I just finished Lost in Austen. I’m a weirdo. I like to watch period pieces while I workout on the elliptical in the evenings. I love Jane Austen’s novels, but I also love all of the adaptations that have been made from her stories. Serious to down right silly, I find myself compelled to check them out. In fact, Clueless and Bridget Jones’s Diary are two of my favorite movies of all time, and I don’t know any woman who doesn’t swoon at the site of Colin Firth climbing out of that pond soaked to the skin.
Lost in Austen is simply good fun. It’s full of lovely British actors, wearing pretty clothes, in romantic settings. It’s also peppered with enough anachronisms and absurd liberties to the storyline to make Jane Austen roll over in her grave. Some will probably find this plot tampering offensive, but honestly I had a good laugh when Caroline Bingley came onto the modern day interloper Amanda Price and declared her “Sapphic love.”
Speaking of the main character, Amanda Price is actually portrayed by Jemima Rooper whom you might remember from the BBC program Hex. She played the angsty teen ghost Thelma Bates. Coincidentally, Jemima’s Hex co-star from season one, Christina Cole, is the condescending Caroline Bingley.
The film opens in present day London. Amanda Price is obsessed with Pride and Prejudice and finds her current boyfriend desperately lacking in comparison to Mr. Darcy. One evening, she hears a noise in her bathroom and discovers that Elizabeth Bennet has tumbled out of a crawl space and into her world. Of course they agree to switch lifestyles for a bit. Elizabeth stays behind in Amanda’s apartment while Amanda ventures into Elizabeth’s home.
You can imagine the stir Amanda’s prescence creates and she soon has the household aflutter with her odd behaviors. Amanda’s antics unfortunately begin to unravel the plot of the book in disasterous ways and she must struggle to right the story with the aid of an unlikely ally, Lieutenant Wickham. Surprised? I told you there were crazy twists.