By Kristin van Ogtrop
Updated January 26, 2015

My very good friend Sharene lives up the street, and we have many things in common. Our kids are the same age, we both love to cook, we both are close to our sisters and are married to men who play too much Ultimate Frisbee.

We also both carry the Pride and Prejudice gene. You know about the P and P gene; you may even be a carrier. The P and P gene—let’s call it PPG in the interest of brevity—means that any mention of Pemberley or Longbourn or even Netherfield Park sets your heart aflutter. And when that happens, you feel an uncontrollable urge to read or watch Pride and Prejudice ASAP (yes, the Keira Knightley remake counts, and Bridget Jones’s Diary will do in a pinch). And then you fall into a weeklong depression that you are not Elizabeth Bennet.

So imagine our delight when Sharene found a movie called Lost in Austen while trolling the Web for PP-related material. It is about a woman in modern-day London who has a bad boyfriend and (perhaps as a result) is obsessed with PP. Long story short, Amanda Price (the real-life heroine) switches places with (fictional) Elizabeth B.

Well, it is quite a long movie and I had to watch it in two parts. The more I watched, the more confused and disappointed I became. I would not recommend buying this movie, as Sharene did. I would, however, commit to memory the three principles below, so you do not buy any PP–rip-off movies online and wish you hadn’t spent the money.

The three principles of PP success:

  1. Any woman Mr. D loves must be beautiful and cannot under any circumstances wear lip gloss.
  2. Mr. Darcy must be so handsome that you would consider leaving your husband for him.
  3. You have to want to wear those gowns, even if you live in America and it’s 2009.

The moral of this sad little story: For those of you with PPG, know that not all Austen adaptations are created equal. Buyer beware! (Sigh.)