Eccentric Austen: Pride and Prejudice’s More Out-of-the-Box Adaptations

I fell in love with ‘Pride and Prejudice’ in 7th grade, and I’ve been a proud Janeite ever since. I love Jane Austen’s books and (sort of) obsessively watch all the adaptations of her work. Sometimes, the regular, old adaptations can get a bit wearing after ten or so years—that’s when I turn to more unusual Jane Austen faire. This summer, Austenland (set in a Jane Austen theme park) is presumably coming out, and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is once again moving forward. Until these movies arrive at a theater near me, however, I am content to fill my time with the stranger Pride and Prejudice adaptations of earlier times. Here are the most notable:

1. Lizzie Bennet Diaries is a webseries adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Set modern day, the story follows grad student Lizzie Bennet as she navigates school, life, and relationships. The series has just finished its run, but it’s more than worth going back for a looksee. The characters are spot-on, and I dare you not to fall in love with Dizzie (a.k.a. Lizzie/Darcy).

2. Lost in Austen (a miniseries!) follows the story of Austen Addict Amanda as she finds a door in her bathroom that leads straight into Jane Austen’s most famous novel. In Pride and Prejudice World, she meets the Bennets, the Bingleys, and even Mr. Darcy. I will warn you, though. You will fall in love with Wickham. He is absolutely wonderful in this—much better than Darcy, in my humble opinion. Oh yeah, and the best part? You can even watch it right now on Hulu!

3. Bride and Prejudice is one of those movies I can’t stop watching. It’s a Bollywood musical based on Pride and Prejudice, and it’s fabulous. Okay, it’s a bit cheesy, but isn’t that exactly what you want from this sort of musical? B&P includes dance numbers (including the EPIC snake dance), Sayid from Lost, and a fair bit of romance. If you need a feel good movie, this is exactly the one for you. Watch it when you want a break from all the seriousness of the Keira Knightley version.

4. Pride and Prejudice: A Latter-Day Comedy is not the most well known adaptation, but it is worth a watch if you want to see all the variety Pride and Prejudice has to offer. As you might guess from the title, this film is a Latter-Day Saints adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel. Yeah. Not the strangest part of it, actually. Do you remember Carmen from American Idol? Probably not. Well, she is in this. Also, it’s important to note that Bingley makes CDs for dogs, and that this very fact is literally the best part of the movie.

Have you caught up on the full variety of Austen goodness? If Pride and Prejudice isn’t your thing, there’s also From Prada to Nada based on Sense and Sensibility, Clueless based on Emma, and a weird ’80s adaptation of Northanger Abbey that you should not miss.

You can read more from Melissa Prange on her blog.

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