Tuesday, May 5, 2020


Image credit: Alchetron
And so I am put into the most fairest and brightest of moods this morning because the film of choice with coffee and cake was a delightful romp of misinterpreted romantic signals, vanity, and hilarious consequences… I am of course referring to Austen’s most admired of all romantic comedies –indeed the matriarch of the genre itself – Emma.

The film follows Miss Emma Woodhouse (Kate Beckinsale), a sweet, but ambitious country heiress who finds no pleasure in personal romantic pursuits, but takes complete pleasure and pride in her abilities to match-make everyone else in her acquaintance. Her latest project is a pretty young woman of no consequence, Harriet Smith, whom Emma determines to set up with the village pastor. With one highly successful match under her belt, Emma is convinced of her talents, but karma rears its head when each and every one of her plans regarding Harriet Smith completely backfires.

Emma has to be one of the most timeless and celebrated romantic comedies. It’s been remade and remastered time and time again -each time as classic and hilarious as ever- and has always retained its incredible relativity, humour, and delightful irony.
This adaptation proves to be just as timeless and enjoyable as all those that have come before, taking on the tone of the most romantic of dramas –complete with in-film fantasy sequences and romantic nightmares. All set against a lovely rural backdrop depicting English country elegance of a time long past.

Kate Beckinsale as the titular heroine is absolutely delightful: though manipulative, she is completely sincere and not unfeeling towards her fellow sex and it’s lovely to watch unlikely friendships blossom despite the social standing. Backinsale is all elegance and charm with a slight cheekiness in her sophistication that makes her impossible not to fall in love with.

Image credit: IMDb
Boasting a strange, but agreeable cast including Mark Strong and Prunella Scales, Emma is filled with wonderful humour, misdemeanours, and delicious disasters that all tie up neatly in the end. It’s the ultimate romantic comedy, virtually indestructible, and this adaptation proves to be a charming and faithful one.

Director: Diarmuid Lawrence, 1996

Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Mark Strong, Bernard Hepton, Samantha Bond, James Hazeldine, Dominic Rowan, Samantha Morton, Prunella Scales, Guy Henry, Raymond Coulthard, and Olivia Williams

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