elizabeth to marry him, and she refuses him. He becomes hurt and angry and instead marries her best friend Charlotte Lucas. Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley leave with no engagement to Jane. Later Elizabeth visits Charlotte and meets Mr. Darcy’s aunt and Mr. Collins patron, Lady Catherine de Bourgh. There she discovers from Mr. Darcy’s cousin that Darcy was the one who convinced Bingley not to ask Jane to marry him. Mr. Darcy asks Elizabeth to marry him, which surprises her and she refuses him.

Later Mr. Darcy gives Elizabeth a letter in which he shares why he encouraged his friend to refuse Jane and the true story of what happened with Mr. Wickham, that he spent his inheritance and when Darcy refused to give him more, Wickham goes after his fifteen year old sister. She knows this is true as what he shares is something no one would want to ever come to light. But after reading the letter, Elizabeth is even more confused. How could she be such a bad judge of character? She and her aunt and uncle Gardiner take a walking tour and stop at Pemberley, where they are surprised by Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth sees another side of him.

But then her younger sister, Lydia, makes a disastrous mistake by running off with Mr. Wickham. Will this destroy her family? Will this end her chance with Mr. Darcy?

Costumes:

The one costume I didn’t like was Elizabeth’s outfit.

From left to right: Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Mr. Collins, Kitty, and Lydia.

So I really like the 1800s, especially the West, and one thing I read years ago that has never left my mind is that one way to tell if a Western film is accurate or not is whether or not the cowboys wear suspenders or belts. Belt loops were not created until the 1920s (for men and women), cowboys/cowpokes copyed the Chilean huaso of wearing sashes or suspenders. Some people wore belts, like soldiers, but they were often more ornamental and overlaid outfits not sitting in belt loops. So all I could do was look at this skirt and see those belt loops which were completely inaccurate to the time period. It probably was just an oversight by the costume designer, and I don’t know if anyone else noticed it, but I didn’t like it.

Although I do like the way they did her quick changes. Elizabeth is in every scene and wears the same outfit throughout the whole first act, but with other scenes adds a ribbon at her waist, a vest, and a jacket. I liked this as I had the same idea when I did my project although I did not care for the vest the put her in as it did not match.

Elizabeth Bennet, Colonel Fitzwilliam, Mr. Darcy, Lady Catherine, Mr. Collins, Mr. Bingley, and Charlotte Lucas.

But I love what she wears in the second act. That dress was so cute!

I lovd Mr. Darcy’s costumes, but you know me:

This should say breeches instead of pants, but I didn’t write this so it gets a pass. It was an instagram answer from a question I asked my followers.

But enough about that, let’s move on to the musical.

Pride & Prejudice: A New Musical

Act I

The style of music reminded me a lot of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s choice with Jesus Christ Super Star. In that production we have an ancient text juxtaposed with rock songs, while in this we have a regency story paired with pop. I really enjoyed it and the music as I think they captured the heart of the novel and were extremely enjoyable. Many of them I could see purchasing and downloading and listening to over and over again.

So I wish I had a book to go off, but I don’t so I don’t know what every song is called. But we start off the musical with Elizabeth Bennet (Mary Mattison) quoting the first line of Pride and Prejudice:

Then she and Charlotte Lucas then sing about “happiness in marriage.” In this Elizabeth isn’t looking for a man, in fact she has a strong leave me alone vibe, while Charlotte (played by Dani Marcus) was spot on in counseling her. I felt Marcus completely captured the character of Charlotte Lucas.

I really enjoyed Mattison’s singing and I think she did a wonderful job with the character of Elizabeth, although Gordon did make a few changes to Elizabeth. As said above, Elizabeth doesn’t want to get married and she doesn’t want a man (which isn’t what happens in the book as in the novel she isn’t against marriage, but just isn’t throwing herself at men nor is she interested in Mr. Collins.) In fact this sentiment is more similar to Emma Woodhouse..

At first I was a little upset at the change, but as I continued watching the musical I think it served well to enforce Elizabeth’s headstrong and stubborn side. Elizabeth believes what she wants and won’t listen to others, like Charlotte. Having her be so staunch in her beliefs mimics the way she acts about Darcy, believing Mr. Wickham and never considering there could be another side to the story, or thinking about the fact she believes this man with no proof. My interpretation of this was that one should be film in their beliefs, but at the same time not let their headstrong or stubborn ways blind them. In the end Elizabeth acknowledges that it is not a truth universally acknowledged that a man with fortune is in want of a wife or that every woman wants to marry, but to keep your heart open.

Elizabeth is also the narrator of the musical, and introduces her family-her father Mr. Bennet, mother Mrs. Bennet, and four sisters-Jane, Mary, Kitty, and Lydia. I also enjoyed the tizzy Mrs. Bennet is constantly in as she worries over their future and felt that Heather Orth truly captured the character-and Gordon was perfect in the lines he gave her.

“Mrs. Bennet: None of my five daughters will be old maids if I can help it…even you Mary.

I also enjoyed Tara Kostmayer’s portrayal of Lydia as silly, flirty, and needing to be the center of attention. And Gordon summed up her character very nicely in this:

“Elizabeth Bennet: Lydia is just 15.

Jane Bennet: Going on 25.

Mr. Bennet: In all but wisdom.”

I also loved Melissa Wolfklain as Mary Bennet. She was just so droll and perfect.

Elizabeth sings a song about being headstrong that I enjoyed, but the whole time I kept thinking of Elizabeth: Obstinate Headstrong GirlIf you need something new to read you should definitely check it out.

So after being introduced to the Bennet family we have the ball where we meet Mr. Bingley (Travis Leland), Miss Caroline Bingley (Monique Hafen Adams), and Mr. Darcy (Justin Mortelliti). I really liked the way Gordon and the actors interpreted these characters. Mr. Bingley is extremely tongue-tied and often has trouble relaying how he feels relying heavily on Darcy. This worked well to show why Darcy feels the need to protect his sweet, friend (treating him very similar to how he treats Georgiana) and why Bingley so heavily values on Darcy’s judgement over his own.

Bingley and Jane sing a song about their love and it is so cute. They both sing about how they like each other and want to tell each other, but when they try to talk they are too tongue tied and say hardly anything. It was absolutely adorable and both Leland as Bingley and Sharon Rietkerk as Jane Bennet were just perfect. I think this song really captured what Austen wrote:

“…in spite of his [Mr. Bingley] being a lover, Elizabeth really believed all his expectations of felicity to be rationally founded, because they had for basis the excellent understanding, and super-excellent disposition of Jane, and a general similarity of feeling and taste between her [Jane] and himself [Mr. Bingly].”

-Pride and Prejudice, Chapter 55

Adams as Caroline was also perfect as she was just the right amount of mean and snobby-she made the friendliest words sound like a slap in the face. Leland and Adams worked well off each other as Mr. and Miss Bingley. They were like two sides of the same coin-he geniality, kindness, optimism, glee; she rude, snobby, sarcastic, and cold.

“Mr. Bingley: I’m enjoying myself immensely.

Caroline Bingley: Yes brother, but that’s why you have me.”

But out of all the characters, my favorite was Mortelliti as Mr. Darcy.

Mr. Bingley, Mr. Darcy, and Miss Bingley.

One thing I really, really enjoyed about this musical was while it is narrated and told from Elizabeth, every song that Mr. Darcy has gives us a view into who he is. I think this worked for this medium as a musical and stage production you aren’t given the time and subtly a movie has as you can’t concentrate on something small, but have to make sure that no matter the seats they can witness what is happening. With having the songs show Darcy’s point of view and feelings alongside Elizabeth’s it works in with the themes of first impressions/pride and prejudice, and gives it a kind of his story/her story dynamic.

I really enjoyed this interpretation because even though we see how Darcy feels about Elizabeth throughout, it doesn’t take away from what Austen wrote and the realizations they have after the proposal and his letter (Darcy seeing how he presents himself and that he’s not right about everything [Jane + Bingley], and his decision to change; nor does it take away from Elizabeth realizing that she is not right about everything [Wickham + Darcy] and that she was judgmental because she was wounded, she changing as well.) Having Darcy’s songs just allows us see the two character’s journeys from the beginning. The title of the musical is a “new” musical so it seems fitting for Gordon to try a different interpretation.

Mr. Darcy’s first song is about being separated from the others, about keeping away from these people and to not fall for anyone. It is really interesting as the words are juxtapositioned with a soft melody, one that could easily be a love song. I personally believe that when Mr. Darcy made that comment about Elizabeth being not tolerable enough for him it was more trying to get Bingley to leave him alone as he didn’t want to dance or be there. Then later when she visits her sister, he pays attention to her and likes her-not realizing she heard his earlier comment. But this particular song and the music almost sounds to me as if Gordon is saying he did see her and is trying to convince himself to stay away, the melody being a seed of romance, the not tolerable being him trying to convince himself to not like. It is an interesting point and feel free to comment below what you think.

After Jane visits and grows ill, Elizabeth comes to stay and help. One of the best scenes was the accomplished woman and the turn about the room scene. In this Mortelliti did some brooding, but when he mentions their reasons for walking about he says it more flirtatious. We then have Caroline trying to bully Elizabeth and have Darcy find her boring. After Darcy shares his idea of an accomplished lady he says this while looking right at Elizabeth:

“All this she must possess,” added Darcy, “and to all this she must yet add something more substantial, in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading.”

It is hilarious how Elizabeth drops the book like it is on fire and immediately takes it as a negative.

And of course spending this time with Elizabeth Darcy has fallen for her. He sings a song about it and I loved when he belted out how much he was in love with her. I also really loved this line:

“Oh dear God…must I like her eyes. Oh, I’m in so much trouble.

I like your eyes and d***it,  it’s alarming.”

I thought this perfectly captured how much he didn’t want to like her, it was the foundation of his future proposal, and I just all around enjoyed this song, best song so far.

Mr. Collins is introduced and Brian Herndon was fantastically pompous. He just was just so ugh-there aren’t any other words to describe him. And in my book if you don’t feel ugh when you see a portrayal of Mr. Collins than they are not doing it right. His song is just so awfully perfect as he sings about the sisters being this abundance of riches, Mary and Kitty’s face express exactly how I felt listening to it.

From left to right: Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Mr. Collins, Kitty, and Lydia.

This song and the acting was great, but the person who stole the stage in it again was Melissa Wolfklain as Mary Bennet. There is a part where they sing Mary should be the one and her face is like Lord please, no anything but that-I’ll join a convent, I’ll go help lepers, just please no Mr. Collins. And later she uses a book to try and shield herself from his view.

Later the girls are out and run into Lydia and Kitty’s friends, Captain Denny (Sean Fenton) and a new face Mr. Wickham (Taylor Crousore). Everyone is pleased to run into the handsome and genial men…except Mary. In her droll and moralizing tone she states:

“Mary Bennet: I find war to be very upsetting.”

Melissa Wolfklain seriously just killed it as Mary Bennet. She was hilarious and perfect.

Mr. Darcy comes upon them and I love the staging of him and Wickham. Both on opposite sides and staring each other down like two gunslingers. With Bingley in the middle.

Mr. Bingley tries to flirt with Jane and instead it comes out horribley

“Mr. Bingley: Good afternoon Miss Bennet. You look…thirsty.

Jane Bennet: [Confused but really likes Mr. Bingley]…I am thirsty.”

They end up leaving Mr. Wickham and Elizabeth together and Mr. Wckham shares about Mr. Darcy being cruel to him. I liked Crousore’s and Gordon’s interpretation and how Wickham tests the waters with Elizabeth, feeling out what Elizabeth thinks of Darcy, and after hearing she can’t stand him then promptly upends his sob story. He sings a ballad about how he’d been wronged, (with the perfect level of pretend humbleness and smaryness) and his heartbreak to know being forced to live the life of a soldier instead of a clergyman. I really liked this line:

“I speak my truth to you”

Key word there my, my truth as in I’m lying.

The ball at Netherfield comes and Elizabeth is disappointed to be dancing with Darcy rather than Wickham. I really enjoyed the interaction between the two as Darcy is trying so, so, so, so, hard to flirt with her but everything he says Elizabeth takes as an insult. It was hilarious as he not overt in his attentions, but you can tell he is trying to compliment her but each time Elizabeth assumes he is making fun of her.

Again I really enjoy how much time we spend with Darcy and him sharing how he feels. It works really well in this format and makes a stronger show. Plus I like that they are trying to distinguish it from other adaptions, along with keeping pieces that people love from the previous ones.

After the ball Mr. Collins tries to propose to Elizabeth and when she hears he wants to have a private word with her I love how she immediately picks up a cup of tea. She’s all-I need tea if I’m gonna get through this.

The two sing a song with Mr.Collins going on about his proposal completely ignoring Elizabeth’s refusals. She rebuttals with the perfect blend of anger and good manners, and I like her final shove at the end that helps her words get through his head.

After that Mr. Collins marries Charlotte and the  Bingleys & Darcy leave Netherfield.  Elizabeth tries to comfort Jane, but Jane insists that that Mr. Bingley was just an acquaintance and she is fine.  Jane’s song is the perfect mix of beatiful and sad as she tries to convince herself she doesn’t love him but isn’t fooling anyone as in every note we can feel the heartbreak. It was a fantastic performance.

We then find ourselves with the Collins, Darcy, Colonel Fitzwilliam, and Bingley at Lady Catherine’s home. Now I know why they were there as I’ve read the book, but it was a bit weird they didn’t have an introduction as to who she was or why Elizabeth was visting. However, my thoughts didn’t rest on that long as Lucinda Hitchcock Cone was perfect as Lady Catherine as she was just relentless in grilling Elizabeth. I really enjoyed how Mortelilti as Darcy has a smirk the whole time, as if he was just enjoying watching Elizabeth hold her own against Lady Catherine. Mr. Bingley just looks uncomfortable and as if he wants to leave, but is afraid to as Lady Catherine might turn on him, just trying to blend into the furniture.

In this Colonel Fitzwilliam is not Darcy’s cousin but is introduced as his friend, why the change I don’t know.

Oh, well.

Lady Catherine sings her song and it is one of the most egotistical songs I have heard, like levels of Ratigan’s song in The Great Mouse Detective or Gaston’s in Beauty and the Beast.

Elizabeth Bennet, Colonel Fitzwilliam, Mr. Darcy, Lady Catherine, Mr. Collins, Mr. Bingley, and Charlotte Lucas.

I love how Elizabeth and Lady Catherine share that same stare of Death that Darcy and Wickham did earlier when they do a song battle:

And right in the middle of their “song battle” Mr. Darcy laughs and all pause and stare daggers at him.

I should not have laughed.

Later Elizabeth and Colonel Fitzwilliam are talking and he relays that Mr. Darcy is the reason Bingley left and didn’t propose to Jane. She is furious and sings a song about what kind of man could do this-but every trait and action she uses to describe Darcy perfectly applies to how she has been toward Darcy. This was very interesting as I’ve never thought of them as being the same, but in this production they are quite similar in their personality and the way they are perceived by others; except Elizabeth is a extrovert while Darcy an introvert.

Hmmm…

Darcy of course doesn’t hear her song and thinks it is the perfect time to propose, and again the comedic timing in this is just perfect. And while we are not surprised at Darcy’s feelings I love how both he and Elizabeth are

“Mr. Darcy: “In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.

Elizabeth: [Completely shocked] You do?

Mr. Darcy: [Utterly baffled] I do?!

I could not stop laughing, that is comedic gold. Neither one can figure it out and he is so flabbergasted when proposing.Elizabeth of course objects and I love how he continues to be baffled and confused at her statements

Then Morteletti as Darcy sings and I loved this song. Morteletti gave it the perfect blend of anger, pain, and heartbreak. He runs the gamut of emotions. He has a great voice and every time he sings Miss Bennet you can just feel his heartache as he holds the note. Elizabeth is on the other side of the stage and sings as well, and you can feel their anguish. I know some people might find it as a cliche but I am a sucker for things like that.

End Act I

Intermission:

With intermission I put my kettle on the stove,

Got the snacks…and settled down to listen to the talk with the cast and Paul Gordon.

So they had a few questions for the cast and crew and it was really interesting to see them this way as you saw a view into their home.

Paul Gordon shared that he read Pride and Prejudice and watched many film adaptions before he wrote the musical. He said that instead of doing how he did with other Austen musicals, he decides to write the songs the way he felt, and that’s why they came out more pop-like.

One question to Taylor Crousore struck me as strange, as they asked him how it felt to play “Mr. Wickham, a very misunderstood character.”

Huh?

I don’t think Wickham is misunderstood, I think he is extremely clear in what he does and wants. Crousore, however, brought up an excellent point about the character. He shared how crucial Wickham is to the story, I mean he is the reason why Elizabeth’s dislike of Darcy is so high, but also the reason she realizes she was wrong about him, and in the end he brings them back together. Without him Elizabeth probably would have forgiven Darcy sooner and might not have refused him when he proposed-but then on the flip side without Wickhim, she and Darcy might not have gotten together. We will never know!

I didn’t take as much notes on intermission as I was getting the tea + snacks ready, and before I knew it, it was time for the second act.

Pride & Prejudice: A New Musical

Act II

We start off with Darcy giving Elizabeth his letter, having had to write his feelings down as he wasn’t able to say it. Aw, poor Darcy.

I really enjoyed this scene as Elizabeth reads it angry and talking back to Darcy’s words, only to stop when she gets to why Darcy doesn’t like Wickham. It was done extremely well as Elizabeth is hurt and angry over what happened with her beloved sister Jane and Wickham, but then she softens when Darcy talks of his beloved sister.

Darcy’s song made me think of an ’80s power ballad, about his sister and the part when he belts out “she was fifteen”, you can really hear his heartbreak. Mortelliti was perfect in this as you could feel the love he had for his sister, the guilt he has for not protecting her better, and the anguish he shares over someone hurting his sister that he raised as a daughter (they are many years apart and his dad died when she was so young).

I’m crying!

I loved the duality of the song as Darcy sings softly, still in love with Elizabeth while Elizabeth is loud and harsh as she is angry-but then she softens when she reads of Darcy’s sister.

Elizabeth returns home and learns of Lydia’s plans of going off to Brighton. Jane has a song that she sings as they share each other’s news and their relationship is so adorable. I like how Elizabeth protects her sister, mimicking how Darcy protects his.

Before Lydia and the soldiers leave, Wickham and Denny stop by and say goodbye. I loved the exchange between Elizabth and Wickham as she lets him know she knows the truth and won’t take any of his charm. Wickham is so baffled as what to say or do, he ultimately just leaves. Hilarious!

Elizabeth is invited to go on a walking tour with her Aunt and Uncle Gardiner and they end up at Pemberley, which gets its own song. I’m glad it does as it needed to and if it hadn’t I would be solely disappointed.

“Cast: Pemberley we love you tenderly.”

I’m so happy they said that this would be on the site forever. Then all of you who missed it can have another chance to watch, or rewatch it.

Elizabeth listens to the  servants talk about Darcy, and that combined with the letter leaves her puzzled as to who is Darcy. I really enjoyed this song, as I did with all of them and I encourage you to purchase them and sing while quarantined.

As Elizabeth sings Darcy coms up behind her, surprising her. It is such a cute scene I wish I had been fast enough to screenshot it.

Elizabeth is embarrassed to be there as they didn’t realize that he was coming home.

“Mr. Darcy: I find the intrusion rather agreeable.”

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOhhhhhhhh!!!!!! He is so cute!

So while this Darcy isn’t as broody as other depictions, you still see a change in him as he realized how he was being seen by others and becomes much more open. It is amazing what a difference in body language, and looking back there were sublte difference throughout the musical in every scene with him. They are so cute together, *Swoon*. 

How sweet!

He introduces Elizabeth to his sister Georgiana, and it is so adorable.

“Georgiana Darcy: It is a pleasure to meet you. My brother speaks of you so often!

Elizabeth Darcy: [Surprised] Does he?

Mr. Darcy [Definitely] He does!”

AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!! So cute!

How sweet!

Miss Bingley is back and snobby and sarcastic as ever. Monique Hafen Adams, you are perfect at it. Mr. Bingley is there as well and it is so obvious he is trying to grill her about any news of Jane.

Darcy was just so perfect- I gushed so much while I was watching this scene that I accidentally wrote over what I wrote and I now cannot decipher it, except that Justin Mortelliti and Paul Gordon did this perfectly and I think Jane Austen would be proud.

Elizabeth receives Jane’s letter about Lydia and then Darcy finds out he is angry. I liked the way Mortelliti portrayed it and how you can see how upset he is and the guilt he feels-taking on the blame that another 15 year old and another family has to go through this. He quickly leaves, running off to find them.

But Elizabeth misunderstands it, thinking that it is directed at her, that he is ashamed and it is so sad as she has lost him. She has finally admitted it and realizes she does care for him and wants to be with him. It is a powerful song!

Back at home it is a mess. Mary tries to be helpful, but her moralizing is horrid and anything but soothing. Mrs. Bennet is going to pieces and if they had a play with just the two of them I would love it. They would be a screwball comedy team for sure.

Mr. Bennet returns:

“Mrs. Bennet: You look miserable.

Kitty: Papa always looks miserable.”

So usually in this scene Mr. Bennet threatens Kitty with no trips, no going out, being grounded until 50 years of age, etc. But instead of Chanel Tilghman playing Kitty as whining and throwing a tantrum at how unfair it is-Tilghman just looks at her father and laughs it off. I really loved that as Mr. Bennet is so curmudgeonly throughout the play that I could see her not taking him serious, much better than her wailing.

Lydia returns with Wickham and he tells everyone about how wonderful and happy he is to be married. Wow, Crousore is a talented actor, I almost believed him. He is so smarmy and slimy I just want to punch him in the face, perfect! In my book you are not a good Wickham unless you make me want to sock you.

Lydia let’s it slip that Darcy was at the wedding, and Elizabeth is further puzzled. Who is Darcy? She was so sure who she knew his character, but now she does not know. She muses over what Lydia said…

“Elizabeth Bennet: [Singing] And he didn’t want it known…”

You know, that speaks really well of a person’s character when they do something extremely kind and don’t want it known. Darcy didn’t want to do this for Lydia he wanted to do it for Elizabeth and he never wanted her to know, he never wanted her to think he was trying to bribe her affections, or buy them back.

“Elizabeth Bennet: Is it too late to tell you…”

Aw, so heartbreakingly sad. So perfect!

Bingley returns and all pretend they don’t care but the do. I can see pieces of the other films in this, such as the hustle and bustle they have when Bingley is coming is like Pride and Prejudice (2005).

Mr. Bingley is so shy and tongue twisted, you once again see why Mr. Darcy wants to help him and protect him. He sings about how much he loves Jane and it is just so gosh darn adorable. Now if only you could just tell her that.

He and Darcy leave, but then Bingley gets his strength back and returns.

“Jane Bennet: Wonderful to see you again and so soon…after your last visit.”

Aw, they are so cute!!!

Come on Bingley!!! Just say it already!

And then he does! He finally sings all his feelings!! Yay! Aw, so cute!!!

After that happiness we have the horror. The carriage is coming…DUN, DUN, DUN! Lady Catherine!

She and Elizabeth have another song battle and every word that comes out of Lady Catherine is dripping with disdain. Elizabeth’s song is a verbal beatdown of Lady C. and it was perfect.

The interaction after this of Darcy and Elizabeth is one of my favorites, Darcy is practicing what to say to Elizabeth, and it is soooooo cute. It is the scene I have always wanted and ever realized it.

When he and Elizabeth have a chance to talk and he hears that her feelings have changed, oh the hope in his voice. I love it!!! My favorite part is they are seprated by a stream and Darcy moves to her…

But then he waits, letting Elizabeth make the final step-everything is in her court, he doesn’t want to push her, he doesn’t want to influence her, he wants her to decide based on her heart and feelings. And when she moves in they kiss! So cute and their song! So adorable! So romantic. He waits for her to take the “leap” to him ad then after they cross over together.

Soooo cute!!!!

And they take the leap over the stream together! Awwwwwwww! It was so adorable and gosh darn romantic and aw! Aw! I LOVE IT!

At the end we have a review of the couples as as it ends I’m sad it is over.

So I just LOVED it! I thought it was amazing and cute and adorable! The music was fantastic and I think you all should watch it if you haven’t, and if you have-it is definitely worth another rewatch. Go here to watch it.

For more Pride & Prejudice, go to Elizabeth-Obstinate Headstrong Girl: Part II, Other Eras

For more Jane Austen stage productions, go to Modesto Jane Con: Opera Modesto Presents Mansfield Park

For more Jane Austen adaptions, go to Elizabeth-Obstinate Headstrong Girl: Part I, The Regency

Elizabeth-Obstinate Headstrong Girl: Part II, Other Eras

Elizabeth: Obstinate Headstrong Girl edited by Christina Boyd

So first of all-let me apologize.

I have been calling this book by the wrong title this WHOLE time. This book is ELIZABETH: Obstinate Headstrong Girl. Like I don’t how I missed that. I mean “Elizabeth” is in huge giant letters.

I will be fixing that in the other post. I…I don’t have any words…

I don’t know what to say…

So moving on from my faux pas:

Hurry!

Elizabeth Bennet

Whether or not she is you favorite character or Austen heroine: we all love her. After all, who can resist her wit and confidence?

Now some people may think, hasn’t there been enough written about her? What else could be said? Does she need an anthology? Well I think Meg Ryan answers that question perfectly:

Yes, Elizabeth is a fantastic and complex character and Christina Boyd, Elizabeth Adams, Karen M. Cox, J. Marie Croft, Amy D’Orazio, Leigh Dreyer, Jenetta James, Christina Morland, Beau North, and Joana Starnes have written 10 different stories on her.

In the last post, I reviewed the five stories that are set in the Regency time period; whether before the novel, after the novel, or taking a new path from some point in the story. They were five amazing and different stories that really captured the spirit of Elizabeth and the theme of “obstinate headstrong girl”-I  think Jane Austen would be proud.

This post is going to be on the five stories that are set in different time periods. Usually I review this from the farthest back in time to the most recent, but we are switching it up a bit. This time we are starting with the most recent time period and working our way backwards as I promised Christina Boyd that her story would be last. So without further intro, buckle up in your delorean:

Because here we go:

 

The Last Blind Date by Leigh Dreyer

Circa: Present Day

Elizabeth is a grad student at University of Oklahoma, waitressing at Bennets to put herself through college. Others who work there are her best friends Jane and Charlotte.

Friendship goals!

And an odd guy, Bill Collins also works there. Collins keeps asking her out but Elizabeth turns him down each time.

For the thousandth time

But she is going on a date tonight. Her best friend Jane and her boyfriend Charles have set Elizabeth up on another blind date.

Change Highbury to college.

This time it is with Will Darcy, CEO of Pember Oil and Charles’ best friend from boarding school. Elizabeth fought it, but finally agreed to go on this date, her final blind date (especially as they are seeing her favorite football team.)

Ugh. This is the last one.

The day comes and Elizabeth has no idea what yo wear so of course:

While they get her ready, Elizabeth’s friends encourage her to be not so obstinate and headstrong that she lets her preconceived notions paint a picture of who the guy is when they haven’t even met. Already by looking at his photo and hearing about his business Elizabeth has assumed he is a player, workaholic, emotionally stunted, a jerk, etc.

Here friends remind her of some other quick judgments she has made in the past about men.

After they leave, Elizabeth straightens up her house and takes out the garbage. While doing so-she overhears her date complaining about the blind date. Elizabeth is mad, understandable, but at the same time-weren’t you just doing that with your friends a little while ago?

Darcy comes to her door and he has a slight stutter. At first I thought maybe it was surprise, but after I realized it was a stutter and of course this popped in my head:

I mean Mr. Darcy + Colin Firth + Stutter = The King’s Speech. I’m I the only one? Anyways, Elizabeth is surprised that Darcy isn’t as awful as she thought he was, and is trying to be angry with him still-but has a hard time as they have prime seats for football, and Elizabeth is a giant football fan! Plus Darcy knows zero about football and isn’t intimidated in having her tell him what it is all about.

The two begin to talk, and football is a game where something can happen and turn the whole game in an instant. Will Darcy and Elizabeth come out a team? Or will their misunderstandings cause further issues?

Hmmm…

So I like that this book was set with Elizabeth in college as I haven’t read too many Pride and Prejudice retellings set in college. Usually Elizabeth and Darcy are in high school or out of college. This was a new view.

The other thing I thought was interesting was to have Darcy have a speech impediment. It is one author’s interpretation of the story but I think that adds to his quiet stoicism, although in this he isn’t so broody-it turns out that he is actually shy and used to not saying much.

It was a cute story and they were very cute together. Darcy is so bashful and sweet.

Resistive Currents by Karen M. Cox

Circa: 1980

I love the ’80s-film, music, clothes. When I was reading this I was trying to imagine them in full ’80s clothes. And you know what that means-’80s cosplay of Elizabeth Bennet is a go!

Beth Bennet is studying engineering at Fordyce University, and you know that’s a hard field-especially in 1980…especially for a woman.

Yes, Elizabeth has to deal with a lot of crap from guys mostly as she has to work harder to prove herself.

The story starts off with Beth on break and attending a funeral for her great grandmother, Elizabeth Alton Gardiner. There they see other family members and Beth’s father tries to show off Beth’s accomplishments to everyone. It’s nice that he is proud of her, but at the same time it is upsetting. Is she going to be living her life for that? Or will she be able to do her own thing? That really resonated with me, and I think it will with other readers.

I think this is an extremely on point mark as well-as I think we can all agree that Mr. and Mrs. Bennet are not the best example of a good marriage or good parenting. Most people talk about how Elizabeth and her father are close-he finds her the only one worth talking to- but at the same time while his sarcasm isn’t turned on her like the other children, it doesn’t mean everything was perfect between them.

Grandma Alice tells Elizabeth about her mom, Beth’s great grandma (who passed), and how she had traveled West and was a teacher at the turn of the 20th century. She shares a little about how Great Grandma met Great Grandpa and at first couldn’t stand him, but in the end love came softly and they fell for each other.

“It pays to judge slowly, sweet girl. You mark my words.’ Out of respect Beth didn’t disagree, but in her soul-in her very being-she knew Beth Bennet’s first impressions were d*** near infallible.”

Back at school, Beth is relaxing with coffee and a good book at the local coffee shop when she looks up and sees a very handsome guy. They share a few words, and she hopes to run into him again, but doesn’t. Darn!

Beth meets up with her friends-Charlotte [Lucas], Charles [Bingley], and Rene- they talk about class and how much they really dislikes her cranky professor Dr. De Bourgh [Lady Catherine]. It seems like things have just gotten worse as they have a new T.A. who seems to be just as difficult.

Beth is waiting outside for Lab with the new T.A. and overhears Dr. De Bourgh talking about her. The Dr. calls her an “obstinate headstrong girl”. The T.A. tells Dr. De Bourgh that he thinks an ECE education is really difficult to take if he is just looking for her MRS degree or wanting to please her dad. To make it worse-she sees it was the hot guy from the coffee shop.

Beth is angry and hurt! Although, in his defense-T.A. Darcy didn’t say anything horrible about her, he actually seemed to be defending her. If anything that ire should be pointed at Dr. De Bourgh. Beth begins to fume and believes Darcy is going to treat her like every other misogynist guy does, but instead of making fun of her-he seems to ignore her. He never calls on her or looks at her.

Beth waits as long as she can, and then she meets with Darcy and let’s him have it. I really liked this exchange between them as it was funny with all the misunderstandings and twists but how Cox laid it out.

Things get better as Darcy listens to what she said and starts calling on her. In fact, everything is great until Elizabeth gets sick and faints in class right over Thanksgiving break, Darcy takes her to the hospital and stays with her-but as her family can’t come right away and all her friends are not answering their landlines or out of town, the only one who can take care of her is Darcy. Will this time together cause something to bloom? Or will they continue to clash?

Hmmm…

This is technically a double story as in this as Beth reads the diary of her great-grandma Elizabeth Alton Gardiner from 1906. Elizabeth Altonlost her family and is alone. She worked hard to get a teaching degree and applied for the position in Colorado under the name of  E.M. Alton. She knew they probably would’t want a woman (typically settled Western towns wanted women as teachers or in the town so this must not be a very settled place.) She hopes that when she gets there, they will keep hr because the needs is so high.

She meets Sheriff Gardiner-who wants her to go back home, as he doesn’t think she should be here. But Elizabeth is angry and determined to stay. Later, she visits with Jane and Dr. Bingley and overhears the sheriff and the Doctor talking about her, the sheriff saying that it is going to be extra work for him to protect a single woman living alone.

With a greeting like that, Elizabeth is set dead against the man. What can be done to change her mind?

Hmm…

All the interactions between Beth and Darcy were so refreshing and spot on. They were just so darn adorable together, I just loved every minute of it.

So romantic!

I love Pride and Prejudice, I love the ’80s, and I love the Old West-so this one was an obvious winner for me as it blended all these themes I loved.

For more by Karen M. Cox, go to “A Nominal Mistress” from Rational Creatures: Catherine Morland, Eleanor Tilney, & Lady Susan

Love in the Limelight by Beau North

Circa: 1930s

So I love movies, especially old movies: you may or not have noticed.

I watch them, I read about them, I just love them.

So when I saw that this was 1930s Hollywood inspired story of Pride and Prejudice I was super excited.

Elizabeth Bennet is a theater actor who landed a huge Hollywood role! How did this all happen? Well that’s the story Caroline Conway, reporter, is after. Elizabeth Bennet is a smart girl and doesn’t want to talk to her, but has to. Of course, she won’t give her the real story…but we get to read it… A year earlier, Elizabeth was ending her seven years time in London. She loves the city and is sad to leave, but leave she must. After getting her heart broken and money stolen, the only thing she can do is go to stay with her sister Jane in California.

All her money is gone, jewelry gone-the only things shs had left was some clothes, a few photographs, and a handful of cards from a mysterious admirer. Reading them always made her feel better, now more than ever.

On the boat she spots Gigi Duvall, former child star who has been transitioning into a full-fledged actress. She had had trouble in Hollywood making the jump and decided to try out in London, where she did well. But now Gigi seems to be fighting with a handsome men. Ugh Elizabeth is so over men-all are big dump brutes or dopes.

She watches as Gigi accuses the man of not caring about her, only money and he promising to start over.

Ugh.

They all say that.

The couple move on their way and Elizabeth goes back to mourning leaving her beloved city. Now in California, Jane and Elizabeth are running lines for the new picture, The Headstrong Girl, as Jane is trying out for the main lead. That night they are going to a party and Jane is eager to get to Charles Bingley as she wants to impress him and get the part.

Elizabeth goes to help be her wingwoman, but she isn’t really needed as Charles has no eyes for anyone else than Jane.

Elizabeth finds herself bored and pushed in and steps outside where she runs into Gigi Duvall. The two talk and enjoy each other’s company when they are interrupted by the man on the boat, William Darcy head of Pemberley Pictures. Darcy and Gigi argue and Elizabeth gets mad seeing him bully Gigi. Who cares that he is the head of the studio. She let’s it rip at him-which surprises both Gigi and Darcy.

Darcy threatens her not being able to work in Hollywood, unless she apologizes, and Elizabeth doesn’t care. When he brings up her sister, Elizabeth apologizes in gritted teeth, after he leaves she vows to one day make him pay!

Elizabeth tells her sister about the party and meeting Mr Darcy, and hearing him and Bingley talk about her. But she doesn’t share that Mr. Darcy isn’t planning on hiring Jane. He thinks she isn’t right for the picture and as Charles has a thing for her, the gossip eags will say she slept with him to get the part, and he will not have is company dragged through the mud. Elizabeth is angry, but what can she do now. Nothing-powerful men suck! She never wants to see him again. Of course Jane asks Elizabeth to come with her to her audition, and as all good sisters she does. There she just has to run into Mr. Darcy-today is not her day, week, month, or year.

They have a exchange and Darcy mentions that he has heard of her and seen her perform in London-leaving Elizabeth stunned. He then tries to get her to audition, but she refuses. She doesn’t want to be in pictures, she’s just here as support. And she would never steal a part away from her sister.

Later, Elizabeth and Jane are talking about Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth finds herself very puzzled. Who is this man? The night before and with Gigi he was a beast and now in the studio-kind, charming, funny?

Who is this guy?

That evening they get a call from their uncle and agent Edward Gardiner. Jane didn’t get the part but she does have a part in the new Cagney film-but only IF Elizabeth signs a contract to be the lead in The Headstrong Girl. Apparently, Darcy wanted to sign her after seeing her perform the year before but didn’t for some reason. OH NO, NO WAY is Elizabeth doing that. Never!

But then Gardiner lays down the amount of money she will be getting, the guilt of her mother and sisters struggling on the apple farm, Jane’s chance at being a star, etc; and of course she says yes.

Ugh!

Elizabeth starts production and actually finds herself enjoying it. Charles is a great director, her costar Rollo Fitz is fun and friendly, Cat-Darcy’s personal assistant and cousin is eccentric and kind,-the only one she doesn’t like is Darcy.

Ugh, he may be “gallant” and “charming” to others but she knews he was a jerk the moment she saw him on the boat. Maybe he acted nice in the studio, but that must have been a weak moment as she is still upset and blames him for blackmailing her into this rile. NO siree she will never, ever like him.

One day on set Darcy wants to talk to her. He gas seen the papers and how she and Rollo have been going out (they are just friends). He wants her to end it (and this kind of thing happened a lot with studios back then) and Elizabeth of course flat out refuses to. The two exchange witty banter and almost…kiss? What?! NO! No, no, no she IS NOT interested in him.

They go to an after party for the Academy Awards at Darcy’s home, Ashwood Manor. Things are going good until Darcy asks her to speak to him in his library. Which Darcy will she get the jerk demanding things? Or…the one that makes her blood boil not in anger but passion? Actually neither. He compliments her, her acting, and offers her a contract.

Huh?

Elizabeth is furious! That’s what he wants to talk about-not them? Not about them being together?!!!! OMGoodness I laughed so hard!!! I love the screwball comedies if the 1930s-Cary Grant and Irene Dunne, Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable, Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn, William Powell and Carole Lombard, Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell-and this made me think of them so much. I wish this was a real movie. I could see Cary Grant as Mr. Darcy and Irene Dunne or Rosalind Russell as Elizabeth shouting at him.

Elizabeth realizes that she likes him, both give into their feelings-but are interrupted by Cat relaying that “George” has been seen trying to get into the house. Oh drat, blasted Wickham!

Darcy and Cat leave to deal with it and protect Gigi, Darcy asking Elizabeth to wait for him. After they are gone our plot takes a swerve as it appears George has been hiding in the library the whole time! And George isn’t just Gorge-but Buster! The louse who stole Elizabeth’s money, jewels, and broke her heart.

Gigi and Darcy return and revelations are dropped right and left, I don’t know if anyone can survive the things coming out this night. But as with every good picture we need a storm before we can end on a perfectly lovely note. This was fantastic! If I had money I would turn it into a movie. And that ending with Mr. Darcy and his attempts to woo women-priceless!!

I also love how when North describes the picture they are filming a lot of the descriptions bring to mind Pride and Prejudice (1940). The gowns, the hair, the archery. I don’t know if she did that on purpose (I hope she did) but I love it either way.

For more by Beau North, go to The Colonel

The House Party by Jenetta James

Circa: Fall 1913- Early 1914 (No mention of WWI)

Do you like Downton Abbey?

Have you ever wished for a Jane Austen Downton Abbey fusion?

By God, yes!

Well then here you go! Jenetta James’ story takes place roughly 1913-1914 England (my guess based on an event she mentions that happened in 1913 and no talk of WWI) in an old manor house, Netherfield Park-just like Downton Abbey!

Yay!!!

Jane and Elizabeth have been invited to join in on the hunt and the weekend house party. It looks to be a grand affair and Elizabeth notices a handsome man-handsome but stern.

Look at that guy…

They go to their rooms and get ready for the evening, discussing Mr. Charles Bingley, who only has eyes for Jane, and on the way downstairs meet a friendly girl with a lisp, Mary King, visiting from Northampshire and feeling a little lost and alone. Elizabeth immediately befriends her.

Jane and Mary go off with Charles and Elizabeth finds herself alone. Not for long as she is entered into conversation with Caroline Bingley and the stern man-Mr. Darcy. Mr. Darcy seems friendly enough but Caroline keeps changing the conversation and starts talking bad about Elizabeth’s sisters, you know how she rolls:

The Bennet girls are trying to get votes for women, being leaders in their community’s women’s suffrage movement.

Elizabeth continues this conversation believing:

“Give votes to women. Then there would be fairness all around and no broken post office windows.”

Mr. Darcy disagrees  saying that such a sentiment is “unlikely” and Elizabeth is incensed. How dare he.

Now truth be told I was thinking the same thing? How on earth can he rebound from this? But after reading their exchange a few times I was like you got me good James. I see what you did.

Wow!

Elizabeth and Darcy part ways-Elizabeth continuing to be furious, but at dinner she doesn’t help but notice that Caroline sits Darcy next to her. And it kind of makes her upset. But why should she feel this way? He’s a jerk.

She’s seated next to George Wickham, writer, working on his first novel. They talk and he shares about how Darcy is a jerk and an antiquarian-he;s living in the past and can’t stand the modern age. Wickham shares more on how Darcy treated him, and Elizabeth decides not to give this jerk another thought. The next day is the hunt, with Elizabeth being one of the few ladies who is riding.

George saddles up next to her and they talk about horses and races and he shares he was there the day Emily Davison threw herself on the tracks to raise awareness for votes for women. Elizabeth shares how she felt saddened by her sacrifice but admires her bravery to fight for what she believes in. She wants to know how George feels, but they are interrupted…but she is sure such a good man would be. He’s not going to be like Mr. Darcy…

They ride out and Elizabeth loses track of George and later she realizes she hasn’t seen him for a while. She searches for him and finds that he has fallen off his horse, his face bleeding, and arm hurt. Darcy comes upon him and at first she is glad for his assistance, but when he wants her to return to he hunt-ugh all she can think is what a horrid man. She refuses to go and he rides off for help. But weirdly-he should have been more concerned with George’s heath but seemed solely focused on her.

Elizabeth is amazed at Darcy’s swiftness in retuning especially as he doesn’t like George, that much is certain. Darcy tells her that he does’t care for George, but that he was worried about her. The two argue with Elizabeth not believing how he could be so cruel to an injured man, a man he has known forever, and calling him a rogue-when he is a sweet and charming guy.

But Darcy doesn’t say anything on that and leaves.

Later, Mary King visits with Elizabeth and she is legit one of the cutest and sweetest characters in this. She is embarrassed because she ate the jar of biscuits given to them and left in the bedroom, but doesn’t want Caroline to  find out and think badly of her. Elizabeth doesn’t really see it as an issue, but shares hers so it looks like Mary only ate a few. Mary is so precious. Mary decides that to thank Elizabeth she will reveal something she knows about George, who she noticed Elizabeth spending a lot of time with. She reveals that George is a ruthless “yellow” journalist. He will trample on anyone and do anything to get his story. He’s been doing a serious on the women suffragists who have gone to prison and are doing hunger strikes. Most of them go by an assumed name and he has ben revealing who they really are in the hopes to embarrass their well-to-do-families and paint them as princesses playing at politics. One woman he really ran through the ringer was Georgiana Darcy, Mr. Darcy’s sister. Oh no. Elizabeth was so wrong about him-and Darcy’s anger at George it all makes sense. Oh no, what is she to do? Can she fix this?

I really enjoyed this story and not just because I git to trot out the Downton Abbey memes and gifs I’ve collected (although that was fun). It was the same story of Pride and Prejudice that we love but told in a different, new, and fun way. Plus I really liked the way she wrote the misunderstandings of what was said. I deeply applaud you!

For more by Jenetta James, go to “What Strange Creatures” from Rational Creatures: Fanny Price & Mary Crawford

A Mate for Life by Christina Boyd

Circa: 1852

I was so excited to see that Christina Boyd included a story. I always suspected she had one brewing inside her.

So I have been made to promise not to reveal certain things as to not give away the ending…

So in this Elizabeth Bennet is a grandma, (that’s why I believe it to be the 1870s), and her granddaughter has fallen for a man. Elizabeth knows her daughter-in-law only cares if he is wealthy and from a good family so she has decided to check on whether this man is really the right guy. She gives excellent advice, some that everyone who is single should take to heart.

 

This was so cute as Elizabeth shares her story with her granddaughter, about Mr. Wickham, the misunderstandings, Mr. Darcy-the whole thing.

How sweet!

That’s all I’ll say on that. I don’t want to ruin the story.

Oops! Wrong book!

I loved it and thought it was adorable. Although I will say one more thing…when her granddaughter’s beau comes over, this meme did pop in my head LOL.

So no lie, when I finished the last story this was literally how I felt:

I was like where’d the book go? How did I read it so fast? Why isn’t there more? Where are the rest of the stories?

I had to go back and count to see if I had actually read all ten stories. It just seemed to be over so quickly.

Each story was a delight and I loved them and the book.

Just one of these stories is worth the amount you pay for the book and you don’t get just one you get 10!!! Why don’t you head over to Amazon and order a copy?

Each story took the theme of obstinate headstrong Girl and created their own tale of Elizabeth Bennet. I recommend it to any Jane Austen fan!

 

I suggest you do! 🙂

For more on Elizabeth: Obstinate Headstrong Girl, go to Elizabeth-Obstinate Headstrong Girl: Part I, The Regency

For more on Elizabeth Bennet, go to Modesto Jane Con: Defining the Definitive Darcy and Lizzie

For more on Pride and Prejudice, go to P.S. I Like You

For more edited by Christina Boyd, go to YULETIDE: A Jane Austen-inspired Collection of Stories Audiobook

Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe

Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe by Melissa de La Cruz

So my friend gave this to me last year for Christmas, along with Praying with Jane…she knows me so well.

And I have been saving it until this December as it just didn’t feel right posting after Christmas.

I was a bit wary when I saw that the book was to be turned into a Hallmark movie. It could be fantastic…or it could be a horrible cliché.

I figured I’ll start off the month with this book, review the film on 13th, and then review Holiday Mix Tape on December 25th. At least that’s the plan…we will see what happens.

My life motto right there…

So…having read this-sorry ya’ll we are starting this holiday season off with a Scrooge review. I hated this book and thought it was horrible.

**Spoiler Warning**

I will be giving away the end so if you don’t want the end ruined, better leave now.

So I know who Melissa de La Cruz is although I have never read her books before. I do know that she is Filipino-American and I wish she had used that in writing her story. I would have much rather read Pride and Prejudice with the influence of Filipino culture than this.

If this was just a holiday cozy Christmas tale-I probably wouldn’t care-but when they added Jane Austen into the mix-I judge much harsher…

They failed!

So the first thing about this book is that it is gender swapped. Darcy is a 29-year old female and Elizabeth is Luke Bennet. Jane is a younger brother named Jim, and there is a Kit and Lyle instead of Kitty and Lydia. Charlotte Collins instead of William Collins and a Carl (Caroline Bingley?) Darcy also has four brothers (more on that later) and a best friend named Charles Bingley.

I thought you said they were all gender-swapped?

Yes, Charles. Charles is the only one that isn’t gender swapped which makes no sense at all. If you are going to swap everyone else, why exclude him? It is so odd when everyone else is gender-swapped.

So Darcy Fitzwilliam is a beautiful big lipped beauty (not kidding about the lips, the description goes on and on) is 29 and single. She’s afraid of commitment and never wants to be married but tired of hearing everyone saying she is alone and thinking she should be married. She is a:

At least until midway through the book.

Her mother had a heart attack so she heads back to Pemberley, Ohio-her hometown she left and swore never to return to after a horrible break from her family. When she refused to marry Carl (Caroline Bingley ?) her father disowned her.

So first of all problem one-Darcy never had a bad relationship with his father-he greatly admired him. And problem two-having his parents die and him having to be the father to his sister created his character. You ever notice how people who lost a parent/parents and had to take on that roll for younger siblings are always a little more bossy or parental? They tend to tell others what they should do, just as they would for their sibling. Now there is a way to do it without the parents being dead-but it should be a bigger deal with his/her roll in the family. Having Darcy separated doesn’t work at all. Like how is Darcy supposed to take care of Georgiana-or George in this-if they have been separated from their family for EIGHT years-no phone calls, emails, social media, etc. (Except she talks to the mom every now and then.

Speaking of which there is extremely little social media in this book at all which I find completely strange as this was published in 2017.

No social media? She’s 29!

So Darcy has to get a dress and her mom tells her to go to Bloomingdales-now this wouldn’t have registered with me but someone who reviewed the book mentioned that there are no Bloomingdales in Ohio, and I checked online and yes, there are none. So wow-wonder where Darcy got her dress at?

Hmm…

Darcy is an annoying character as she has no personality. Example: she named her lion “Little Lion” and she sees nothing wrong with that as an adult. She can’t even think of a name for her baby at first as she likes to name everything factual. REALLY!!!!! She can’t even think of a name AND WANTS TO CALL HER LITTLE BABY until Luke makes her stop and choose a name.

So back to the story-every year her parents throw a big holiday party and Darcy goes to it and she is upset at everyone being married and talking about families because oh no, Darcy is not about any of that. Really? This was turned into a Hallmark movie-it says on the cover, so all that is a LIE.

I get they are trying to set her up for she fell in love and changed how she felt and everything…but she says that all the time, it is really annoying. And she is rude to all the people who are married and have kids and still live in Pemberley.

At the party she runs into Charles Bingley who she hasn’t seen or spoken to in eight years. Yep, they become best friends again and Charles listen to the advice given to someone who he hasn’t seen in eight years. What kind of logic is that? And they don’t even act like normal people! If I ran into my best friend after EIGHT years we would be gabbing and talking about all we’d been doing and life and here they do none of that. They reminisce for a few minutes and are best pals. But that’s it. No how’s life, no sharing about work or jobs, or anything. Wow-great “best friend” here, she’s too busy talking about how “hot” he is rather than about finding out about who he is.

You are a bad friend.

Bingley runs into Jim (Jane Bennet)-literally and the two are off together. Wow, Bingley has been to every Fitzwilliam Christmas party every year, but oh on this time he’s hit by cupid’s arrow. Why? What? Like why now? There is no explanation and feels contrived.

What?

Darcy gets drunk and runs into Luke Bennet-her hated attractive archenemies. Yes, she goes on about how she hates him but goes on and on describing how hot he is. He is happy to see her and wants to catch up but she just yells about how everyone is jealous of her beauty and being self made and a woman. She goes on a long rant about how much better she is than anyone at the party. She keeps going yelling at Luke about how he is a loser for being a carpenter and staying at his hometown.

WWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWW!!!!!

I know…I have no clue what the writer’s were thinking.

Did you EVEN read the book????!!! If not reading the book, DID YOU you even watch the movie???? This is so not Pride and Prejudice. This a train wreck!

Ugh! Really!

This is a horrible book!!! Horrible!!!!

I shouldn’t have read this.

They turn out to be under the mistletoe and even though she’s been a horrible person, Luke decides to kiss her anyway-why I don’t know??! They should stay away from mistletoe though.

I know I spelled it wrong, I cannot spell mistletoe correctly to save my life. (I only caught it in my comment as my computer let me know).

They kiss again, but are interrupted by Carl who comes into the scene. She dumped him, was disowned by her father, and fled to New York-but hooks up with him every now and then.

Why?

Seriously, Mr. Darcy would never do that. He would never drag someone’s hopes on when he isn’t interested. Such a jerky thing to do!

I can’t help but compare this book to the Christmas film 12 Men of Christmas. Like that film isn’t an official Pride and Prejudice film, but did this soooo much better. It had interesting characters, it had a new angle, it was a cute Christmas film-and it did keep to the finer points of the STORY!! Sorry for that rant, but I totally recommend it.

So Darcy meets with Carl for coffee the next day but then even though she 100% does not want to get married, have children, etc-and 100% does not want to marry Carl-she tells him when offered an ultimatum-give me time to think about it. What!!!!!! Seriously!! UGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH What is this character. Soooooo annoying. I have had to read page after page about how she doesn’t want marriage or family, or Carl-but instead of cutting him loose “I’ll think about it?” NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

Darcy talks about how great she us at her job and makes so much money and is so smart, but we never hear or see what she does. Guess she’s not so important.

So Darcy gets invited to Christmas Caroling with Bingley who is in love with Jim. They are going with the Bennets and Darcy meets Kit and Lyle who are demon spawn. Seriously- they are horrible human beings. Like geez-did you read the book?

Did you even read the book!!!

They all go out caroling and we get a rant about how sexist, and against human rights, and against animal rights the 12 Days of Christmas…WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW

WHAT IS THIS BOOK???!!!!!!!

WHAT!!!??

They end up at the Fitzwilliam house where they all get drunk-Darcy gets really drunk, and she and Luke kiss again under the mistletoe.

She wakes up with Luke in her room. They had started to get together last night, but Darcy passed out. WOW such great writing and storytelling. Jane Austen would be so proud-(in case you don’t know I’m being sarcastic!) This is horrid!!!!

Ugh!

Darcy and Luke argue and fight and she’s all I’m better with my money blah, blah-but she gets a call and her deal fell through. But no big deal, it’s like a blimp. Seriously what does she do? Oh that’s not important-she’s just rich and important, that is all we need to know. Bleh, bleh, bleh-this is awful, this is horrible, I hate it.

This book!!!!

Bingley goes on about how he is in love with Jim and prepared to move back to Pemberley and be with him forever…after 2 days. Yes, they have never spoken or spent time with each other before, but after 2 days he’s sure he is the one. Darcy tells him to slow down and YEAH she’s got a point. Dude you have spent 2 days with him, just TWO!!! Like in the original book they have spent more time together and Darcy’s fears came from Jane not showing overt affection, not seeming to be as invested, and of course Jane’s family. Here there is no wiggle room, Darcy is 100% in the right-it has been two days, but they make it seem as if she is being a jerk and selfish when she isn’t. She’s actually being a good friend…for once.

She actually can be a good friend.

She convinces Bingley to break a date with Jim and hang out with her and Bingley agrees, not a bad idea as they have been spending 24/7 together and need to have some space. But instead of Bingley telling him the truth he lies and says he is sick and goes off with Darcy on the town and get caught. So then Jim is mad, understandable, and they’re over. But then Darcy convinces Bigley to pull a Lloyd Dobler and they get back together. Wow, that happened all in a day-such an emotional roller coaster.

At least for this post!

Meanwhile, Luke is engaged!!! He was kissing Darcy and would have slept with her if she hadn’t been drunk and he’s engaged!!!! Everyone in this book is awful!!!!!!!!!! He claims he was on a break-but unlike Ross-he wasn’t!!!!! I’m sorry I really, just really…I CAN’T EVEN!!!

Like this is based on an amazing novel, and this whole things feels like a separate story that was just inputed with names from Jane Austen to capitalize on all us fans. Like this has nothing to do with the book!!!! NOTHING!!!! THIS is HORRIBLE!!! I HATE IT!!!!!!

This book

Darcy is in love with Luke why I don’t know as they have had, what three conversations in three days (most of the conversations being about how great and wonderful Darcy is and Luke sucks)-and shared two kisses. That’s the sum of their relationship. But she’s in love. And looks through her yearbook. Now this gets me. She’s already been mooning over him, why not look up his facebook or instagram. They never spend any time on social media at all-I don’t know any 29 year old who is so free from the siren call of social media.

Read in this case.

So Darcy looks over her yearbook and sees the picture of Luke and admits she’s always been in love with him. WOOOOOOWWWW!!! Really? This is dumb. Because guess what guys even though she is sooooooooo in love with Luke ever since high school she gets engaged and reserves the plaza to a wedding to Carl. What the freak is this?!!! Yes, pages of how she doesn’t love Carl or want to ever be with him an she gets engaged!!!!

Oh and her mother who was on death’s door, is better in like  four days.

No social media? She’s 29!

Then Darcy has three brothers who they all hate her and treat her like crap. Which was not like in the bookokk!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m so angry!

I have to take a break…

I’m done

Okay…so her little brother Will got into Harvard and she’s like whatever no big deal. Now I am not from a wealthy family, if interested I wrote a little about it in Pride, Prejudice, and Personal Statements, so I don’t assume I know what it is like. But I do know from watching Gossip Girl you can’t have someone be a Blair and a Nate. This whole book Darcy has been Blair-I’m great, money, wealth, I have a plan for my life, cares about what people think, cares about where to go and what to do, etc. But then when her brother gets into Harvard-she suddenly becomes like Nate Archibald when he wants to join Carter in giving up everything and backpacking the neighborhood saying screw the inheritance, trust funds, big name schools, etc. You can’t have a character be both.

And Darcy is a horrible older sibling and her younger brothers are all horrible too and the they nothing like Georgiana and Darcy!!! Where is this???!!!

Darcy is engaged to Carl (a mess of her own doing), doesn’t break off the engagement, and goes to the engaged Luke to tell him that she loves him. Really?????????

He calls her names and Darcy heads to NYC. WOOOOOOOOOOOWW!!!!!!!!! So romantic. AWFULAWFULAWFULAWFULAWFULAWFULAWFULAWFULAWFULAWFULAWFULAWFULAWFULAWFULAWFULAWFULAWFULAWFULAWFULAWFULAWFULAWFULAWFULAWFULAWFULAWFULAWFULAWFULAWFULAWFULAWFULAWFULAWFULAWFULAWFULAWFULAWFULAWFULAWFULAWFULAWFULAWFUL

It is so awful!

So Darcy goes back to work where we see is is a horrid boss and her employees dislike her which wasN’T IN THE BOOOOKKKK!!! Did they even read the book? Or see an adaption?? The employees and renters loved Mr. Darcy!  That’s one of the things that fully convinces Elizabeth she was in the wrong-how could anyone be a horrible awful human being but be good to their employees? It’s like people yelling at the waitstaff. You can have someone who seems great-but inside are horrible and treat the waitstaff like crap-but you never have someone who is a horrible human being but treat their waitstaff great.

Darcy dumps Carl in a note and flies home to Pemberley to help out Kit and Lyle Bennet who are demon spawn. Like they should be sent to Juvie. Here is what they have done:

  • Set a trash can on fire
  • Set a classmate’s shoe on fire
  • Set frogs free from the science lab (pass for that)
  • Had drugs
  • Spray painted obscenities
  • Stealing test answers
  • Giving a student a stick-and-poke tattoo
  • Physical fights with students and faculty

If they were in school with my kid, just because some rich girl paid off the principal I’d be furious. They are horrible.

And one their names are Kit and Lyle

Darcy does the good deed of helping them and keeping them in school instead of juvie, which is a horrible idea, and then she collapses.

She ends up in the hospital as she was dehydrated. And in like two pages (15 mins) all the issues between Dacry and her father solved. Oh he cut her off because he was afraid she would be hurt in New York and never come back. He’s been mean to her because he doesn’t know how to tell her he loves her. Oh wow. …..yeah this is dumb.

Read in this case.

Darcy gets healed and she’s invited to Charlotte and Luke’s wedding rehearsal (why as they aren’t friends) and she decides to go, no ones there and the two are together.

So back it up, it has been like five days-they have had four conversations

  1. Darcy dunk at the party-talking about herself and insulting Luke
  2. Christmas Carols where they hardly speak at all
  3. The morning after Christmas caroling-Darcy insulting Luke and talking about herself
  4. Darcy admitting she loves Luke and Luke insulting her

As you can see most of these are Darcy talking about how Luke sucks, and most of Luke’s conversations are calling Darcy a snob and other names…but oh no they are in love.

Seriously!!!!!!!!!!! I’m sorry, I am not a writer-I know it’s not my talent, and I really can’t say I could do better but this sucks.

In the end Luke and Darcy get married and have a daughter, move to New York. It never says what Luke does but I assume Darcy keeps working at her job even though she lost the biggest deal, the biggest deal that turned out to not be a  big deal. Whatever.

I know…I have no clue what the writer was thinking.

This is awful and I’m glad its over. I’m sooo done…

So will the movie be as bad? I watched the trailer and it looks like they actually spend some time together so there is hope…but we shall see…

Pass on it!

For more Pride and Prejudice, go to Drive Me Crazy: Austentatious (2015)

For more Pride and Prejudice book adaptations, go to Pride, Prejudice, and Personal Statements

Super Power Girl, Blackmail, Gangsters, and a Serial Kidnapper: Strong Woman Bong Soon (2017)

Strong Woman Bong Soon is a Korean drama, Him-Ssen Yeo-ja Do Bong-Soon, that I just love and am thoroughly depressed that it is only one season and over.

The best thing about this film is that it is fun, dramatic, deals with the ideas of superheroes in a realistic way along with being entertaining and fun. I’m so tired of American TV being so serious, broody, and depressing. I wish we had more mixed shows-like Psych was a cop drama, but also a comedy. Or how Boy Meets World was silly and light-hearted but dealt with serious issues.

So Bong Soon (Bo-Young Park) is a 27-year old twin sister, (her brother Bong Ki is studying to be a doctor) living in Korea, and trying to find a job.

She wants to be a video game designer and create a game based on her but is having a hard time getting and keeping a job.

Why does she want a game designed after her? Well she’s special, she has super strength.

It all started back with her great-great-great grandma. She had super strength, but when she used it to hurt innocent people, she lost her ability and gained leprosy. The super strength was passed through all the women in her family, but if they use it to hurt innocent people they would lose it and reap the consequences.

Bong Soon’s mother, Hwang Jin-yi, used her power to compete in the olympics for Korea, which was okay. But when she used it to shake down people and to make money, she lost her ability as well.

Bong Soon has inherited the power and has been afraid to do anything with it as she doesn’t want to abuse it or lose it. She lives her life trying to hide her abilities and be fragile as she doesn’t want to hurt an innocent, lose it, or be seen as a freak, and because her crush says he likes delicate girls.

Pretending all the time…

Yes, Bong Soon has been in love with her brother Bong Ki’s best friend has Guk Du (a police detective) since she was a child. He has a girlfriend though.

So there are three story lines in this show:

1)Gangsters

Don’t mess with me!

The area Bong Soon lives in has gangsters trying to take over and redevelop the area. They have been harassing people and Bong-Soon’s mom wants to get involved with them as she wants to make money even though innocent people are getting hurt.

2) Blackmail

Mr. Ahn (Hyung-shik Park), creator of the video game company Ainsoft, spends most of his days alone. He is haunted by a memory of a girl, who he believes to be a guardian spirit, that saved him years back. He goes into work twice a week and spends the rest of him time alone, playing video games and designing new ones. He is currently being blackmailed to give up all intentions of inheriting his father’s company or else he will lose Ainsoft.

3)Serial Kidnapper

Meanwhile, there is a creepy guy obsessed with the fairytale Bluebeard and His Seven Wives lurking in the Dubong area. He is intent on abducting seven women to be his “brides” and has built a secret prison under his garage where he keeps his victims. Guk Doo is one of the police working on the case.

Ready for any case

All these stories intersect when one day Bong Soon is bicycling when she encounters some gangsters assaulting an old man who is driving a group of daycare kids. She is harassed when Mr. Ahn comes upon them. He calls the police, but before they get there Bong Soon takes them out.

They all go to the police station, where the gangsters are pressing charges against Bong Soon, but Mr. Ahn rescues her by going on how ludicrous the idea is of 5’2 petite Bong Soon beating up all these gangsters.

Bong Soon isn’t interested and dresses down Mr. Ahn. Then she rides off on her bike. Mr. Ahn is extremely interested and tracks her down, offering to hire her as his bodyguard. She thinks it is a crazy idea, but agrees when she hears how much he is offering to pay her.

Mr. Ahn and Bong Soon team up to stop the blackmailer-using his brain and tech, and her strength and compassion. Mr. Ahn even starts training her to help her control her power and be ready for anything.

As Mr. Ahn spends so much time with her, he starts to really enjoy spending that time with her, falling head over heels. But he has to convince Bong-Soon he is serious and that the rumors of him being gay are false.

Meanwhile, the gangsters are extremely embarrassed over her having bested them and they try to go after her, but each time they just end up in the hospital. It turns out that these same gangsters are involved in the blackmail as well.

Hmmm…

Bong Soon becomes involved with the kidnapping case when she goes to the hospital to visit Mr. Gong (who’s tailbone she accidentally fractured) and witnesses the kidnapper disguised as a doctor kidnapping one of his victims. She runs into him a few more times and Guk-Doo tries to place her in his care and watch for her, having her stay with Mr. Ahn (which he likes, but Guk-Doo doesn’t).

YEEEEES!!!!!!

One night she and her best friend (who is visiting) are making stew, her friend going out to get some tofu. One her way back she is attacked by the kidnapper. Bong-Soon, worried that her friend is taking a too long, comes upon them and saves her.

After her friend thanks her for saving her, Bong-Soon starts thinking about all the other people out there that might need help, and decides to go after the kidnapper.

This kidnapper becomes her supervillain as he is intent on taking her down. He is the perfect foil for Bong Soon-Bong Soon is perky and sweet, he is dark and demented. Bong-Soon is short and petite, he is tall and built. He hates women and enjoys torturing them, she is strong, powerful and is going to find and stop him.

Will Bong-Soon win over Guk-Doo? Or realize that Mr. Ahn is the best guy there is. Will they stop the blackmailer or will Mr. Ahn be destroyed? Will they defeat the gangsters? Or will they take down Bong-Soon? Will Bong-Soon stop the kidnapper? Or will he outsmart her and force her to loose her powers?

Trust me, watch this and you’ll love it. It is so cute and pay attention-they repeat certain things. And oh that ending-so adorable!

So now on to the other reason why I wanted to review this show:

Yes, it reminds me a lot of Jane Austen.

First we have Bong-Soon. She is sweet and innocent like Catherine Morland, passionate like Marianne Dashwood, witty like Elizabeth Bennet, romantic like Anne Elliot, and logical like Elinor Dashwood. She’s got a bit of everyone in her and it is great.

Or Mr. Ahn

That leads us to Mr. Ahn. When we first meet him he is closed off and rude, Bong-Soon and him not having a great relationship to start with. She is upset over her pride being hurt, and he wants nothing to do with anyone. We then discover he has a truly painful and heartbreaking backstory.

Like Mr. Tilney, he is sarcastic, fun, and outright hilarious. He end up helping train Bong-Soon, guiding her like Mr. Knightley. He even gets a horrible video of Bong-Soon taken down, to help her-just like Mr. Darcy. He’s also rich like Mr. Darcy and makes me think of him in a few other ways:

Or like how once he gets feelings for her he tries to be cool, but can’t hold it in.

Their relationship is just adorable and I think all Jane Austen fans will love it and them.

So cute!!

We then have the most Jane Austen character of them all Bong-Soon’s mother. She seriously could give Mrs. Bennet a run for her money. She goes to the temple and prays for the marriage of her daughter, even going to see a fortune teller to get a special something to get Bong-Soon and Mr. Ahn hitched. She doesn’t even care about the rumors of him being gay, she wants her daughter to marry the handsome man and his money. One night Mr. Ahn asks Bong-Soon to stay with him after he was attacked earlier in the day. Guk-Doo comes in trying to get her to leave as he doesn’t want them staying together as he thinks Mr. Ahn is trying to take advantage of Bong-Soon (and he doesn’t know that Bong-Soon is his bodyguard or super strong). Guk-Doo calls her mom, and she eagerly thrusts her daughter at him-Just like when Mrs. Bennet tries to make Jane sick to stay with Mr. Bingley.

Like that is soo Mrs. Bennet.

Trust me, check this out as it is an AMAZING show!

I can’t stop watching!

To start Horrorfest VIII from the beginning, go to Count Dracula the Propagator of This Unspeakable Evil Has Disappeared. He Must Be Found and Destroyed!: Horror of Dracula (1958)

For more Non-Austen Films for Austen Fans, go to We’re Stranded on a Ship in the Middle of the Ocean with a Killer!: High Seas (2019)

For more superheroes, go to Superhero Film or Stalker Thriller: Unbreakable (2000)

For more blackmail, go to The Misery That Walks Around On This Pretty, Quiet Night: Deadline at Dawn (1946)

For more kidnappings, go to What Happened to Ally Palmer?: The Good Student (2006)

We’re Stranded on a Ship in the Middle of the Ocean with a Killer!: High Seas (2019)

We’re stranded on a ship in the middle of the ocean with a killer!

So I saw the trailer for this on Netflix and instantly added it to my to-watch list.

It looked so good!

One day my friend and I were hanging out trying to find something to watch when I suggested this. We started watching it and could NOT stop! And that ending, WOW!

Fridays are when I review TV episodes, but as this show can’t be broken episode by epiode, I’m reviewing the whole first season. I did the same thing last year with American Gothic. So the show is actually filmed in Spanish, its real name being Alta Mar, but you can listen to it with the English (or other language) voiceover. I have to say they did really good with this, there are only a few times that it didn’t sync up.

So the TV series takes place in Spain after WWII.  The cruise ship is departing from Spain to Brazil. Carolina (Alejandra Onieva) and Eva Villanueve (Ivana Baquero) are headed on an Ocean Cruise liner as Carolina is getting married. Their father passed away two years ago and after his death she discovered that their shoe factory trucks were used to aid the Nazis during WWII. With that news, coupled with her father’s death-Carolina decided to sell the business. Instead, after their marriage she will join her fiancé, Fernando Fábregas (Eloy Azorín), cruise business.

Eva is a writer and is happy for her sister, but sad that the family business ended, and she will be separated from her sister-as she will be in Brazil and her sister will be traveling. She doesn’t like Fernando as something doesn’t feel right about him, but when she investigated a rumor that he was a gambler, she turned up nothing.

As they are driving with their maids Francesca and Veronica de García when they hit a woman in the street.

They rush out to help her and she tells them she is being chased by her fiancé. She doesn’t wish to marry him, but he wants her and has decided he must have her or no one can. She is intent on getting away, and getting on the ship.

Carolina, Francesca, and Veronica want to give her over to the police-but Eva wants to help her and convinces them all to smuggle the girl, Louisa, on the ship in their travel trunk.

Hmm, I don’t know about this…

When they get on board the ship they meet the Captain and the first officer, Nicolás Vázquez (Jon Kortajarena). Nicolás is very interested in Eva, but she shrugs him off trying to get the trunk to her room. When questioned why the rest of their luggage remains below, Eva deftly comments on how Carolina is the owner’s bride.

They get to the room where they free Louisa, and she and the maids go to their rooms down below. Francesca loves the Ladies, having been like a mother to them-but Veronica does not. Having grown up playing with the girls and is now serving them-she is very unhappy at her lot an does not want to be a servant, she wants to be more.

I have to work

Veronica helps the ladies dress for dinner and remains in the room, seeing a man try to break in. He claims to have mistaken it as his room, but Veronica is unsure. She leaves, but does not go down to steerage.

Or on this cruise ship.

Meanwhile, Louisa and Francesca are in the room, and Louisa grabs a vase and knocks Francesca out. She then escapes to the Carolina and Eva’s room and starts going through their things. The man comes back from before and he and Louisa fight.

Dinner is a wonderful affair, and of course the two ladies are honored guests and sit at the Captain’s table. Carolina gets up and dances with her fiancé Fernando, the two then separating as Carolina wants to change her shoes. Earlier, Fernando had a mysterious message telling him to meet at a certain point at 12, but he lies to Carolina that he is receiving a cable. Suspicious.

Eva goes out for some air and is followed by Nicolaus, who is really interested in her. He flirts and things are leaning his way when they hear a woman scream from above and a body hit the water.

Eva is worried about her sister and goes searching for her, finding the room a mess. She continues to search and finds her in steerage aiding Francesca.

The girl’s search their room but can’t tell what is missing. While they are doing that, the crew searches for the body and only find a dress-the one Louisa was wearing.

That is not good,

Eva and Caroline come clean about what happened and everyone wants to hush it up. Fernando has a lot riding on his ship and can’t have it be known as the Murder Cruise or else all is lost.

They say it was an accident, and everyone but Eva and Nicolaus believe that to be true. The two begin investigating.

This will be a dangerous voyage as Eva has no clue who to trust and wants to do everything she can to protect her family and find justice.

Nazis, arson, shady deals, dark secrets, three deaths, a murder masked as suicide, and more combine in this show as we have a wonderful cast of characters.

WATCH IT NOW!!

Nicolas is the dashing first officer and the one who was with Eva when they heard the body fall. He is kind, caring, funny, handsome, and intent on finding justice as well. He used to be a street thief until Captain Santiago Aguirre found him and enlisted him on the ship. He seems to be the perfect one to trust-the Tommy to her Tuppence, but Eva discovers that he has a secret-can she really trust anything he says?

The fiancé-Fernando. He I really do not like as he didn’t meet Carolina when she arrived, when she comes to see him pretty much ignores her for work, and just seems altogether shady. The way he wraps the case up pinning it on an innocent steerage passenger, pretends to be robbed-throwing his rings over the boat and lies about the telegram-having received none. Is there something darker going on with him? Or is he the murderer?

Fernando’s sister and her husband are also on the cruise and they are very strange. Natalia is always drunk, unfocused, and a shadow of a person while her husband just exudes bad feelings. His is also unfaithful as he immediately sets his sights on the lounge singer, Clara. He promises to help her, then rapes her-making her promise not to say anything or he will rip her to shreds. No wonder his wife is the way she is-married to that guy. Clara is not the first and could he have been after Louisa too? Or was he involved in the shady business dealings with the Nazis and want to keep that from being found out. He is extremely eager to get to Brazil.

I HATE this character!

Eva and Carolina’s uncle, Pedro Villanueva has been watching over them and being there ever since their fathr’s death. He, their father, and Doctor Rojas used to be business partners. Was their father killed in an accident…or murdered? Murdered by their uncle or longtime family friend? They are both nervous and trying to search the girls things for some microfiche. What’s on that film?

Hmmm

Veronica wants more in life than being a maid and Sebastián de la Cuesta, rich and famous playboy, pays a lot of attention to her…but is he honest in his feelings? Is he just playing with her heart-using and losing, or does he really feel for her? It turns out Sebastian is bankrupt and trying to hide it from all. Could that be all he’s hiding. Could he be involved in something nefarious? Something he wants to keep hidden?

Hmmm…

Dimas Gómez is the sweetest guy, working as valet to Sebastian and also interested in Veronica. He has an idea to turn cane sugar into ethanol. He presents his idea to Sebastian (who may or may not steal it) and pretends to be Veronica’s sweetheart so her mother doesn’t discover she is sleeping with Sebastian. He seems like a great guy, but he was the roommate of the man who confessed to killing Louisa. Is he more involved in this than he lets on?

Hmm…

Plus to top it off we have a Captain who lost his wife and is very suicidal, a skulky crewm ember with a mysterious burned face, and a ship detective who doesn’t care about solving the crime.

And that’s not all, this show will have so many other twists and turns, once you start watching you will not want to stop!

So this movie reminded me a lot of Dangerous Crossings with the cruise ships, wedding, suspicious guy skulking about, being unsure who to trust. And just like that movie I really, really liked it. It was extremely compelling and the characters are amazing.

I couldn’t help but compare this to American Gothic which I reviewed last year. American Gothic had a great idea, but fell apart in the middle as it would lead is in one direction, then have an episode that turned it back on itself saying that it was false and this was the answer…oh wait, no that’s false-this is the answer, making it not enjoyable and obvious you couldn’t trust the show.

With this, it was done like Twin Peaks or Veronica Mars with each episode adding to the solving of the mystery. There were twists and turns along the way, and was amazing to watch!

YOU MEAN, THIS ONE

And the other reason to watch this? The CLOTHES!! THE CLOTHES are GORGEOUS!!! I want everything Eva and Carolina wear. Even the  guys’ clothing are beautiful.

I want to buy all the clothes!!!!

This film is also a Non-Austen Film for Austen Fans

Yes, I think that this is a perfect film for Austen fans.

At the center of the mystery is the love sisters have for each other. Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility are both stories that focus on sisterly bonds and friendship. Even though these two sisters have been doing other things, they have reunited and care strongly for each other. Their first thoughts are whether they are okay-and doing all they can to make sure that their sister is taken care of and safe-sometimes hiding things to keep them from being put in danger. In P&P and S&S the sisters were each other’s best friends and always there for each other, just like in this film.

In this show Carolina is poisoned and Eva stands vigil doing all she can to help and aid her sister-Just like Elizabeth caring for Jane or Elinor caring for Marianne.

Carolina reminds me of Jane-beautiful, kind, caring, always thinking the best of people even though they clearly do not deserve it. She is the older sister, but often falls way to the younger sister’s persuasion.

Eva made me think of Catherine Morland: a reader, strong imagination, an investigative spirit. Like how Catherine searches out the Abbey for clues to the murder she believes to have happened there-Eva does the same on the ship. Except in Eva’s case there actually is a murder! Eva doesn’t automatically make me think of Elizabeth but she is just as stubborn and not interested in the main love interest…at least at first.

Nicolas and Eva’s interactions again make me think of Catherine and Mr. Tilney. Like Mr. Tilney-Nicolas is fun, witty, kind, and makes his interest known. Their interactions are fantastic banter.

VIctoria, Sebastian, and Deemis’ love triangle make me think of Isabella Thorpe, Captain Tilney, and James Morland. In Northanger Abbey, Isabella comes from not a super wealthy family and is on the prowl for a wealthy man. She catches James Morland, Catherine’s brother, believing the Morland’s are wealthier than they are but exchanges him for a larger quarry-Captain Tilney. Captain Tilney is not interested in settling down and after sleeping with Isabella, is done with her. Now Victoria, like Isabella, does not want a second class passenger, she wants first class. She has the love of a good man, Deemis, but she won’t even bother with him as she wants someone with and from more. But Sebastian is a famous playboy, and we see after sleeping with her he uses the same lines on another lady.

And the final reason why this made me think of Austen’s works and why you should watch this?

Yes, the very handsome officers. Mrs. Bennet, Lydia Bennet, Louisa Musgrove, Henrietta Musgrove, and Anne Elliot would all approve.

To start Horrorfest VIII from the beginning, go to Count Dracula the Propagator of This Unspeakable Evil Has Disappeared. He Must Be Found and Destroyed!: Horror of Dracula (1958)

For more Non-Austen Films for Austen Fans, go to Non-Austen Films for Austen Fans: The Buccaneers, Episodes 3-5

For more mystery cruises, go to I Do Think You Are Confused Mrs. Bowman: Dangerous Crossing (1953)

Rational Creatures: Elizabeth Bennet & Charlotte Lucas

Rational Creatures edited by Christina Boyd

For those of you who might have missed the last post, Rational Creatures is an anthology of short stories on the different women of Jane Austen:

But just not the main heroines-there are a few other side characters like Miss Bates-and of course a couple of bad girls like Mary Crawford and Mrs. Clay.

Each story gives us a look at the ladies we love (or hate).

The last post was on Elinor and Marianne Dashwood from Sense and SensibilitySelf-Composed by Christina Morland and Every Past Affliction by Nicole Clarkston. And I LOVED both of them!

This one will be on Elizabeth Bennet and Charlotte Lucas from Pride and Prejudice. 

Pride and Prejudice is the story of a mother wanting to marry off her daughters, as with their father’s death they will have very little-but the story is more than that. It deals with the concepts of pride and prejudice, first impressions, whether you should be overt in how you feel or play it close to the heart, etc. It has amazing wit and characters.

So Elizabeth is a character that has been adapted again and again. Some have been very good and some have been only okay, and a few have been just awful. To read the ones I have reviewed you can check out this post and this one.

Charlotte on the other hand, I have yet to read anything that just focuses on her. When I saw that, I got very excited. I always thought Charlotte was an interesting character-seen as plain but very intelligent and cunning. 

Happiness in Marriage by Amy D’Orazio

The story starts off November 1811, right before the Netherfield Ball, Jane coming up with an idea to do Lizzie’s hair, and like every good sister-wants to try it out before the actual day of the ball. Elizabeth and Jane are talking, when Elizabeth says that she is going to accept Mr. Collins if he proposes.

I was reading this on my lunch break and actually starting choking on my food. WHAT THE HECK DID I JUST READ? I had to read it again!

What the heck!

Reading it again did nothing-the words stayed the same. Oh My Goodness!!! All I could feel was:

I was always interested in the story, but after reading that line, I was super invested. I don’t care how much time is left on my lunch I AM FINISHING this story, right here right now.

I’m just going to stop for a quick moment and go on a side note here…I personally think that it is hard to write a new adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, just because there are so many out there. I have personally reviewed over thirty-and that’s like a drop in the bucket of all the different variations out there.

I mean you really have to think of a different hook, a new view, something unique to set you apart and D’Orazio did that. How she writes this is not for shock value, but she puts a completely different spin on it. Typically we see Elizabeth instantly not liking Mr. Collins and never considering marrying him-but having her think about it, showing how she would sacrifice herself for her sisters-I liked it. We see how much she loves her sisters, especially Jane, I think it fits her character to consider even for a moment if it would protect the people she loves. It made me think of Jane Austen herself. At one time she did become engaged to a man who’s wealth would have solved all the financial issues, but in the end broke it off.

Hmm…

Anyways, the two girls talk as they prepare, and I love their conversations, they sound like real sisters discussing sisterly things.

The two move on to discuss their parent’s marriage and I really loved this passage. True, most women in Regency times didn’t marry for love and often, as Charlotte Lucas says

“happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance…It is better to know as little as possible of the defects of the person with whom you are to pass your life…”

But I like that they discuss it and think about it. Most people view their parent’s relationship as either a guide to how to be or how we desperately don’t want to be. I like how they also look at their aunts’ and uncles’ relationships.

And I love how she wrote Jane. Jane of course doesn’t like Mr. Collins either- and is about to talk smack about him, but can’t:

“Jane hesitated by her natural inclination to approve of everyone said, ‘Of course, as a clergyman, Mr. Collins is always due respect.”

The girls talk some more, Elizabeth sharing the list she made of her perfect guy, here it is:

  • Tall
  • Dark-Haired
  • Intelligent
  • Likes to Read
  • Is good to his family and mine
  • Likes to walk and be outdoors
  • Has a good sense of humor

Okay, just to put a pause on this. Maybe this isn’t as weird as it felt when I was reading this, but no joke I made a list of my perfect guy when I was a tween and this is an exact replica.

Speaking of which, I don’t remember what I did with it. It was in a shoebox under my bed but I lost it when we moved. Did you..did you find it?

Nah, I’m sure many of us had the same list, which made me love it even more!

The ball comes and goes and then we cut to Elizabeth visiting CHarlotte and Mr. DArcy joining her on her walks and I love the wit of D’Orazio, I think Jane would be proud.

They continue on to the second proposal of Mr. Darcy and when they are engaged. The whole story is cute fun, with an adorable ending, like when drinking a cup of tea and it warms you. This story just warms your heart. I loved it!

For more by Amy D’Orazio, go to “For Mischief’s Sake” from Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues 

For more on Elizabeth Bennet, go to Call Me, Maybe: Austentatious (2015)

Charlotte’s Comfort by Joana Starnes

So Charlotte has married Mr. Collins and is happy in the home. She likes her gardens, the kitchen, the parsonage. But she does not care for Lady Catherine and all her opinions, in which Mr. Collins implements them right away.

But she is happy, spending most of her time alone. She does miss her family and friends, but she is content in what she has.

Time passes and her father, Sir Lucas, sister Maria, and Elizabeth come to visit. Of course, when they come-Mr. Darcy does too, and Charlotte sees what is going on with him and surprised to see him not propose.

Or the face you give your friend when the person crushing on them comes in the room.

Of course when he does propose-Lady Catherine brings hellstorm upon them. I find this extremely interesting as I’ve never really thought about what happened on that end. I mean you read about Lady Catherine being unhappy, Darcy and Elizabeth in love and so happy, and Jane is going to marry Bingley-I never considered how Lady Catherine would treat the Collinses or blame them. Which is true. I could definitely see her blaming Mr. Collins for his cousin and Charlotte for her friend.

Lady Catherine in this makes me think if Greek gods in mythology-you want them to not like you or give you notice as bad things will happen-but you also don’t want them to dislike you as bad things will happen.

Charlotte and Mr. Collins attend the weddings of Jane & Bingley and Darcy & Elizabeth. Charlotte is also pregnant, and eager for the child, but she finds a new emotion putting a damper on her happiness. She sees the way Elizabeth and Darcy look at each other and for the first time envies her friend, wishing she had someone to love her like that.

Lady Catherine calls Mr. Collins home early and he is thrown from his horse-dead.

At first I was surprised , but then I realized this was called Rational Creatures, so of course it made sense that Mr. Collins had to exit it.

Sorry!

From there Charlotte has to return home, where she gives birth to a son, naming him William. She named him after her father, but of course Mr. Collins shared the same name. Which for a second I was a bit surprised, I forgot he had one. LOL

Mr. Bennet loves little William just as much as his grandpa does, and even Mrs. Bennet does even though she was determined to hate him. But Charlotte doesn’t stay there, instead she goes to visit the Darcys and remains with them. And while there, is there is a possibility of love, real love?

I thought this story was also really cute, especially the ending. Another sweet one.

For more by Joana Starnes, go to “Willoughby’s Crossroads” from Dangerous to Know, Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues: MODERATE

I really liked both these stories and I and thought they were cute and romantic.

I loved that Charlotte finally got her spot in the limelight.

So far all four stories have been fantastic, which gives me a strong feeling I’m going to like the rest, but I guess I’ll just have to wait and see! 🙂

For more reviews of Rational Creatures, go to Rational Creatures: Elinor & Marianne

For more by Christina Boyd, go to Five Jane Austen Adaptations That Should be Turned Into a Film or TV Show

For more Pride and Prejudice, go to I Wrote Mr. Darcy a Letter

Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Austentatious (2015)

I wish we were talking about that awesome ’80s song, you know me…

But alas, no. We are instead discussing-Austentatious (2015)

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Yes, I really, really do not like this show or how they portray the characters. But I started it, so I’ve got to finish it.

Ugh!

So Austentatious is the story of Elinor, Marianne, Emma, Elizabeth, and Mr. Knightley being friends in modern times. In the last episode Collins (Mr. Collins from P&P) was trying to get with Elizabeth:

Elizabeth is trying to find a home for the insufferable Mr. Darcy-like they right him really bad.

Uh oh

Emma hired Marianne temporarily and she is back to looking for a new job. But not doing well in that at all…mostly because they make her a dunderhead.

And Elinor got a promotion, had to deal with a mess at the office (she’s an accountant), and meet the handsome and fun Edward Ferras-IRS agent.

So in this episode Elinor, Emma, and Lizzie are hanging out at the coffee ship and Elizabeth lets Elinor have some of her smoothie-all I can think is no!! Never!!!

I never share drinks after I did with someone and they gave me a cold sore.

Lizzie is picking out colors for a family photo. Now is this really a thing? They always show people doing this in movies and TV, but my family only did it twice when I was a baby and the when I was sixteen. Otherwise our photos were just at weddings and events, etc. Did anyone have a family where they took family photos every year?

Elinor’s hair looks darker than the other episodes in the series, I wonder if she dyed it or if she wears a wig.

Hmm…

Marianne is applying but no one will hire her because of her lack of experience. Elinor acts like Marianne must be making this up to get out of working, but I remember it being like that. It’s hard out there.

But wait, Marianne does have some experience working for Emma and Darcy’s office. Why doesn’t she try a temp agency?

Hmm…?

Elinor finds out that the cafe is hiring and grabs an app for her sister.

Lizzie mentions that they took a “jean on jean” picture years ago…first of all-yuck that has bad idea written all over it. And secondly, no flashback? Really? I know this didn’t have a humongous budget, bit still-now that you have said it I want to see it. Since we don’t have that I’ll gift you with this.

And why is Lizzie looking at paint samples? Is that how you really choose a background?

So every one in the Bennet family wants a different color and its up to Elizabeth to find a compromise. I have to say that one thing this show does right is name drop her sisters, we hear Jane, Kitty, and Lydia. A lot of retellings cut them out-making Elizabeth an only child, or just have one sibling. It just doesn’t work in my opinion, as anyone with a sister knows-you guys influence each other and make each other’s personalities.

Elinor is thrilled that she scored Marianne an interview at the coffee shop. Marianne is still asleep, the call waking her up.

Marianne is less than thrilled and asks about free milkshakes. Elinor is not amused, but I think it is a valid question and I would have asked the same thing. You know me and free…

Marianne thinks food service is a bit lame, but agrees to come. Okay so Marianne finally has  cute outfit, yes, they were putting her in some weird stuff. Blue lace dress, small rope belt at the waist, and knee high boots-I’d wear that in a millisecond.

I love my shoes!

She plans to wear that to work and Lizzie isn’t sure it will work, but doesn’t say anything. I think she definitely should wear more comfortable shoes, but every coffee shop and cafe that I’d ever gone to, if they don’t have uniforms, their staff have worn all kinds of things. So it isn’t too crazy or anything.

The two are amazed at books that help you choose and coordinate colors and that people have “seasons”. I’m shocked they have never heard of this, I mean Marianne is supposed to be a fashionista girl. But I mean the terms “my color”, “having my colors done”, “what’s your season”, or “I’m a ___” are things people were saying before 2015. Although you know what I think:

And how could they have missed these with all the different shows on HGTV or WE or Lifetime?

Marianne is late for her first day and is all no big deal-really? Why do they always make Marianne so dumb.

And Elizabeth is over at Elinor’s at 3:30? Doesn’t she have a job and work to do? And why would she think 9 to 5 Elinor would be home at 3:30?

Elinor is trying to help Lizzie choose colors and patterns, but why? Didn’t we establish in the other episode that she has zero fashion taste? Why isn’t Lizzie asking Emma?

Maybe because she is the only one doing her job.

Lizzie is freaking out what color to pick and I’m just like go with Navy Blue. Navy blue is the best color that looks goos on everyone. I have never met a person that cannot pull of navy blue.

So we hear a bit about Lizzie;s sisters. Mary is conservative (gray turtlenecks), Jane classic and sweet (pastels), Lydia wild (neon, ’80s, and animal print), and Kitty slightly less wild that Lydia (a tamer version). I have to say good job writer’s, it appears someone read the book or saw a movie as this is spot on. I can imagine their modern-day equivalents wearing these.

Marianne bursts in, a mess and shares her day. She was told off by her boss, Eric, for being late, has to wear an apron, and messes up a lot. Well-jeez I don’t blame her. The guy didn’t even train her. Now I have never worked as a barista, but I think I would have a new employee come in early to show them how things are done and how to work the equipment. Do they just throw you into it? Can anyone chime in on this?

Eric rushes her again and again, which is odd as she just started. You think he would cut the new girl, on her first day, with no barista experience, a break. Seriously, I mean you saw her resume-what were you expecting?

Elinor is super controlling again and determined to make sure Marianne keeps her job and wants her friends to help. You can’t control the world Elinor. Bedsides, her boss Eric seems a bit of a jerk to me, he might just fire her.

Elinor

Is Elinor sitting on the Smoothie Shop’s couch with bare feet. Ew-that’s not your couch. That’s a public one. And why ARE YOUR SHOES off in a CAFE??

Anyways, Elinor convinces Emma and Lizzie to come by everyday and, make Marianne look good so that she can keep her job.

So here we are and I’m thinking this has like zero to do with Jane Austen. Like why even make a show based on the characters of Jane Austen when it has like nothing to do with it at all. It’s amazing when you compare this to The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and see how well done that was in a modern adaptation that kept to the source material. Even Fall For You went on some other paths, but they kept the heart of the novels in there. What does any of this have to do with anything.

And why do they make Marianne so dumb and lazy. Marianne was a young rich girl, who suddenly lost everything one day, She never had to do anything as they had servants and she does’t adapt as quickly as Elinor. She also was a avid reader and a talented musician and had brains in her head.

So back to the show, not only has Elinor got the girls into it she calls up George, uh no they changed the name to something else-Garrett? I think? Anyways Knightley comes too. How long has Elionr been sitting there? Doesn’t she have a job? I mean I know she was promoted but I thought that meant more responsibilities-like dealing with the IRS, not more time to sit shoeless in a coffee shop. Still not over that.

So in the next scene Elinor is finally at work-finally. She complains about Marianne all the time not working, but hey you’ve been living in a coffee shop. She wears a t-shirt to work. I would expect a newly promoted accountant to wear something more professional, or at least not jeans-but whatever.

Lizzie interrupts her with bunches of clothes-and I ask, doesn’t she have a job she’s supposed to be working at?

Elinor listens to Lizzie as she complains no one is listening to her and actually gives good advice to her friend. They picked Lizzie to be in charge so she gets to make the decision and all have to live with it.

Knightley discusses Elinor’s “great plan” with Emma and Emma wants nothing to do with it from moment one thinks its a bad idea but wants to support her friend, that’s sweet.

Knightley talks to Emma–and hey, why isn’t he at work either, he has a job doesn’t he? I’m sorry I know I keep repeating myself, but its because of Elinor. She is always harping about Marianne not working, and in the other episodes we saw them all at their jobs-that them not doing that is a hundred times more obvious and in your face.

Kinghtley asks Emma why someone who loves love so much would be working in divorce. That’s what I’ve been asking to! Out of all the thousand professions in the world they could have given her-why the heck a divorce lawyer.

She says she is good at it even though it thoroughly depresses her. So Emma admits that is one of the reason she likes matching people up. Well if you hate it, why’d you pick that area of law.

What the heck!

Knightly complains about all disastrous dates he’s been on and all I have to say is why do we get this flashback, but no jean on jean? I really want to see that now.

I’ll just to google it.

I have to say Knightley’s reasons for why he doesn’t like the women were pretty shallow-what a jerk. One’s hair is too big, one talked too much too fast, and one mixed up her authors-okay not going to lie that last one I couldn’t deal with. If I had to talk to someone about Darles Chicken, Clom Tancy, and Sparkiles Nicks, I would go a bit cuckoo.

Emma and Knightley argue over why Emma is looking for Knightley’s match…blah, blah, blah and all I can think is that on Emma’s computer are a bunch of videos as if she is on Youtube. Well call me Elinor because I’m going to say it again Is anybody working?

And before you say well they are just meeting up at work or whatever, these scenes don’t have to be shot at the office. These all would have worked way better at a home, or a coffee shop, or park, etc.

I can’t tell what type of video they are watching but one looks like a dog on a skateboard (but it looks more like an ad), another is something in a baseball field, and the third two people on a couch.

Huhhhhhhh

Next scene is Lizzie in the park, so see-they could have done this in the park! BOOM!

Lizzie starts looking at the color book and says you are more important than my job, rent, or food-just kidding. She keeps looking at it and then just gives up.

Back at the cafe, Elizabeth and Knightley are hanging out at the cafe. And Elizabeth asks Knightley fashion advice. Now I find it odd that out of all the people in this show she hasn’t asked Emma, Emma who loves to give advice and loves fashion. Weird choice writers, weird.

Knightley thinks Mrs. Bennet’s choices are weird. He then listens to Lizzie and actually asks questions about it trying to help. Liz asks Knightly about his day and he tells her he has been doing nothing but what Emma says. Lizzie ask him why he doesn’t say no and he says its because it makes Emma feel good.

She then asks him if he ever thought about asking Emma out- and I’m like writer’s 10 points for you. It was done in a great way. Good job. Its like boom, so obvious to everyone you like each other-but Lizzie is tactful in suggesting it. It’s funny, but it actually reminds me of that scene in Emma (1996) AKA the Gywenth Paltrow version when Emma is all after all we aren’t brother and sister and Knightley is all, yes we are not brother and sister. In this Knightley is all we are friends, and Lizzie is all well friends make the best romantic relationships. It’s not the same but still a cute nod, whether intentional or not.

And then Knightley admits that he is interested in Emma. Cute.

Marianne makes a smoothie for a customer and does a really great job, but then accidentally spills it on him. Eric is all mad at her-but the customer seemed cool and it was an accident.  And it is only her second day. I don’t know-he seems extra harsh, but then again I have never worked food service so I can’t really say.

There is a cute moment where we have a horrified Marianne who feels so stupid at her mistakes and Elinor actually comforts her and shares a time about when she messed up on the job as a janitor and caused a girl to break her arm as she forgot to put up the wet floor signs. How awful! And I can’t believe she didn’t get sued for that!

Marianne tries to get her job back, but her boss is not buying it. Grant Kinghtley comes in and tries to convince the boss that Marianne is the best and should stay. Emma bosses Knightley around about how to “sell it” and they are so like in a relationship already. He really does “sell it” giving her $100 tip.

Lizzie shares how she picked the colors from the spilled smoothie on the guys sweater, and while she’s talking I noticed she looks really cute too-a blue and black gauzy shirt and her hair in a bun with front pieces curling. Finally! They had someone stepping it up on set with these outfits. You are on TV not radio, where what you wear matters.

Marianne comes bursting in excited that it worked and she has her job!

Grant tries to get his money back, but no dice.

He should just have Emma pay him back.

The cute guy Marianne spilled the drink on comes back as he thinks she is cute, and asks her out to dinner. Aw. But he’s not Colonel Brandon, so is he Willoughby?

If he is, then this show might get interesting-we have been missing a villian(s).

Hmmm

I guess we’ll just have to stay tuned…

For more Austentatious, go to I’ll Be Watching You: Austentatious (2015)

For more Jane Austen film retellings, go to Mrs. Darcy Wants to Know the Truth!: Death Comes to Pemberley, Episode Three (2013)

For more Sense & Sensibility, go to The Smart One and the Pretty One

For more Pride & Prejudice, go to I Met Mr Darcy

For more Emma, go to Austen Avengers Assemble!

Non-Austen Films for Austen Fans: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018)

So after you watch every single version of Jane Austen movies, what do you have to watch next?

Hmm…I don’t know!

That’s why I started this list, to have non-Austen films that Austen fans can enjoy.

So there are a lot of period dramas I plan on reviewing, but to start it off-I’m doing something a bit unexpected.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018)

Laura Jean is is a romantic. She reads romances, watches romantic films and Rom-Coms-her favorite is Sixteen Candles-and she dreams about the beauty of love in her head.

She wishes she could be in a romance book or film.

When Laura Jean falls in love she writes love letters, but she never sends them. Whenever she falls for a guy she writes them a letter, addresses it, seals it, and stashes it in her closet. She has fallen in love with five guys, so far:

  • Kenny from camp
  • John Ambrose McClaren from Model U. N.
  • Peter Kavinsky in 7th Grade
  • Lucas after Homecoming
  • Josh Sanderson, best friend turned sister’s boyfriend

Ouch, that last one-yes, Laura was best friends with Josh, but then her sister and him started dating. Very awkward!

It is the start of junior year and Laura’s sister is heading off to college to Scotland. Laura is feeling a little lost as she is losing her other best friend and the one she has…well it is even more awkward now that he isn’t dating her sister than when he was.

School is okay, as Laura Jean isn’t the most popular girl in school but it never really mattered before, but now she feels lonely without her sister.

Everything is normal until one day Peter Kavinsky approaches her out of the blue stating that nothing will ever happen between them.

Huh?

Laura Jean is confused, until she realizes he has her letter!! Josh does too, so in order to dissuade him-and to keep more awkward conversations from happening between her and Josh and her sister-she kisses Peter and takes off.

At home she discovers that all the letters are gone! Kenny’s from camp is returned to her, as address is wrong (*phew*) but all the others were sent out and received.

Lucas approaches her and reveals to her that he is gay, and the two actually become friends, this continuing throughout the movie. Peter’s girlfriend, Genevieve, dumped him for a college guy, and in order to get her back-he approaches Laura Jean about pretending to be his new girlfriend, as him dating Laura Jean will piss her off. Genevieve and Laura Jean used to be friends, but back in seventh grade it ended. At a party, they were playing spin-the-bottle and it landed on Peter, Genevieve’s crush. (That kiss lead to the writing of Laura Jean’s letter).

Laura Jean isn’t interested, but then Peter points out that if they are “dating”, then Josh won’t believe the letter is how Laura Jean feels now-and no awkward conversations will have to be done with Josh or Margo. Laura Jean agrees after they come up with a series of rules.

The two start “dating” and really enjoying each other’s company. Laura Jean’s mother died when she was little and she grew up with only one parent and her sisters. Peter’s dad left him and started a new family, it being just his mom and brother. They bond over what that feels like and have conversations they would never have with anyone else.

Most of all they just have fun with each other.

And their plan is working. Genevieve hates the situation and her college guy is quickly dropped as she tries to break the two up. Everything is going great until Laura Jean falls in love with her fake boyfriend. Will everything turn out okay?

So not fun…

Let me say that I love, love loved this movie. I put it on as background noise while I was doing something else and I stopped working as I was sucked in and just could not stop watching. It made me laugh, aw, and I just all around enjoyed it.

I can’t stop watching!

Now I know you think this film has been done a thousand times, and yes the fake relationship has-but what makes this stand out is the character Laura Jean. She is relatable, realistic, and so much fun. She was smart, but at the same time didn’t know all the answers to everything. She loved romance in books and movies, but was afraid at real commitment-understandable as she had lost her mother and now her sister has “left her.”

I liked the fact that they came up with rules as I have always thought that if you were to do this in real life the first thing you would need is a set of rules and a strong backstory.

I also liked that they broke up for actual serious reasons. Often they have the couple break up over silly misunderstandings that would be easily solved if the two would just talk to each other. But the fact that this guy says that he is into you but constantly talking to his ex-girlfriend and spent the night in her room? Good for you Laura Jean-that’s a no.

So I know you are all wondering-why would a Jane Austen fan like it? Well there are a few reasons. First of all Laura Jean is sooo Catherine Morland-a girl who loves romance novels and finds herself in one?! Out of all the Austen heroines that’s the one that most kept popping in my mind. How Laura Jean imagines herself in romance novels-and being sweet and naive. 

The relationship between Laura and Peter is reminiscent of Catherine and Mr. Tilney, both couples having great banter with their love interests-laughing and joking around with each other.

Like I said above, Peter isn’t exactly Mr. Tilney, but they do share commonalities. Both care about their younger siblings a lot and have a strained relationship with their fathers. They also don’t always follow social norms but do what they want, and enjoy joking around.

Another thing that Austen fans will enjoy is the family relationships. In Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility, the main Austen heroines didn’t have a lot of friends besides their own sisters. In Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth does have Charlotte Lucas, but just like how Laura Jean’s friend is practically non-existent in this film, the two don’t spend a lot of the book spending time together. Mostly, their best friends are their sisters (like Jane Austen’s sister was). In Pride and Prejudice, Jane goes away for a period of time to stay with relatives, and Elizabeth is very lonely with her gone-just how Laura Jean feels when Margo goes away for school. Speaking of P&P, Laura Jean’s little sister Kitty-she’s like a combo of Lydia and Kitty. Meddling, outspoken, more mature than her years in some aspects (but still a child in others).

Like Sense and Sensibility, we have an older, more sensible sister-Margo/Elinor; a romantic, reader, middle sister-Laura Jean/Marianne; and a spunky, does thing her own thing, younger sister-Kitty/Margaret. Like in S&S, The older siblings have a very close relationship, but both keep secrets from each other. But through all the ups and downs-secret holding and ultimately revealing the truth-the sisters are there for each other.

The other thing that Austen fans will love- is that letters play a crucial role in the film and in the plot. In Austen’s time, letters were extremely important-being the only way of communicating when apart, but often read out loud and like the TV of the day. In Austen’s books-letters play a very important role. The two most known of course are Darcy’s letter in Pride and Prejudice and Captain Wentworth’s letter in Persuasion. Like those novels-the letters Laura Jean writes to her love interests, start all the events in the film, but just like those two Austen men’s letters bring a romantic conclusion-the love notes Peter wrote her are what convince her of his love.

I recommend it for any Austen fan.

For more Young Adult/Teen works, go to Non-Austen Reads for Austen Readers: Suitors and Sabotage

For more love letters, go to You Were Right, Let’s Get Married: Psycho (1960)

For more Austen film/TV show reviews, go to Mrs. Darcy Wants to Know the Truth!: Death Comes to Pemberley, Episode Three (2013)

Pride & Prejudice: A Latter Day Comedy

Pride & Prejudice: A Latter-Day Comedy

So you know how I want to review everything Pride & Prejudice or has a connection to Jane Austen.

I watched this the other day with my boyfriend and I felt it was:

So the story is a modern day version of Pride and Prejudice set in 2000’s Utah. And yes the characters are Morman. Get it, a Latter-Day comedy, as in Latter-Day saints?

There isn’t too much Mormon stuff in it though, just that they go to church and the way they dress-little things like that. There had been more, but they cut it to make it open to more people.

The ladies of Pride & Prejudice are not all related in this version, but they all are roommates in a home owned by Lydia’s father. Jane Vasquez is from Argentina and a beautiful, wild free-spirit–who I don’t know what she does, they never say. Elizabeth Bennet is studious, smart, and a feminist. She is in graduate school (studying Jane Austen), writing novels and submitting them, and working at the local bookstore. Mary is nerdy, socially awkward, and trying to snag William Collins-but failing. Lydia and Kitty Meryton are sisters who only care about their appearance and trying to catch a wealthy man.

Jane, Elizabeth, Lydia, and Kitty. Mary is not pictured.

I didn’t really care for any of the girls depictions as they just seemed so fake and unreal. The only one who seemed to be anything like the original character was Lydia.

So Elizabeth meets Darcy at her job, and is is a total jerk. He makes fun of her and complains about her to her boss.

What a jerk

Charles Bingley is a complete moron. Like how has he even managed to live this far in his life?

I mean he has a line of classical music for dogs to help train them.

Wow

His sister Caroline is a total drama queen, who is trying to do all she can to catch Will Darcy. She does not like Elizabeth or Jane.

Everything is pretty similar to the novel, William Collins tries to get with Elizabeth, but she turns him down.

In this though he gives a super embarrassing sermon about how awful Elizabeth is for rejecting him on the pulpit.

One major change is that happens in this film is that Jack Wickham and Elizabeth used to date.

He keeps trying to get with her but she is on-the-fence about whether or not she wants to go down that road. He can be sweet and romantic, but it is clear that his real interest is sex, something Elizabeth is not interested in until marriage.

He does offer to take her to Vegas so they can marry, but Elizabeth is not interested.

So conflict arises when Charles takes off on Jane breaking her heart.

Elizabeth has a company interested in one of her novels but it turns out to be Will Darcy!

Yep, obvious. He likes her novel but thinks she needs to change a lot of stuff. This of course upsets Elizabeth.

She accuses Darcy of lots of things and takes off. She of course gets a letter which reveals that Collins was seen proposing to Jane by Charles, so he thought they were together. Darcy apoligizes for his behavior and then explains what Jack did to his sister-running off with her and getting married in Vegas when he still married to someone else.

Elizabeth and Jane both feel bad and they just munch their feelings away.

I’m going to hide under the covers with my ice cream

This upsets Lydia and Kitty who decide it is time to take matters into his own hands and get the girls up and at the market. But things don’t go as planned.

Lydia Merylon: Oh, this is just great girls. Here we’ve just spent 20 minutes picking out the perfect array of romantic items, and what do we come back to find? Two kegs of ice cream, pills for cramping, pills for bloating, and six super size boxes of Tampax? Why don’t we just put up a big neon sign that says, “Men, run for your lives! Menstruating monsters approaching!”

Jane and Elizabeth decide they are going to head out to the woods to clear their heads.

On the way they run into Charles, and Jane takes off. Elizabeth continues, gets lost and ends up in Darcy’s cabin. They talk and Elizabeth meets Georgina and Caroline tricks Elizabeth into thinking that Darcy and her are engaged to be married.

Then things get worse with Lydia running off to marry Wickham and everyone hurries to fine her with Darcy doing the one thing we all want.

So yeah, not that good. It had all these weird dream sequences/imagination thing that made no sense and was super confusing.

Help me! I’m confused!

 I didn’t like the actors chosen or the direction the film went in.

It was boring and I do not recommend it.

For more on Pride & Prejudice, go to Prude & Prejudice

For more Pride & Prejudice variations, go to Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife: Pride and Prejudice Continues

For more films based on Jane Austen, go to TO the Person Who Hated My Review of Emma (1996) AKA the Kate Beckinsale Version

For more Jane Austen variations, go to A Long Fatal Love Chase

For more Jane Austen quotes, go to You Can’t Hurry Love

Prude & Prejudice

Prude & Prejudice by Francine Carroll

So any of you Kindle, Nook, or other E-Reader?

Yes, I do.

Well there is a fantastic site that you can get ebooks from. They range from being free to being low cost-and have every genre you can think of.

The site is called BookBub and I suggest you check it out today. I mean who doesn’t love free stuff?

But free books can either be good:

And some are horrible.

This is one of the horrible ones.

Our main character is supposed to be based on Elizabeth Bennet but is gifted with the name Prudence Higginbottom.

That is the name the author came up with? Did she put a blindfold on and pull out random Scrabble tiles?

Anyway, Prudence prefers Prue as she hates her full name.  Besides being bullied about that she also had to contend with being overweight growing up.

She has since then lost the weight, gone off to university, and successfully operates a farm to fork organic café with her family. Her family consists of her quiet father, outlandish mother, and three sisters. Of the sisters I’m not entirely who is who as they change the names (Alice, Mary, & Cate), but I’m pretty sure that Cate is Jane. I don’t know why they have to complicate things for us readers.

So Prue and her mother have been fighting over the organic farming for years, (Prue’s mom thought it was a horrible idea) but it looks like Prue’s plan is really going to pay off. An organic food distribution company is moving to the area and will need someone to provide food for the workers during lunch and catered events. Mrs. Higginbottom works hard to become their choice.

Prue ends up getting there later and is stuck with a jacket XXXL jacket. She bemoans this fate as she feels it makes her look fat.

Hmm…

Now I had a problem with that plot point. If someone wears something that is that much bigger than them, as Prue is a medium; it shouldn’t make her look fat but as if she is wearing the wrong size. The author uses it as an important plot device, but it makes no sense.

As she is moving things around and doing her duties as a caterer, she overhears the company owners-the handsome Charles Bradley (Charles Bingley) and William Darling (Mr. Darcy). Charles tell William he should help the caterer girl, Prue, but William says no she looks big enough to handle her tray on her own and makes fun of the name Prudence Higginbottom.

She becomes so upset over what he said that she starts talking smack about him. She also overhears another conversation and thinks he is talking about immigration, continuing her bad-mouthing to everyone.

She also looks up William Darling online and finds a report by a Georgina Wickham (George Wickham) on CheatingDirtyB*******.com and believes it.

Anyone can put anything on the internet. Why would you believe it?

Then the author is against free speech, as when Mrs. Higginbottom shares her beliefs and right to speak her mind:

“What kind of world do we live in where people can’t express their opinions in their own homes? Its political correctness gone mad, that’s what it is.”

Everyone acts like she is crazy and shouldn’t be talking. Like that’s not right. I know this takes place in England and maybe people feel different there, but I’m an American and I believe that people should have the right to whatever their opinion or view is. I may not agree with it, I may not like it, I may think it rude, crude, stupid, etc-but I still think you have the right to express yourself-especially in your own home. I mean I think this book is pretty stupid, boring, and a waste of time-but Carroll had a right to write it, just as I have a right to review and share what I think.

Later Mr. Bennet Mr. Higginbottom says this, which makes no sense:

“My dear,’ cut in Mr Higginbottom, ‘If you read anything besides gossip magazines, you might realize that the history of the human race is the history of immigration. People have always moved around the globe extensively and the kind of national pride you express is a very recent thing, which in my opinion is exploited by politician’s and shock jocks for their own nefarious ends.”

Ugh, haven’t you ever heard of WWI or WWII, both of which involved a lot of national pride. I mean I know England was involved with both of them.

Seriously

So then Prue gets drunk one night at the bar and gets super angry at William Darling, yelling and screaming at him. Cate has to take her home, and then after realizing that she messed up a great contract, Prue has to swallow her pride and go apologize to Darling.

Meh.

Now one of the big reasons why I love Jane Austen is the complexity of the characters, the amazing wit, and the way she can tell an interesting story without having to resort to silly ploys. This book was nothing like that as it was boring and the language dull. No wit, Prue was annoying, and Darling was a shadow of a character.

Anyways they have a party-Mrs. Higginbottom makes a fool of herself, Cate is embarrassed, Prue and Darling talk everything out, Darling was talking about farming not immigration and he aplogizes for his earlier comments,they are married, blah, blah blah.

Blah, blah

Yes, I found this book to be incredibly boring, too easily “sewn” up at the end, and more as a vehicle to discuss Carroll’s views rather than remaking Pride and Prejudice.

Ugh.

In my opinion, I would just pass this one on by.

For more on Pride & Prejudice, go to Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife: Pride and Prejudice Continues

For more Pride & Prejudice variations, go to Book Club Picks: The Darcy Monologues

For more books based on Jane Austen, go to A Visit to Highbury: Another View of Emma