I first heard about the book Lost in Austen when our very own Sara wrote a review of it back in March 2008. It sounded interesting. But I never got my hands on a copy (including hers) to read.
But this week my husband and I rented Lost in Austen, the TV mini-series by Image Entertainment. Wow! We were so pleasantly surprised with how humorous and entertaining it was.
I went into it with low expectations as I couldn't stand the photos showing Jemima Roper as Amanda with her modern hair hanging in her face. Even as a time traveling character. I understand it from a characterization point of view - to distinguish her as from another time/place - but after a few days in Rome you should be following their ways. It bothered me throughout the entire 3 hour film but the distorted story line took some of the attention away.
Amanda switches places with Lizzy Bennet from the famous Pride & Prejudice story. She then realizes that her appearance is disrupting the endeared story we all know, so her task is to make sure the proper characters meet at the designated times so they marry later. You think that Amanda will succeed until a beloved sister ends up with the greasy minister who makes us cringe.
What? How did that happen? Ok - this story just got twisted. Now that it had our attention we were trying to guess at what was to happen next. Every character you *think* you know is somehow a little bit or completely not what you think. Wickham - nope. Caroline Bingley - definitely a surprise. Mr. Bingley - yeah....
A few of the costumes were adequate (Caroline's were some of the best) while others were greatly lacking; definitely rented from the popular costume houses like Cosprop as I spotted a few from other films. Bonnets were of a wide assortment. A few decent styles while some straws screamed "costume" rather than clothing (really didn't like Jane Bennet's wide brimmed topping). Most of the menswear as well looked like Halloween ensembles instead of properly tailored coats and breeches.
So don't see it for Regency research. But DO see it for a laugh and jolly romp with some of our favorite Jane Austen characters (including Mr. Darcy in his wet shirt). Lost in Austen is a great film to put on while sewing your new 1810 picnic dress.