Format: TCM on DVR
Director: Ang Lee
It's kinda wild how much the basic structure of a Jane Austen novel doesn't just work for modern audiences, it's still one of the gold standards for how you tell a story about complicated paths to romance. Parents must be dead or checked out, usually our female protagonist is on the poor side (poor being wildly relative in an 18th Century story about people who weep and weep over moving from their mansion into what seems to be a 2 story, 5 bedroom house, with some amount of domestic help in service). There's a sexy, fun guy who is a problem, and a seemingly aloof or disjointed fellow who is, of course, the non-threatening right choice.
There's nothing wrong with it, and unlike Pride and Prejudice, this one doesn't rub it in your face that the lead winds up marrying, like, the literal richest and most eligible possible bachelor (I'm talking movie versions here). Like, I get that it's all fantasy, but if you want to convince people "money is less important than other characteristics", Sense and Sensibility is probably the better choice. How hard is it to love a handsome guy with abs who can and wants to provide for your every extravagant desire?*
The talent associated with the movie is insane. Ang Lee as director, Emma Thompson wrote the script and stars, a career-making early role for Kate Winslet, Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant, Hugh Laurie and an army of "that lady" and "that guy" actors.
Watching this movie for the first time in quite a while, I enjoyed it a lot more. And I liked it the first time. I'm mellowing in my middle-age, and generally being irritated with 18th century class-based social mores is now a framing for a movie for me rather than an overall annoyance that makes me kida side-eye everybody.
But, look, I'm trying to watch stuff that's a bit out of my wheelhouse. Not everything is superhero action-comedies and mid-20th Century kinda sexy crime dramas. And if you're going to check out genres not-meant-for-you, you might as well take in some of the very best. Plus, anyone who doesn't like Emma Thompson is probably a bad person.
*I confess I sorta landed the male-fantasy equivalent of this with the wife who is gorgeous, and just wants to play with dogs, watch baseball and Marvel movies and TALK about all of these items