There may come a time when you’re standing in the stacks, book in one hand, DVD in the other. What to do!?! Have no fear. It’s Book vs. Movie.
I feel like I should be writing this review in a confessional, or submit it to a Tumblr for anonymous admissions of misdeeds (Animals Talking in All Caps aside, Tumblr is still popular, right?). Maybe I could just publish this under the pseudonym “Lizzie D.” to avoid the hordes of English majors who will undoubtedly be readying their pitchforks to roast one of their own.
With that in mind, perhaps I should start with the book. Jane Austen is arguably the first chick lit author. As such, Pride and Prejudice deftly tackles relationships (not just romantic, mind you) from the perspective of women. Five sisters (Jane, Elizabeth, Lydia, Kitty, and Mary) all need to get married stat or risk becoming destitute because they are unable to inherit their father’s estate. That’s some serious social pressure. But how can you focus on finding Mr. Right when you are also trying to build a meaningful relationship with your mother who is intent on embarrassingly shoving you toward the nearest bachelor—a guy you wouldn’t even consider pity-dating? Basically, every ballroom scene in the book becomes the equivalent of having your mom chaperon you at speed dating event (don’t laugh. I’m pretty sure this happened to @UTCBadLuckBrian). More importantly, to what extent should money play a role in our social lives? If you had the opportunity to date someone with some serious cash, and whom you are afraid to admit you are attracted to, but who is also a serious ass, would you do it? Tough questions. Luckily, it’s chick lit, so we all pretty much know what’s going to happen.
Okay, now the movie. Here it goes. In the battle of Keira Knightley et al. vs. Pride and Prejudice, I have to admit. I liked this book and this movie.
I should specify I liked the English parts of this movie—because the American actors were generally terrible. I really don’t care if your IMBD says that you are “up and coming” or if you won some Golden Globes, swallow your pride (ha ha, get it?) and hire a dialect coach. That said, I loved the visuals (crap, now I have the film majors coming after me too). The sets were really well done, and I get the sense that great care was taken in selecting some of the most well-loved places from the book (like the Bennett residence). Plus, the sweeping cliff-side panorama was amazing. Knightley (as Elizabeth Bennet) also has some pretty good chemistry going on with her co-stars (Matthew Macfadyen as Mr. Darcy and Rosamund Pike as Mary Bennet). As always, Dame Judi Dench rocks my socks. Did the film leave some stuff out? Yes. Did I still allow it to find its way into my DVD collection? Absolutely.
What about you? Book or movie?