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4 Films Every Austen Addict Should Watch

Austenland Austen Addict
Photo: Sony Pictures Classics

“This is my one chance to really live in Austen’s world.” – Austenland

Okay let’s just admit it; all of us Austen addicts want the chance to live in Jane Austen’s novels. Where else do opinionated, high strung, girls of no fortune end up marrying Mr. Darcy or bookish girls prone to flights of fancy end up with Mr. Tilney professing his love in the garden? Well, nowhere seeing as those are Jane Austen’s characters and they only exist in her novels but you see my point. Austen’s novels are every bookish girl’s fantasy because, after a fair amount of trouble, every bookish heroine gets her happy ending. Perhaps that’s why we love those books so much, and that’s why we devour every adaptation of them we can get our hands on, even the ones that are kind of weird.

We tune into PBS with mugs of tea in hand to watch historically inaccurate low budget films of Austen’s lesser known works and crowd into rec rooms wearing homemade regency era gowns for Austen society balls and it has gotten out of hand. … Maybe that’s just me. Maybe I’m the only one who needs to get my Austen addiction under control but if I’m not here are a few films that will help you Austen addicts get it together. The road to recovery is a long one but I think this will help.

4 Films and Series for Every Austen Addict

#1 Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Photo: Sony Pictures

Some think that adding zombies to Jane Austen’s masterpiece is sacrilege. I think it was the most perfect decision of all time. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is an instant classic, a period drama of epic proportions.

RELATED | Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Film Review – Everything You Could Ever Want

How will this incredible adaptation help you get over your Jane Austen addiction, you ask? Everyone who has read the book knows that PPZ is really just Pride and Prejudice with Zombies added to the mix. Unlike every other zombie film. society continues much as it always has. The girls still attend balls and discuss the merits of their future husbands while polishing zombie-slaying weapons. The absurdity of it is truly delightful. The film helps Austen addicts to break into other genres. It offers the comforting familiarity of the Pride and Prejudice story while stretching the Austen lover into new kinds of films.

Let’s call it a gateway film. Soon the Jane Austen addict will be able to watch all sorts of other films. Plus it has the absolute best Mr. Collins (Doctor Who’s Matt Smith) I have ever seen.

#2 Austenland

Keri Russell and JJ Feild in Austenland. Image Credit: Sony Pictures
Keri Russell and JJ Feild in Austenland.
Image Credit: Sony Pictures

What is it that separates a true Austen aficionado from a casual fan? According to this film, the true ‘addict’ will find herself in Austenland, the world’s only all inclusive Jane Austen resort complete with a real Austenian romance. Like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, this film is adapted from a book but we’re going to ignore that and focus only on the film.

Unfortunately, the resort in Austenland only exists in fiction and the only way to find yourself there is by following Miss Jane on her own path to recovery from her Austen addiction.

Austenland is the perfect film for recovering Janeites because it shows exactly what it would be like for a modern woman trying to fit in Austen’s world. It’s a beautiful fantasy but is it really as satisfying as something real? If that is not reason enough to watch the film then you should know that it is also hilarious. Austenland is the caramel popcorn of Pride and Prejudice adaptations.

#3  Clueless

Clueless Austen Addict
Photo: Paramount Pictures

Was there ever a more perfect setting for the story of Emma than a high school? I don’t think so.

Who says that life can’t be like an Austen novel? It certainly was for Cher in Clueless; all it takes is the right attitude. Clueless is the sort of film that fills the viewer with nostalgia and optimism that love can be out there for everyone. It’s everything a 90’s teen movie should be and everything an Austen addict should watch. How is Clueless going to help you on the road to recovery? Well, Clueless reminds us that life can be like an Austen novel while showing us how miserable that life can be. Cher was pretty miserable for most of that movie.

When I finally sat down and watched it all the way through, I could not help but appreciate the quirk and style of this film.

#4 The Lizzie Bennett Diaries

Photo: Pemberley Digital
Photo: Pemberley Digital

Clueless may show all of us hopeless romantics how high school can be like one of Austen’s novels but let’s face it; most of us aren’t in high school anymore. We need films we can connect to. What’s more “connectable” than a broke grad student who just moved back home?

For those who aren’t in the know, The Lizzie Bennett Diaries is a YouTube series done as a video blog by Elizabeth Bennett herself. Technically not a film it is the first YouTube series to ever win an Emmy and when you watch it you will see why. It is delightful. What I love the most about this series is the fact that it unashamedly exists in a world of Austen’s work and references the handsome Colin Firth and Sense and Sensibility.

While the Lizzie Bennett Diaries portrays Austen’s most beloved characters and work in a fun accurate way, it also shows just how absurd it would be to try to fit the plotlines of Austen’s novels into our modern world. It’s good for all Austen addicts to remember how different our lives are than those of Austen’s heroines and that that’s okay. As much as I wish I could find my own Darcy, I want my own love story too, one that takes place in the world I live in.

Good luck with your recovery and happy viewing. What movies or series do you think every Austen Addict should check out?

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By on March 21st, 2016

About Katrina Daroff

Part-time Writer/Full-time Dragon Slayer. Katrina Daroff grew up in Western Washington. She studied English at Whitworth University where her love for writing and literature were nurtured into an obsession. When she is not lost in worlds of fantasy and magic, Katrina Daroff enjoys hiking, slaying dragons, and causing trouble at libraries. Someday she hopes to publish her own series of fantasy novels or gain superpowers of her own. For more adventures you can follow her personal blog at hotstrongandsteamed.wordpress.com/.

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