Free Book-Fest continues with Jane Austen’s Emma . This is one of those cases where I saw the movie long before I read the book; and it’s one of those even weirder cases where I’m not sure the movie isn’t better.

I mean, Austen is still a fine writer and all, but the book has a fundamental problem, which is that its core romance is basically between a young girl and a dude who has been acting more like a father or (much) older brother to her. He’s basically helped raise her since she was a little girl, and the part where he has worked to mold her into a woman he can fall in love with? Yeah, icky.

So in the movie, the actors are able to underplay the parental dynamic and try to make it more like a friendship between a flighty, enthusiastic young woman and a proper, reserved man, and that mostly works — it still feels a little weird in the movie — but the book, well, the book is what it is. Definitely not Austen’s best.


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