I've just returned from the new Pride and Prejudice. God, I'm a sucker for those movies. After seeing English period movies, it takes a great deal of effort to not use words like "shall," and "entreat," and "fortnight." Well, no more often than I usually do anyway. Darcy was dreamy. Elizabeth Bennet was... tolerable. Mrs. Bennet wasn't quite as apoplectic as I'm used to. What I'm used to, of course, is the 1995 BBC miniseries. (I will not use this post to extol of beauty of Colin Firth, although the prospect is enticing.)
I realised that this poor story has become "Hamlet." It's that good. It's so well-known and familiar to everyone, as an actor, it must be a real pain in the ass to take on any of its characters. I remember Dr. Shannon Murray from UPEI telling us in Shakespeare seminars that while Hamlet's "To Be Or Not To Be" speech might be some of the most beautiful words strung together, it's certainly difficult to watch an audience mouth the words along with you as you recite.
People know Austen's characters so well, yet there's so much room for interpretation, performing her stories must be seductive and frightening at the same time. In that case, how can one turn that down?
P.S.: WTF was up with that last scene? That really bugged me. Darcy was one breath away from going, "I wuv you, my shmoopie!"