Aired: 1/23/16 on Hallmark Channel
Finally, someone has taken the time to adapt Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice to the screen. Unleashing Mr. Darcy is the first? No. Second? Definitely not. Third? Try the nineteenth (according to Wikipedia) to put this legendary book on screen. Hallmark did it the only way they know how, with confusing character behavior and cheesy dialogue.
Elizabeth Bennett Scott is fired from her job as a high school teacher for refusing to pass the star lacrosse player, who didn’t earn a passing grade. With her extra time, she begins handling her mother’s friend’s dogs at dog shows. She her dog wins or is the reserve winner of every show she is in, despite being late to show her dog every time. Every time! She constantly steps out of the show line to talk to someone else, only to be called repeatedly to bring the dog up. When the judge, Mr. Darcy, rightfully points out that she is late, she is snippy with him. She runs into him later, and even her sister thinks that she was rude to Mr. Darcy. Elizabeth is far meaner to Mr. Darcy in Unleashing Mr. Darcy than she ever was in the novel. After that, the movie version follows the book closely.
Her constant tardiness to showing her dog (and then winning!) was baffling, as was her treatment of Mr. Darcy. Why Mr. Darcy showed any interest in such a snappy, mean woman is beyond me. Still this is not the worst Hallmark movie I’ve ever seen, and Unleashing Mr. Darcy is more or less Pride & Prejudice.
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