Emma Review
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Some of you—the two or three of you who paid attention in English class—may have heard of Jane Austen. She wrote books a long time ago—books about confused girls who try to answer all the difficult questions in life while they go to parties in fancy ballrooms and get rescued from almost-certain frock-soiling by kind, young gentlemen. And, in the end, they all live happily ever after.

Emma is a Jane Austen story.

For those of you who don’t remember English class, let me try another angle. Remember the Alicia Silverstone movie, Clueless? It was based on Emma (somewhat loosely, however—Emma doesn't take place in California, and Emma Woodhouse never once says, "Whatever.").

Emma Woodhouse (Gwyneth Paltrow) is a wealthy young woman who lives with her widowed father and spends her time chatting with friends, visiting the neighbors, and painting. When she meets Harriet Smith (Toni Collette), a poor orphaned girl, Emma takes it upon herself to take Harriet under her wing—and to find her the perfect husband.

  
 
Poor Harriet has no idea what she’s getting herself into as Emma encourages her to aim her affections at vicars and noblemen—and away from the farmer whom she really loves. Meanwhile, Emma finds herself in all kinds of strange and frustrating romantic predicaments.

Will the two ever find true happiness? Of course they will! This is Jane Austen!

Don’t get me wrong—I love this movie. I loved the book, too. It’s just so optimistically cheery. Of course, I don’t know of a single man who’s watched this movie without a gun somewhere near his head (or without being told that it’s really an action comedy)—but women love it. It’s a great Girls’ Night movie—one that will make you stupidly happy in the end.

Oh, yes. And it’s best accompanied by chocolate ice cream.

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