An American in Austen (2024)

An American in Austen (2024)

G

Another half-baked but surprisingly earnest Jane Austen-themed Hallmark movie

5.3

Movie

Bulgaria, Canada
English
Comedy, Romance, TV Movie
2024
CLARE NIEDERPRUEM, FEMALE DIRECTOR
Bert Seymour, Calypso Cragg, Catherine Hannay
84 min

TLDR

Is this movie aware that Pride and Prejudice is a work of fiction?

What it's about

While going through her own relationship conflicts, Harriet makes a wish for Mr. Darcy and finds herself transported into the story of Pride and Prejudice.

The take

As exciting as it sounds to have a real person transported into a fictional story, An American an Austen really doesn't do much with its protagonist's foreknowledge of the plot, nor is it particularly clear about the rules or consequences of Harriet's situation, if any. This means that much of the film consists of watching Pride and Prejudice play out in a slightly more tongue in cheek fashion, as the main character comments on things without doing too much about them. Similar to Hallmark's other recent Jane Austen-themed movies, however, there is a thoughtful message here about learning to face reality and not idealizing fictional romances—delivered in a pretty competent visual package. It's just a shame that this is buried at the end of a plot that has no stakes to speak of.

What stands out

The film's big message about learning when to put aside romantic ideas and to appreciate what's real is refreshing to hear, but it just comes far too late into the film, and out of practically nowhere. We unfortunately also don't get to know much about Harriet's real-life relationships before she gets isekai-d into this work of literature, which makes it hard to care about her fate in the book. Hallmark clearly has a roster of creative people behind the scenes, but given limitations in budget or time, they just aren't able to flesh out these stories to their greatest potential.

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