Have you worn out your copy of Pride and Prejudice? Are Colin Firth and Matthew MacFayden in need of a little healthy competition? Richard Armitage is just the man to sooth your hunger for another hunk of delicious brooding male. You will melt. Mr. John Thornton is a new Darcyesque figure to fall in love with over and over again.
Richard Armitage is not only singularly fine; he’s also a terrific actor. When he proposes, you’ll die. Loved Mr. Darcy’s fumbling attempts at wooing Elizabeth Bennet? You’re going to enjoy watching Mr. Thornton try to win over the forthright Miss Margaret Hale. Daniela Denby-Ashe does a beautiful job portraying the vicar’s headstrong opinionated daughter.
The story is about a retired vicar and his family moving to the North to Milton, a fairly large factory town. Here they confront illiteracy, poverty, ignorance, and social mores their life in the South leave them unprepared for, especially the mother and daughter. Mr. Hale befriends Mr. Thornton soon after Mr. Thornton makes a singularly bad impression on Miss Margaret Hale. Misunderstandings and stubbornness are rife throughout the miniseries as the protagonists dance around each other trying to understand one another.
If you come into this knowing nothing, you will love it. If you have read the Elizabeth Gaskell novel by the same name, you will love it. Trust me, if you borrow this instead of buying it outright you’re going to be bummed at the thought of returning it. Sandy Welch’s screenplay is phenomenal—four hours of 100% heart-warming goodness can’t be beat. This may just have replaced the BBC Pride and Prejudice miniseries as best BBC miniseries.
Buy: North & South
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Everyone has movies that they tend to watch over and over and over again. We watch them because they make us happy, because we love the acting and the story. Yesterday I saw for the first time a movie that came out in 2007. It was stunning and has without a moment’s hesitancy, entered my favorites list. That movie was Arranged. Look out for a formal review as I will be writing one.
My Top Ten Favorite Romance Movies
(In order by release date.)
- Beauty and the Beast (1991) It’s easy to see that this is most girls’ first introduction into paranormal romance. The Beast and castle are clearly enchanted through magic. The castle itself is very Gothic, and our poor hero is as shaggy as any werewolf, though he certainly cleans up nice!
- Walk in the Clouds (1995) This lovely postwar romance follows a young soldier as he attempts to sell chocolates and winds up rescuing a damsel in distress. The grandfather makes this movie and the scene in the vineyard during a frost warning is breathtaking.
- Ever After (1998) I am surprised I haven’t worn the finish off this DVD. I used to watch it every day or two many many years ago. Prince Henri is a charming rascal in desperate need of a love match to stop his father’s political matchmaking.
- Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001) Colin Firth as Marc Darcy. Clearly this is an awesome romance. Very strong language warning, but other than that it’s very delightful. If you haven’t seen it, you’re going to love the fight scene. Sigh!
- North and South (2004) Four hours is not nearly enough Mr. Thornton or Richard Armitage. I would like more please. Is there an unedited eight hour version hiding somewhere? No? Drat! I guess I will have to settle for one, “Look back at me!”
- Pride and Prejudice (2005) My favorite version of Jane Austen’s classic. I know I said Colin Firth and Marc Darcy and it’s true. Colin is great as Darcy, but this version with Keira and Matthew and Donald really yanks at my heart. The scenery is gorgeous too.
- Outsourced (2006) This movie is a call center and technical support romance between one yuppy American male and one spunky Indian female. Culture shock to say the very least and wickedly entertaining.
- Arranged (2007) One Orthodox Jewish girl and one Muslim girl are getting matched. They know each other from their teaching positions at the same school and as they go through the process of meeting men under watchful family eyes they become fast friends. Very satisfying ending!
- Enchanted (2007) I just love the songs in this film, especially “How does she know that you love her?” Patrick Dempsey is devilishly handsome and a treat to watch as he struggles against falling for a loopy girl who thinks she’s in love with a prince. Amy Adams is perfection.
- Lost in Austen (2008) Be honest, who hasn’t wanted Mr. Darcy to herself? One English miss from today’s world manages to get stuck in Jane Austen’s ‘fictional’ Georgian England at the start of the story and the rest as they say is history!
So there’s my list. What movies are on yours?
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