Halloween movies for the scared

October 31, 2007

Not the kids – but rather those (like myself…) who prefer to have the lights only, um, partially dimmed.

Now, I don’t want to say that I’m petrified at the site of a movie monster or anything; it’s more that I’m petrified at the thought of a horror movie at all. Don’t laugh, but even Scream can send me into nightmares for at least a week. I know, I know, it’s supposed to be a “humorous” film, but watching it for the first time in the empty, open suburbs of the Midwest, with lots of big windows, easily accessible garages, and, you know, telephones, and anyone could get scared. Or so I tell myself (and others, muffled from behind the pillow that’s covering my face).

In any case, as someone who has suffered (and I mean suffered) through many Halloween horror fests with friends, I have found it quite necessary to come up with some movies that I feel free to safely recommend to some horror-happy friends without gaining yet another reason to turn on all the lights at any hint at all of sunset. Think about it this way – watch these films, save the environment! I feel better already…

From ghoulies and ghosties

And long-leggedy beasties

And things that go bump in the night,

Good Lord, deliver us!

– Scottish prayer

“Do you know why I can stay in your spooky old room Mr. Olin? Because I know that ghoulies and ghosties and long-legged beasties don’t exist. And even if they did, there’s no god to protect us from them is there?”

-1408 (not one of the movies in my list, I just like the quote – sorry Stephen King, but this one’s a little much for me)
(from imdb.com)

Shaun of the Dead – Without a doubt, one of my favorite movies ever. Perhaps surprisingly, considering the fact that some of my friends do think this a bit scary. Nevertheless, I find it the perfect antidote to being scared out of my wits by an actual zombie movie – I just think of disposable cameras and a “girl in the garden” and all the anxious jitters go away.

A spoof on classic zombie flicks (think Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and The Office meets George Romero), with a hero who at first thinks the walking dead are simply people who have had a bit too much to drink (an honest mistake), the film’s certainly got its must-have horror moments – bloody zombies attack, screams are screamed, people batter zombies with pool cues – but the humor is priceless. What other movie would have a victory against the zombies moment set to music by Queen?

Young Frankenstein – Also containing one of my favorite movie quotes, this classic comedy from Mel Brooks delivers all of the typical horror fare, including a dark and stormy castle, mysteriously creepy castle denizens, and Frankenstein’s monster him/itself, without any of the fright. And of course, look for a great performance from the late Peter Boyle as the monster (he sings!). Bonus (positive or negative still to be decided): it’s now a Broadway musical. It was inevitable.

Beetlejuice – The thrice-called ghoul played by Michael Keaton in this Tim Burton film (who went on to make Batman with Keaton as well – I personally would have immediately thought of Keaton as the Dark Knight after seeing this movie) wreaks cooky havoc on the Deetz home with fellow ghosts Adam and Barbara (Alec Baldwin, looking very young, and Geena Davis). Winona Ryder also stars as the black clad girl who befriends the couple. It’s odd and totally crazy and definitely a Burton film – with some clear disturbing/spooky moments, especially towards the end. Might not want to watch alone.

Ghostbusters – Because nothing heralds winter like a giant marshmallow terrorizing the streets of Manhattan. Extremely minimal horrors, but with plenty of otherworldly monsters and goings on (not forgetting Slimer, of course), it’s got the added bonus of being an almost universally loved comedy. With Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis as the paranormal avengers, as well as Sigourney Weaver, Ernie Hudson, Rick Moranis, and Annie Potts.

The Nightmare before Christmas – I know, this is probably a bit standard and boring, but how can you have a list like this without it? After all, don’t be fooled by the name – the whole movie actually revolves around a place called “Halloween Town” and starts off with a bunch of sinister-looking animated characters chanting “This is Halloween!” Now that’s a Halloween movie. This stop-motion holiday film (now in 3D!), another one from Halloween maestro Tim Burton, is spooky and Halloween gloomy without being really scary. And with the additional inclusion of Christmas Town in the movie, you get two holidays in one!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Before it was a critically-acclaimed hip show, and way before it was touring as a sing-along, Buffy was a completely campy early ’90s flick from cult god Joss Whedon starring Kristy Swanson (Buffy), Donald Sutherland as “the Watcher” and Luke Perry as the boy toy. Not to mention Hilary Swank, David Arquette and, believe it or not, Paul Reubens (yes, Pee Wee Herman himself) in other roles. Now, I’m not saying it’s good, and in my mind, it’s definitely got its scary vampire moments, but it’s a lot of camp fun.

Other favorites with descriptions in other posts:

The Mummy – The mummy itself may be scary to some (although I don’t think anyone can argue that the beetles are pretty darn icky), but it’s light monster fun for the action set. Just turn away whenever the mummy or beetles attack anyone and it’s no problem.

Spirited Away – A beautiful and ethereal fairy tale for the indie lover, with an actual long-legged beastie, from Japanese anime master Hayao Miyazaki. You’ll never see another haunted house quite like this.

Wallace and Gromit and the Curse of the Were-Rabbit – Just pure guilt-free fun.


For all your superhero needs

October 28, 2007

You think you have a good superhero costume for Halloween? Let me ask you this.

Do you have:

  1. a utility belt
  2. a grappling hook
  3. a secret identity kit (aka, SIKs)
  4. powdered antimatter
  5. secret potions
  6. a map of super secret superhero hideouts in the New York area

Well, then, Brooklyn’s got you beat. You can actually buy all that stuff at the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co. in Brooklyn, NY (and would I lie to you?).

Not to mention the fact that you can also take advantage of the store’s “Sidekick Placement Program” and “Full Serviced Capery,” including a Cape Tester that blows wind on you to see how the cape will function in real life situations (a must for any practicing superhero). I’m sure Edna wouldn’t approve, but she never needs to know…

However, make sure to come prepared, as any superhero would be: every paying customer must recite the Vow of Heroism upon purchase (seriously, no joke):

I [your name],
also known as [your superhero name],
promise always to use my superpowers for good.
I promise to use the items I’ve purchased here today
safely, and in the name of justice.
I promise to remain ever vigilant, ever true.

Staffed by volunteers, the store is part of 826 NYC, a nonprofit that helps promote creativity and writing among school age children. The organization, which was founded by writer Dave Eggers and others, heads a writing center for kids located – where else? – through a secret passageway behind the Superhero Supply store. Plus, a large portion of the profits from the store go towards helping the organization. Yep, that’s right, no aspect of heroism left untouched at this store.

The 826 organization has projects in other cities, and thus other stores that help support the program – because superheroes clearly aren’t the only group in desperate need of really cool supplies. The locations with stores include:

  1. Pirate Supply Store (San Francisco – the original one)
  2. The Boring Store (Chicago), which sells, according to the org’s website:

    Since there is absolutely nothing of interest in the store, you would be ill-advised to stop in, especially between the hours of 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. daily. If you were to come by, you would most certainly not find anything that would assist you in, say, gathering information, sleuthing, or disguising yourself. That wouldn’t make any sense. No, by no means is The Boring Store a purveyor of cough silencers, waterproof surveillance notebooks, or underwater walkie talkies. And I believe it goes without saying that we do not carry anything as odd as a suede harness for your carrier pigeon. Please.

  3. Greenwood Space Travel Supply Co. (Seattle)
  4. The Echo Park Time Travel Mart (LA)
  5. The International Monsters Union (Ann Arbor, MI), devoted to:

…all our brothers- and sisters-in-arms, hiding under beds, in closets, and generally in any creepy, dark-looking place.

Well, I can’t speak from experience about those others, but the store in NY at least has got my vote as one of the coolest stores ever.

Visit the NY store at:

372 Fifth Ave. (Park Slope)

Brooklyn, NY 11215

(718) 499-9884

www.superherosupplies.com

“EVERY VIGILANT, EVER TRUE

 


Halloween movie fun

October 27, 2007

Why trick or treat out in the cold for mediocre candy (and with some very determined, sugar buzzed kids) when you can stay inside and enjoy Halloween in the comfort of your own home? For something fun (yet scaaaarrryyy….) as we head into the weekend before Halloween, check out this to do list:

READ

Cracked

  1. The 7 Most Easily Escapable Movie Monsters (think pretty much every major movie monster)
  2. The 5 Creepiest Urban Legends (That Happen to be True)

Entertainment Weekly (A whole page devoted to Halloween ’07! Most impressive.)

  1. I Will Survive: 13 Lessons from Watching Scary Movies
  2. 15 Sinister Satans

(and look: celebrities in embarrassing horror movies!)

Concierge.com

The World’s Creepiest Places

DO

  1. Cinematical’s Third Annual Costume Contest
    [WARNING: embarrassing pictures of man and son in Spider-man costumes follow]

BUY (or, um, pre-order anyway – but “buy” sounds so much more dramatic)

  1. Spider-man 3 Pumpkin Bomb Replica

?

  1. Solve the mystery of the flickering jack-o-lantern at The Dark Night‘s website. It’s slowly burning down – what does that mean??

WATCH

Cinematical

  1. Cinematical Seven: Best Horror Movies You Haven’t Seen Yet (Parts One and Two)
    [Be prepared for gory images – seriously.]

New York Times

  1. Joy of Fright: Old Chillers That Should Scare (but not terrorize) the Kids

(or, Epinions more blunt approach: Top Ten Best Halloween Movies for Wimps)


Best Movie Trailers

October 26, 2007

Sure, I’m actually there to see the movie. And yes, it’s often pretty good too. But somehow I just can’t help but get excited when that first green ratings sign pops up on the screen. Perhaps it’s something to do with the often unintentionally hilarious ratings comments (“rated PG for non-stop frenetic animated action” and sometimes the dreaded “thematic elements”). Or perhaps it’s something to do with the innocent promise inherent in movie previews – you have no idea what the movie is actually going to be like yet, but darned if it doesn’t look like fun from a few minutes of clips.

So here a few of my own favorites – or at least the ones that, you know, I managed to remember after I left the theater. You’ll notice many of these clips employ “The Voice.” If you don’t know what I mean, well… you will.

Comedian

Why spoof indirectly when you can go straight to the source?

Gymkata

There are no words. No. Words.

For another classic ’80s trailer, see this Entertainment Weekly post.

Superman Returns

Pure film nostalgia at its best.

Blair Witch Project

Yes, yes, it’s seriously cliché now, but no matter what you think of the film, you can’t deny that this trailer worked really, really well. And hey, who says you can’t indulge in a little cliché now and then?

Citizen Kane

Back when trailers were nothing but a news headline parade of flashy movie star clips set to booming voice overs, Orson Welles went a different route. Not exactly the older brother of the 300 trailer, but it’s got witty humor, “caught off guard” celebrities, and (perhaps cleverly? or tongue-in-cheek… ily?), a focus on Welles’s most infamous asset: his voice over the microphone.

(See War of the Worlds radio broadcast)

Sin City

Because it’s just so much fun to watch. Talk about setting the mood…

Honorable Mentions:

The Omen (the original one)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Chicken Little (guilty pleasure)

Jarhead (I’ll admit, it’s mainly for the Kanye West song)

And finally, you have to include at least one fake trailer in one of these things. It’s an oldie (by web standards), but always a goodie – the classic: The Shining

More trailer goodies:

Golden Trailer Awards – Yes, they do exist.

Best Fake Trailers

The Holiday – Finally, movie trailer makers get their due! Cameron Diaz stars as a woman who has made a (ridiculously wealthy) living off of making movie previews, and hears her life in “trailer format” (i.e., with “The Voice”) at particularly stressful moments.

Perhaps I spend way too much time watching TV (ok, not perhaps, that’s definitely true), but I always get a kick out of those TBS movie previews. Here are some for The Lord of the Rings.


Celebrities and children’s books: the saga continues

October 24, 2007

Because no celebrity of a certain stature (with children) would be worth their weight in Oscars without one, Steve Martin has joined the ever expanding list of movie stars that are writing children’s books.

According to AP, which always has a gift for succinctness (something I’ll hopefully find someday):

There’s Madonna, Billy Crystal and Jamie Lee Curtis. And Jerry Seinfeld. And John Lithgow. And Katie Couric.

The new Pink Panther has paired with the wild and crazy (I’m just kidding – although it could be true!) Roz Chast from The New Yorker – yes, that New Yorker – for a book on that ever hilarious subject: the alphabet. The book is titled The Alphabet from A to Y, With Bonus Letter Z. As Homer Simpson might say: Ooo, a bonus!

And by the way, Martin’s favorite letter seems to be Q (or G). I was always partial to B myself. You?

Here’s a sampling of titles from other book-happy celebs:

Ricky Gervais:
Flanimals
(a series)

Madonna (yes, she is a movie actress… remember Desperately Seeking Susan and A League of Their Own? And… Swept Away? Okay, probably not that last one.):
The English Roses
(a series), Mr. Peabody’s Apples

Jamie Lee-Curtis:
Today I Feel Silly: And Other Moods That Make My Day

Bill Cosby:
The Meanest Thing to Say (*An Oprah’s Book Club selection*)

Julie Andrews:
The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles

Mel Brooks:
The 2000 Year Old Man Goes to School

Will Smith:
Just the Two of Us

Jada Pinkett Smith:
Girls Hold Up This World

Alan Arkin:
The Lemming Condition

Billy Crystal:
I Already Know I Love You

For another (longer) celebrity author list, go here.


The Cat Returns

October 23, 2007

A fun movie moment to help speed the week along:

The Cat Returns

Nope, you’re not mistaken (or having an Angela-esque hallucination) – that is a royal procession of upright cats, full Secret Service detail included (i.e., the cat in the black suit).The scene is an early moment from The Cat Returns, an animated film from Studio Ghibli (but not directed by Hayao Miyazaki). Perhaps a bit slow-paced for some, this whimsical whisp of a movie details the fantastical adventures of Haru after she saves the son of the king of cats. Like other Studio Ghibli movies, it’s got lots of personality (cooky sidekicks always included) and small touches (camouflaged cat bodyguards, a criminal notorious for consuming too many fish, cats whose personality and position in life match perfectly with their physical appearance – you can just feel who they are) that make the world feel real, almost eerily so.

And also like Miyazaki’s films, The Cat Returns has that childhood wonder of magic, that air of fairytale fantasy, with its travels on twinkling lights, cats that process through the night, and dashing feline rescuers towering at one foot tall, that helped make the Harry Potter stories so successful on paper and on the screen. No Lord Voldemorts here though – the villain is an overweight cat with poofy hair who addresses Haru with a surfer-style “babe.” In other words, the perfect movie for a rainy day.

Okay, yes, you may be thinking: Studio Ghibli? Again? Well, what can I say, I’m an addict. Fantasy + skilled animation + total eccentricity? How could you not love them?


Pride and Prejudice miniseries cheat sheet

October 20, 2007

For the beloved, and faithful, 1995 miniseries from A&E / the BBC starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle.

Not to be too stereotypical (but, okay, I’m definitely being stereotypical), but I assume this is mostly for guys. If guys at large are anything like the guys I know, they’d rather roll around in a bed of hot coals (like Dwight from The Office) than watch this 5 hour Jane Austen-athon. Don’t quote me on this, but I believe my boyfriend recently used the term “loathe” to describe his feelings for this miniseries – although if it wasn’t loathe, it was definitely something like detest or abhor (as a random aside, I just love the words “loathe” and “abhor” – they really sound like total hatred).

Now, as I consider the miniseries to be among my favorite movies of all time, I thought it might be a good idea to help those poor guys out there stuck with girlfriends or friends who are girls who love the film and want them to love, or at the very least watch, it too. And now… they can pretend to!

MAJOR SPOILER ALERT

(NOTE THAT THIS IS A CHEAT SHEET FOR THE 1995 MINISERIES, NOT THE BOOK)

Title

Pride and Prejudice

Useful trivia: Austen’s novel was originally entitled First Impressions.

Who?

Because things are just never that simple, there is unfortunately not just one person who is “pride” and one who is “prejudice.” Besides the two main characters, many of the other people in the story are shown as having both deep prejudices and faults of pride.

Back to those main characters though. They are Elizabeth Bennet, played by Jennifer Ehle, and Fitzwilliam Darcy (almost always referred to as Mr. Darcy), played by Colin Firth. Elizabeth is both proud and prejudiced – simply put, her pride is injured at the beginning of the story when she overhears Mr. Darcy saying that she is “only tolerable” (ouch), leading her to be prejudiced against him. Mr. Darcy, on the other hand, is accused of being proud throughout the book, and he is often prejudiced against those who are “beneath” him.

Nice and straightforward, right?

Technical details that will help verify you’ve actually seen it

Produced and released by the BBC and A&E. Never released in theaters. Written by Andrew Davies, who also wrote the movie version of Bridget Jones’s Diary.

300 minutes long (yep, that’s a solid, and to the unitiated possibly deadly, 5 hours). The miniseries is split up into 2 DVDs: the first one ends after Darcy’s proposal and Elizabeth’s rejection of it, and the second DVD starts with Darcy storming away after the rejection.

The bonus features are seriously lacking on the DVDs (no Firth or Ehle in the making-of?) so feel free to complain about them to your girlfriend.

If you can’t beat ‘em…

Like Clueless with Austen’s Emma, Bridget Jones’s Diary is essentially a modern-day update of Pride and Prejudice. The book version of Bridget Jones has more of the elements of the original Austen, but the film keeps the gist. As an added bonus, Colin Firth reprises his role as Darcy in Bridget Jones as well.

Sure, it’s still a chick flick, but a lot less painful than a 5 hour period drama with fancy language, no? Read through this cheat sheet and then watch Bridget Jones to get the general idea, and to see who that guy is (Firth) that all the girls are swooning over.

Keep in mind: Bridget Jones = Elizabeth Bennet (but without the confidence), Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant) = George Wickham, and Mark Darcy = well, Mr. Darcy.

Other modern updates: Bride and Prejudice, the Bollywood take on the film starring former Miss World Aishwarya Rai as Lalita (aka, Elizabeth Bennet).

For more fun Austen connections, see my six degress of Austen post.

(Imaginary) modern day pitch

Think You’ve Got Mail mixed with Crossing Delancey combined with some of the tone from Shakespeare in Love, all set in 19th century England.

Who are all these people?

With so many people to keep track of, even those who have watched the miniseries all the way through can get confused.

Here’s a handy guide:

Pride and Prejudice character guide

(key: “Not known” – never mentioned in the film)

In PDF: Pride and Prejudice character guide

For The Republic of Pemberley’s complete list, with links to where the characters are mentioned in the novel, click here.

To see what some of the cast looks like, click here.

And where do they go?

Longbourn – where the Bennets live, a village in the area of Hertfordshire

Netherfield Park – the home that the Bingleys rent, also in Hertfordshire, near Longbourn

Meryton – a village one mile away from Longbourn, where the soldiers (including Wickham) are camped for a time

Pemberley – Darcy’s massive estate in the area of Derbyshire near the imaginary village of Lambton. Think the Chatsworth estate in England, where the scenes at Pemberley in the 2005 film with Keira Knightley were filmed. The estate, home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, is thought to have perhaps been the original inspiration for Pemberley.

Rosings Park – Lady Catherine de Bourgh’s estate in Kent, in the village of Hunsford, which is where Mr. Collins is the rector.

Plot

The Bennet family of Longbourn, upper class, but not noble and poor compared to other gentry, are excited to hear that the wealthy Mr. Bingley, a single man, has rented out the nearby Netherfield Park. With five single daughters, Mrs. Bennet is desperate to get them married well, and hopes that he will marry one of them, particularly Jane, the eldest. Mr. Bingley, his sisters and his even wealthier friend Mr. Darcy soon attend a ball at Meryton. Although Bingley is liked and immediately taken with Jane, Darcy is thought to be haughty and proud. What’s more, Elizabeth and her best friend Charlotte Lucas overhear him telling Bingley that Elizabeth is not good enough for him.

Following the ball, Bingley continues to dote on Jane. Meanwhile, a cousin of the Bennets, Mr. Collins, comes to visit. A distant heir of Mr. Bennet, he will inherit the estate because Mr. Bennet has no male heirs of his own. Mr. Collins, who is obsessed with his patron, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, wants to marry one of the Bennet girls. As Jane seems to be “taken” by Mr. Bingley, he asks Elizabeth to marry him. She refuses, and he then proposes to Charlotte Lucas, who accepts him.

During all of this, Bingley has abruptly left for London and Elizabeth has met George Wickham, a handsome officer at Meryton. She is very attracted to him, and soon after they meet he tells her about his dealings with Mr. Darcy, claiming that although he was the steward of Mr. Darcy’s late father, Mr. Darcy refused to give him an inheritance that was due to him. This leads Elizabeth to now hate Mr. Darcy.

Elizabeth goes to visit Charlotte at Hunsford and, while there, meets Lady Catherine de Bourgh, who, it turns out, is Mr. Darcy’s aunt. He comes to visit, with his cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam. Eventually, Darcy visits her at the Collins’s house when she is alone and proposes to her. She flat out refuses him and he storms away. However, the next day, he hands her a letter that explains how Wickham actually tried to elope with his 15-year-old sister, Georgiana, for her money, and that he did advise Bingley not to marry Jane, but he thought it was for the best.

Elizabeth returns home to Longbourn, shortly before Lydia leaves, invited to follow the soldiers (who are leaving Meryton) with her friend Mrs. Foster, the wife of the Colonel. Elizabeth leaves again for a trip through Derbyshire with the Gardiners. While there, they visit Pemberley and run into Darcy (who they think is away). He behaves very politely, without any sign of pride, and Elizabeth is very surprised and impressed by this behavior (and his extensive grounds). She also meets his sister, Georgiana, whom she likes very much.

Unfortunately, a letter soon arrives from Jane that says Lydia has run away with Wickham (very scandalous at the time, as they were not married). Elizabeth reveals this to Darcy, who is shocked and leaves, and Elizabeth thinks she will never see him again, since he hates Wickham and would never want to be associated with a family tied to him.

Elizabeth returns home to find the family in disarray. Her father has gone to London to try and find Lydia and Wickham. However, after her father has returned without luck, a letter arrives from the Gardiners, who live in London, saying that the two have been found and they will get married. Mr. Bennet thinks Mr. Gardiner paid Wickham to marry Lydia, but Elizabeth learns from Mrs. Gardiner that it was actually Mr. Darcy who found the couple and paid Wickham off.

Lydia returns to Longbourn to visit her family with Wickham, happily married (or in denial) and gloating that she has a husband, and then departs again almost immediately. Soon after, Bingley returns to Netherfield and begins to see Jane again. Darcy comes with him, but pays no attention to Elizabeth. Bingley eventually proposes to Jane and, of course, she accepts. Mrs. Bennet is overjoyed.

Shortly after the proposal, Lady Catherine comes to pay a visit and tells Elizabeth that she has heard that Mr. Darcy, her nephew, is going to marry Elizabeth. She wants Elizabeth to promise she won’t marry him. Elizabeth refuses. Lady Catherine communicates this to Mr. Darcy and, thinking Elizabeth might have changed her mind about him (since she refused not to marry him, get it?), Darcy stops by Longbourn with Bingley and he and Elizabeth end up going for a walk. He tells her he still wants to marry her and she accepts. They get married, and both couples live happily ever after (far away from Mrs. Bennet and Lydia).

Famous Scene

Something to do with a pond and a man’s shirt…

The wet shirt that launched a thousand sighs (and newspaper cover articles), this classic scene from the miniseries features Firth as Darcy plunging into a small pond on his estate, Pemberley, on his way back to his house, presumably to help him clear his mind of Elizabeth (this is after she’s already rejected him). Unaware that Elizabeth is currently visiting Pemberley, he walks back to his house soaking wet, in nothing but a wet white shirt and pants. They meet-cute on the grounds of his estate – he’s shocked and flustered, she’s horrified and embarrassed – and the rest is movie history.

The following scenes at Pemberley in general are crucial (and well-worn on my DVD), as a sort of turning point where Elizabeth starts falling for Darcy and he starts realizing she might not hate him anymore.

Crucial Quote

“She is tolerable I suppose, but not handsome enough to tempt me.”

Darcy’s (unfortunately overheard) comment about Elizabeth, early on in the book. Remember, if you can’t say something nice about the girl you end up wanting to marry, probably best not to expect a great response to your marriage proposal. For instance:

“You are mistaken, Mr. Darcy, if you suppose that the mode of your declaration affected me in any other way, than as it spared the concern which I might have felt in refusing you, had you behaved in a more gentlemanlike manner…

…I had not known you a month before I felt that you were the last man in the world whom I could ever be prevailed upon to marry!”

What Elizabeth says in response to Darcy’s first proposal. I think it means “no.” (of course, we all know what phrases like “the last man in the world I would ever…” eventually lead to at the end of a film)

Themes

Love, marriage, social class, status, vanity, family, money, reputation, and (I have to say it) pride and prejudice.

Gifts for the girl who loves P&P

Some other Austen films: Pride and Prejudice (2005), Emma, Mansfield Park, Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion, Clueless, Bridget Jones’s Diary, Becoming Jane, Bride and Prejudice, Jane Austen Book Club

Other period romances: Possession (with Jennifer Ehle), Jane Eyre, Ever After, An Ideal Husband, Much Ado About Nothing

Other Colin Firth films: The Importance of Being Earnest, Shakespeare in Love, Bridget Jones and the Edge of Reason (and, of course, Bridget Jones’s Diary), Love Actually, The English Patient, Girl with a Pearl Earring, What a Girl Wants

Classy Conversation Starters

I was watching Pride and Prejudice last night, and…

You know, my friends often tell me that I’m a modern day Mr. Darcy.