FUNatics Review – Hallmark’s Paging Mr. Darcy Speaks To Romantics And Introverts. Do you crave the spotlight? Do you run from attention? If the answer is yes then this is a movie for you.
Hallmark Channel‘s Loveuary kicks off its Jane Austen-themed month with Paging Mr. Darcy. This movie stars Mallory Jansen (Eloise Cavendish), Will Kemp (Sam Lee), Lillian Doucet-Roche (Mia Cavendish), and Carolyn Scott (Dr. Victoria Jennings.)
When Professor Eloise Cavendish (Jansen) is asked to give the keynote speech at a Jane Austen conference – an annual event that combines scholarship and fandom – she’s dubious. After all, she’s writing about how money— not love— is the most important thing in Austen’s work. Will a bunch of people who like dressing up in empire-waist gowns and pretending to go to balls really want to hear what she has to say?
When she meets Sam (Kemp), who puts on the breeches and frock coat of the event’s official Mr. Darcy every year, she’s disgusted, immediately judging him as a cad who uses the event to meet women. Sam and Eloise must get past their prejudices, overcome their pride, and admit they’re both drawn to Austen’s work for the same reason: an absolute belief in love.
Now, I went into this movie as a skeptic. I am not a Jane Austen girly. I know right. For as much as I am a Hallmark love story girl and a big reader, I have never read Jane Austen. Also, haven’t watched many Jane Austen movies. However, I am familiar with the themes and stories.
I related to the main character, Eloise. She is afraid of the spotlight. Afraid of being the center of attention. Her sister, Mia, is the exact opposite. Mia is over the top and not afraid of any kind of attention on herself, in fact, she craves it. Mia breaks up with her boyfriend because he gave her a sensible and off-the-cuff proposal. She wanted the big sweeping proposal. I had the off-the-cuff, made-in-passing proposal. That’s just not me.
Hi, it’s me, I’m like Eloise. I don’t like attention or confrontation or anything of the sort. It’s just not me. Eloise says in her keynote speech at the Jane Austen event she attends, “I have loved these novels and these characters since I was 13. Back when Pride and Prejudice was THE most romantic book I have ever read. Since then, I have learned so much more about Austen, her world, and the compromises she had to make and it’s still the most romantic book I have ever read. And that scares me.”
“I’m scared of emotion. Scared of being swept away. I’m even scared of dancing. Scared of looking like a fool and that’s what can happen on the dancefloor. Right? Missing a step and making a fool of yourself But if there’s one thing, I learned this weekend, one thing I’ve learned reading and rereading these books that we all love so much., it’s that fools and heroines are not separate categories. You have to risk being one to become the other.”
The whole weekend, Eloise doesn’t join in. She doesn’t want to dress in costume or partake in the events because she doesn’t want to look a fool. Meanwhile, she finds out that Sam is capable of these things only when he is in costume and is extremely shy when he’s himself. I completely relate to that. My husband is extremely outgoing and gregarious, yet craves being home and just with us and being himself. I think we all have a little bit of Eloise and Sam in us. While it would be fun to be like Mia, I feel it would exhaust me.
As a non-Jane Austen person, I think this was a great movie. I’d watch it again. You don’t need to be a Jane Austen fan to enjoy this one.