Warning: Not all of these movies are on Netflix Streaming right now! WHY? This makes me so angry. I hate how Netflix is always pulling down movies randomly, just when I get an urge to watch them. Netflix is mean.
But, you can always procure these films the old fashioned way . . . through Netflix’s DVD service. Ugh! Having to wait an ENTIRE BUSINESS DAY to have these delivered to your house and then HAVING TO WALK TO THE MAILBOX?? God, Netflix. YOU ARE SO INCONVENIENT.
Let’s get to it, shall we!! Here are a few movies that just might quench your Mr. Darcy desire.
Title: Lost In Austen
Recommended by: Jenny
Amanda Price is a lady just like you and me, struggling to make her way in this crazy world of ours. That is, until Lizzy Bennet climbs out of her bathroom cupboard and convinces Amanda that they should switch places — which, apart from being interrupted in the bathroom, is pretty much my dream. Lucky bitch. And, of course, since she’s all modern and progressive and shiny and new, all the men in Austenland fall for Amanda — including Bingley, which causes quite a bother, but more importantly, Darcy. Things start veering off course for the story pretty quickly, and Amanda goes to hilarious lengths to keep everything the way it’s supposed to be.
Swoonworthy Scale: 8
Elliot Cowan plays Darcy as a mysterious man with a brow heavy with broody, broody thoughts, which is all well done and good, but it’s more the idea of what happens in this adaptation that makes it so swoony: Girlfriend gets to live out every woman in the world’s dream to make out with Darcy.
Jane Austen Fix: Voyeuristic
Usually, I’m a purist when it comes to my favorite stories — as much as I might love Darcy, he’s supposed to be with Lizzy. So an adaptation where some tart goes flouncing around and stealing him from Lizzy would leave me less than satisfied. Fortunately, Amanda Price feels the same way, and tries REALLY HARD to make things right, so I couldn’t help but be happy for her — all the while imagining I WAS her.
Title: Bride and Prejudice
Recommended by: Alix
Lalita Bakshi is the second of four beautiful but very different sisters in Amritsar, India. At an arranged marriage for a friend, the Bakshi girls meet some attractive, rich foreigners by way of British-Indian Balraj and American Will Darcy. Lalita’s sister Jaya and Balraj hit it off, but Lalita takes an immediate dislike to the pampered, jingoistic, workaholic Darcy. Oh, and it’s a campy, Bollywood-inspired take on the original, from the team behind Bend It Like Beckham, complete with dance sequences that make Netherfield Ball look like Mr. Collins reading aloud from Fordyce’s Sermons.
Swoonworthy Scale: 7
Martin Henderson is a bit of a wet blanket as Will Darcy, but it doesn’t really matter because OH MY GOD EVERYONE IN THIS MOVIE IS SO ATTRACTIVE. Martin, who you may remember from The Ring or that one Britney Spears video, is not exactly bad on the eyes. For the first time in the history of Pride and Prejudice adaptations, Bingley is actually sexy. The guy who plays Wickham is pretty smoking, even Mary Bennet is more beautiful than you, and Aishwarya Rai is objectively the most attractive woman on the planet. Plus, Mr. Darcy takes her on amazing dates involving helicopter rides over the Grand Canyon, Mariachi bands, and an entire gospel choir on the beach.
Jane Austen Fix: Slumber Party Viewing
This movie is worth watching any and ALL of the times, but works best when you’re giggling with your girlfriends over a bottle of wine or five. Bonus points if you all wear white pajamas and re-enact the “No Life Without Wife” scene.
Title: Pride & Prejudice: A Latter-Day Comedy
Recommended by: Alix
Lizzy, Jane, Lydia and Kitty are housemates together at BYU in this modern take on Pride & Prejudice. Lydia has the worst bangs in the world. Oh, and spoiler alert: Wickham turns out to be a polygamist.
Swoonworthy Scale: 3
The chemistry here was not so good. Also, polygamy.
Jane Austen Fix: Let’s Be Sacrilegious and Get Drunk
This movie is SUPER doofy. You can definitely enjoy it, but approach with low expectations and a bottle or five.
Title: The Lizzie Bennet Diaries
Recommended by: Alix
Created by Hank Green (Of the Vlogbrothers!) and Bernie Su, LBD follows the life of Lizzie Bennet, a 24-year old graduate student and her two sisters, Jane and Lydia. Each episode is shot in video diary format and loosely follows the original plot of the book, with a modern twist. Most characters are described (or hilariously re-enacted by Lizzie and her sisters) from off-screen, which forces the viewer to imagine characters and circumstances for themselves, unlike the usual instant-gratification of visual media. Characters also interact with each other and the general public via social media such as Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr. Additionally, the show deals with themes of voyeurism and internet ethics. It’s clever, well-cast, and extremely well done. It’ll take you a while to catch up, but once you’re there, it’s easy to keep current.
Swoonworthy Scale: Room to Grow
So far, we are 46 episodes in and HAVE YET TO SEE DARCY. After all this build-up, he had better be the most attractive human in the history of humans. Bing Lee, however, is PERFECTLY cast, and he and Jane are actually strangely swoony together. Just check out Episode 28! (Warning: this video may cause you to vomit rainbows onto your desk.) Wickham, however, is heinous, and it’s hard to see what Lizzy sees in him. He and his guyliner can go elope with Lydia.
Jane Austen Fix: Lunch Break!
New episodes of LBD come out on Mondays and Thursdays around 12EST. Clocking in at 4-5 minutes each, they make the perfect break to your work day.
Title: Becoming Jane
Recommended by: Sarah
This film isn’t an adaptation of a Jane Austen novel. It’s an adaptation of JANE AUSTEN’S LIFE! WHAT! Played with gorgeous pluck by Anne Hathaway, Jane is fiercely independent and charmingly prickly (as you knew she would be), and instead of gentlemen suitors, she dreams of life as a writer. She eventually meets her match in the disreputable Tom Lefroy, played with sexy ease by James McAvoy, and romance and drama ensue. OH HOW THEY ENSUE.
Swoonworthy Scale: 8
If you rearrange the letters in James McAvoy’s name, they spell DEVILISHLY SEXY. Ok, not really, but they should, because that’s what he is! That noble profile! Those piercing pale blue eyes! That cocky smirk! In the character of Tom, James shows us exactly where Jane found her inspiration for dashing heartthrobs, and the enemistry between the two of them is highly flammable.
Jane Austen Fix: It’s Personal
This cinematic biography of Austen’s life is obviously embellished for entertainment purposes, and I’M TOTES OK WITH THAT. I have no idea what Jane Austen was really like, but Hathaway’s fiery portrayal is exactly what I pictured. It’s easy to forget, when reading her books, that life for ladies during that time was kind of terrible, and watching Jane rage against the norm is inspiring. This film has all of the ingredients of a great Austen novel– swoon, humor and social commentary– but it looks like happy endings were reserved primarily for her characters. In other words, have some tissue ready.
Title: Bridget Jones’s Diary
Recommended by: Erin
The film adaptation of Helen Fielding’s beloved P&P adaptation features Renee Zellweger making THAT FACE all the time. Which is horrendous. But it also features Colin Firth as Mark Darcy, a taciturn barrister in reindeer jumpers, who nevertheless excites Poor Single Bridget’s nerves. Bridget is charming, drunk, and nowhere near getting her shit together, which makes her the perfect heroine for all of us twenty- and thirtysomethings who can claim the same.
Swoonworthy Scale: 9
Not only does Hugh Grant play what is, for me, his best type of role (that of oily lothario, which I suspect is the closest to his actual personality), but COLIN FIRTH PLAYS MARK DARCY. It was a huge (and hilarious!) get when he decided he’d play the role, and it’s really what turns this movie into SWOON CENTRAL. How does he do that husky-voiced, leany-in thing before he kisses someone? I wish he’d teach classes on it, because, PANTIES AFLAME.
Jane Austen Fix: Rough Tuesday Night
This movie was made for rough Tuesdays. You know, when you thought all the crazy shizz in your life happened on Monday, but then, lo, Tuesday arrived and more crazy shizz arrived with it, so you stop by Target on the way home and buy a bottle of wine and some of those frozen appetizer things and then you spend all Tuesday night feeling a little sorry for yourself and watching romantic comedies? Rough Tuesday night! It’s practically a weekly tradition in my house.
Grab some friends and a few bottles of bubbly and your pyjamas, and let’s all live our lives through prettier people this weekend!