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Ranking 7 Pride and Prejudice Related Screen Adaptations (Modern Retellings/Inspired of/Variations from Top Favorite to Least Favorite)

With Pride and Prejudice and Zombies movie now showing in US theaters nationwide (I haven't seen the movie yet, but will do very soon and post my review of it here, once I've seen it) and having seen almost every P&P adaptations ever made, I thought I'd compile and rank (from my current top favorite to least favorite) here, 7 (modern retellings/inspired of/variations) TV & Film screen adaptations of Jane Austen's classic Pride and Prejudice novel sans the 4 main standard P&P (1940, 1980, 1995, and 2005) adaptations. They are not included here on this list because this post is all about the variations and modern take aspect of Austen's P&P. I'll probably do a separate post on the standard ones (or combine both) next time.

For now, I am listing and ranking these 7 P&P related modern and inspired of adaptations that were either released on the big screen or premiered on TV (as well as a YouTube series) to coincide with this past weekend's PPZ movie's theatrical release (and if the new P&P with Zombie movie mash-up isn't your cup of tea...there's a dog show, a Bollywood musical, a murder-mystery, or a Mormon Latter-Day comedy to check out and watch, if you haven't seen any of these movies yet). I based my ranking here on how much I loved and enjoyed watching the modern adaptation, its rewatchability factor (ie. how many times I've seen it and still loving it after multiple viewings), the modern take of Elizabeth & Darcy's iconic characters, their classic love-hate-love relationship, their performances and chemistry, and its fresh and modern twist to Austen's beloved and timeless classic P&P novel.



1.


Unleashing Mr. Darcy Synopsis
In this modern day spin on “Pride & Prejudice,” Elizabeth Scott (Cindy Busby), is fishing for direction in her life and gets the opportunity to professionally show her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel in a fancy New York dog show. Dog show judge Donovan Darcy (Ryan Paevey) comes across as aristocratic and rude and a chain of misunderstandings unfold during the competition, complicating their mutual attraction. In true Jane Austen fashion, Elizabeth and Donovan begin to see the error of their ways and it turns out Mr. Darcy is far more kind and interesting than Elizabeth ever imagined.
I thought Unleashing Mr. Darcy was a great, fun, and entertaining movie. I really loved and enjoyed watching it. I personally loved it enough to have seen it a few 5 times now (had it saved on DVR for repeat viewings...waiting for DVD to add it to my P&P related movie collection) and still loved it. If you're looking for a light-hearted rom-com movie with a modern and fresh new take of Austen's timeless classic, with adorable dogs in the mix, a smart and feisty Elizabeth (in Cindy Busby), and a handsome and charming Mr. Darcy (in Ryan Paevey) to stare at and distract you for 2 hours...I highly recommend you watch this movie, if you haven't seen it yet. Read my full Unleashing Mr. Darcy Movie Review

2. Bride & Prejudice
starring (as Lalita Bakshi) &


 Bride & Prejudice Synopsis
A clash of cultures in the spirit of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, this modern musical retelling of Jane Austen's classic Pride and Prejudice is a hilariously entertaining tale of one girl's unlikely search for love! Sparks immediately fly as a love/hate relationship ignites between a small-town beauty (International star Aishwarya Rai) and a wealthy American (Martin Henderson - The Ring, Torque) who's visiting her modest Indian village! In a swirl of music, dance and comic misunderstandings, these opposites continue to attract and repel one another in a riotous romance that spans three continents! Featuring Naveen Andrews (TV's Lost, The English Patient) and a memorable performance from top recording artist Ashanti - love will eventually conquer all in this acclaimed treat from the director of Bend It Like Beckham!
I thought Bride & Prejudice starring Aishwarya Rai as Lalita Bakshi (aka Lizzie Bennet) and Martin Henderson as the wealthy American Will Darcy (Mr. Darcy) Indian/Bollywood version of Pride & Prejudice was brilliant, fun, funny, and entertaining to watch. Can never get enough of P&P in different versions including this one, which was not only fun, funny, entertaining to watch. I love the costumes and how colorful and vibrant they were, the beautiful music (the songs were very catchy and makes you want to sing along with them), and all the dancing (makes you wanna dance with the characters while you watch). Read my full Bride & Prejudice (2004) Film Review.

3.

Watch Episode 1 of the LBD...

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries Synopsis
The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is a modernized adaptation of the classic Jane Austen novel, Pride and Prejudice. The story is told primarily through Lizzie Bennet‘s Video Diaries, while being supported by her and other characters social media streams.
I thought The Lizzie Bennet Diaries vlog (video log/diary blog)/YouTube series was a great addition to the many adaptations and interpretations of Jane Austen's 200-years-old, masterpiece classic Pride and Prejudice novel. The idea of making this beloved Austen classic, which has been adapted numerous times and turn it into a modern video blog, an online vlog series format, which I think has never been done before was quite clever, fresh, and interesting. The cast and crew did a great job in adapting this into the modern times considering the medium and their experimental approach (as in they were filming and showing episodes bi-weekly as they go along...and had kept going up to 100 episodes...Read my full (to be updated soon as I've already seen all 100 episodes of) The Lizzie Bennet Diaries Series Review.
 
4. (as Elizabeth Darcy/Mrs. Darcy) &


Death Comes To Pemberley Synopsis
Elizabeth and Darcy, now six years married and with a young son, are preparing for the lavish annual ball at their magnificent Pemberley home. The unannounced arrival of Elizabeth’s wayward sister Lydia, however, brings an abrupt and shocking halt to proceedings when she stumbles out of her chaise screaming that her husband Wickham has been murdered.
Darcy leads a search party out to the woodlands, and when they discover the blood-smeared corpse not of Wickham, but his traveling companion. Suspicion is at once
aroused. The dramatic and unnerving events of the evening have shattered the peace both of the Darcys and of Pemberley, and as the family becomes caught up in the ensuing murder investigation, a mysterious web of secrets and deceit will threaten all that the Darcys hold dear...
Despite the miscasting of the Darcys (and unfortunately, their lack of spark and chemistry...at least their acting made up for it) and the barely tolerable Lydia Wickham, I thought Death Comes To Pemberley turned out to be really good and much better than I expected. I really loved and enjoyed watching the murder-mystery part of the story and the conflict of the Darcy's marriage, which started out happy (though briefly shown) and suddenly turned sour after the Wickhams sudden arrival and murder scandal they brought along with them. Loved the suspense, twist and turn, and the surprising reveal at the end of both episodes 2 and 3 that I didn't see coming. The little promos also did a great job of not showing much as well as not spoiling and revealing the surprising ending. That's what made this mini-series fun to watch as I was into the murder-mystery part and kept trying to figure out as to whodunit. Read my full Death Comes To Pemberley (2013) Review

5. Bridget Jones Diary (2001)
starring Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth, and Hugh Grant



Bridget Jones' Diary Synopsis
Bridget Jones's Diary is a 2001 British romantic comedy film directed by Sharon Maguire. It is based on Helen Fielding's novel of the same name which is a reinterpretation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. The adaptation stars Renée Zellweger as Bridget, Hugh Grant as the caddish Daniel Cleaver and Colin Firth as Bridget's "true love", Mark Darcy.
The first time I saw this movie, I didn't even think it was related to Austen's P&P other than Colin Firth's character's name, Mark Darcy. I just thought that his character's last name was just a nod or reference to his iconic Darcy role in his P&P (1995) mini-series. I didn't see any P&P character traits to Bridget Jones nor Mark Darcy, other than the Darcy last name and Bridget saying one of the famous P&P Quotes (the first sentence quote from chapter 1 in P&P novel, in a different way): "It is a truth universally acknowledged that when one part of your life starts going okay, another falls spectacularly to pieces." Then, I read that Fielding has said that the first Bridget Jones story was based on the Jane Austen novel Pride and Prejudice. Interesting. I didn't really noticed that while watching this movie for the first time (and even after reading that and seeing this movie more than a few times). Still, I loved and enjoyed watching this movie (with or without the P&P connection). It's one of my favorite romantic-comedy films along with its sequel.

Honorable Mention:
 
Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004)
starring Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth, and Hugh Grant



Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason Synopsis
Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason is a 1999 novel by Helen Fielding, a sequel to her popular Bridget Jones's Diary. It chronicles Bridget Jones's adventures after she begins to suspect that her boyfriend, Mark Darcy, is falling for a rich young solicitor who works in the same firm as him, a woman called Rebecca. The comic novel follows the characteristic ups and downs of the self-proclaimed singleton's first real relationship in several years. It also involves many misunderstandings, a few work mishaps, and an adventure in Southeast Asia involving planted drugs and Madonna songs.

Okay, this sequel to Bridget Jones's Diary only had a very little P&P connection with Colin Firth's Darcy character name only on it and none of the P&P stuff (well, maybe a little, which was the "misunderstandings" part). Still, I loved and enjoyed watching this movie (probably even more than the first movie) and I thought I'd include an honorable mention of this movie here on this list. Not too mention, I loved CF's Darcy character here more than his actual Darcy role in the 1995 miniseries, lol...In addition, there were parallels between The Edge of Reason and the Austen novel Persuasion, in which the main character, Bridget Jones was persuaded by her friends to break off her relationship with her "true love" (Mark Darcy).

6. Lost In Austen (2008)
starring Elliot Cowan and Gemma Arterton


Lost In Austen Synopsis
Amanda, an ardent Jane Austen fan, lives in present day London with her boyfriend Michael, until she finds she's swapped places with Austen's fictional creation Elizabeth Bennet.
I thought Lost In Austen had a nice concept of its premise with its tagline: "Same Story. Different Centuries." With a modern heroine in Amanda Price (played by Jemimah Rooper), an Austen/P&P fanatic, unexpectedly meet with her favorite Pride and Prejudice heroine Elizabeth Bennet (played by Gemma Arterton) where they traded places and centuries. It kinda reminded me a bit of one of my favorite romantic-comedy films Holiday (starring Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz). This was an interesting adaptation or rather quite a different take on Austen's Pride and Prejudice... Also, I thought Lost In Austen was good. It had a great scenery/locations, cool opening credits, interesting cast, and cinematography. The first two episodes started of so good, if only Amanda Price was not so annoying and ruin things (for the worse) along the way for the P&P characters of this mini-series...I would've liked the rest of the episodes more. Though I did enjoy seeing Hugh Bonneville (aka Lord Grantham in Downton Abbey) as Mr. Bennet and the lil' brief Elizabeth & Darcy moments. Even in their briefest scenes together, they were still a much better couple than Darcy and Amanda were or will ever be...it's ashamed they made Elizabeth Bennet an unimportant character in this version, when she was and had always been the main protagonist of P&P...Read my full Lost In Austen Review.

7. Pride and Prejudice (2003)
starring &



Pride and Prejudice (2003) Synopsis
Elizabeth Bennet is a hard-working, intelligent college student who won't even think about marriage until she graduates. But when she meets Jack Wickham, a good-looking playboy, and Darcy, a sensible businessman, Elizabeth's determination is put to the test. Will she see through their exteriors and discover their true intentions? Based on Jane Austen's timeless tale Pride and Prejudice, Bestboy Pictures presents a comedy about love, life and feminine persuasion.
I thought this movie was kinda good and funny for an independent film and without knowing so much about its (or rather lack there of) connection to Austen's P&P. All I could remember from this movie...mostly was that the main characters were Elizabeth & Darcy...the rest were a blur, lol...Read my full Pride and Prejudice (2003) Film Review.

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