To any woman hunkering down with her ice cream and/or her chardonnay to get through a break up, I’d suggest grabbing a blankie and curling up with “Lost in Austen,” a 2008 series (streamable on Netflix!) that plays with every well-read girl’s most robust fantasy: trading places with Elizabeth Bennet. (Don’t tell me you haven’t imagined Elizabeth and Darcy’s wedding night…you know you have and it was HOT.) Sure, “Lost in Austen” takes wild liberties with “Pride and Prejudice” that might offend the stiffest Austen purists, but the fact is the series is utterly silly in the best way and completely charming. I was grinning the whole way through and have watched it not once, but TWICE. This clip doesn’t adequately capture the series’ charm, but it will give you a taste:
Getting down to brass tacks, the swap requires that the modern heroine, Amanda, fend off not just a hilariously revolting Mr. Collins (and I mean REALLY revolting) but also, because of her devout respect for the book, Darcy himself. British TV star Jemima Rooper plays the insanely lucky but spastic Amanda; Gemma Arterton (shortly thereafter of Tess and Quantum of Solace fame) plays a winsome, macrobiotic Elizabeth;Downton Abbey patriarch Hugh Bonneville plays Mr. Bennet; and the lesser known but very cute Elliot Cowan plays Darcy. There’s even a terrific send-up of Colin Firth’s famous wet-shirted version, which if you’ve never seen it, is here:
Come to think of it, you should watch BOTH series with your chardonnay and/or your ice cream. And maybe throw in the version with Keira Knightley for good measure. A little P&P film fest should get you through at least five nights of heartbreak, and make you feel better, I swear!