Shameless exploitation of Pride and Prejudice
Christmas at Pemberley Manor is a shameless attempt to capitalize on the popularity of Jane-Austen-based contemporary romances. Unlike Unleashing Mr. Darcy, however, the story and the characters have nothing to do with Pride and Prejudice. Zip. All the writer did was tack on various names from P & P onto the main characters. Sometimes quite randomly. For example, Elizabeth’s old boyfriend was named “George” and was a nice guy, the mayor of the town, and trying to win Elizabeth back. The doofus assistant to William Darcy, who wins the heart of “Jane” Elizabeth’s last-minute assistant, was named Travis. Why not “Charles?” It was insulting to the intelligence.
If you can set that aside, however, this was not a bad Hallmark Christmas movie. At least I stayed awake. I am not usually a fan of Jessica Lowndes. Her looks are usually too jaw-droppingly glamorous for the roles she has played. In this one, however, they were toned down somewhat, so she looked like a relatable woman. Her acting, as usual, was not the best, but at least she didn’t stick out like a sore thumb. Also, I loved Michael Rady, the actor who played the hero. He had a lot of charisma in this role. The young actress who played Jane had appeal and had a secondary romance of her own. The villain in the piece was “Elizabeth’s” boss who was played by the same actress who did such a great job as the prospective evil stepmother in Lindsay Lohan’s Parent Trap. Although the script and the director in this one did not make use of her comedy chops, it was nice to see her again.
Burning questions: Why would the board of directors of a worldwide corporation want to demolish the CEO’s beloved home? Surely it’s but the teeniest fraction of an expense against the mega corporation’s humongous assets? Why would a festival that has attracted press from all over the country and is a mainstay of the town’s budget and beloved tradition, have only 20 people attend the climactic event? These questions will remain unanswered. The former is the fault of the writer the latter is the fault of the director. Maybe my 6 stars is a bit too generous. Yep, down to 5. I just remembered the magic Santa Claus, the most tired Christmas cliché ever.**5 out of 10 stars**
November 4, 2018