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Lost in Austen (2008)
Ugh. Who wrote this garbage?
It bothers me that someone thought they could improve on this story, and what came out was "Lost in Austen". I probably wouldn't be too upset if Darcy ended up with someone other than Elizabeth Bennett, as long as that woman were someone we liked just as much.
The protagonist in this, Amanda Price, is pretty awful. She leaves a perfectly nice boyfriend back home to go running after Darcy, and then spends like 2 hours trying to pretend she DOESN'T like Darcy, but not before she makes out with Bingley, gets engaged to Collins, and pretty much ruins Jane and Charlotte's lives.
OK, so she likes to get drunk, and maybe she's a little slutty. This would be fine if she directed it at Wickham, who actually likes sluts, but instead she refuses Wickham, messes around in everybody else's business and does more harm than good. You find yourself siding with the "villains" (Mrs. Bennett, Caroline Bingley, Lady Catherine) because it's completely reasonable that they should want Miss Price out of their lives and away from their men.
Finally, she's able to almost (ALMOST) put things right and convince Lady Catherine to annul Jane's marriage to Mr. Collins. This is dependent on Amanda leaving their world forever. But, in the end, even though her modern boyfriend still seems pretty nice and even seems willing to forgive the fact that Amanda's been running around kissing other dudes and getting engaged to everything that breathes, Amanda decides to stay in the book world so she can marry Darcy (destroying his reputation and maybe his inheritance) and we're left wondering what that means for poor Jane. There's no way of knowing whether poor Charlotte is happy in Africa, or whether she'll return, but there's no reason she should, since in this version, Elizabeth Bennett totally abandons her friends and family in favor of jeans and cellphones.
Then there's the silly way that characters just accept what's happening. Amanda shows a little disbelief, but apparently, no one else questions that Elizabeth Bennett, the FICTIONAL CHARACTER, has stepped out of some girl's shower and is walking around in the flesh. Amanda's boyfriend, and a girl named (of all things) Piranha, seem to go about the business of integrating Miss Bennett into 21st century life without batting an eye.
On the other side, the way Amanda covers up being from the future is nothing short of ridiculous (supposed to funny?) and later in the show, Wickham randomly helps her hide her lies about where she's from, and they make up some stories about rich acquaintances in France. Everybody just kind of goes along with whatever bogus explanations Amanda provide, even though you'd think she would immediately get kicked out. It's like if you tried to sneak into the White House by saying you had a dozen roses for the First Lady, and they just waved you on in. I do understand that, in a show about people getting sucked into fictional worlds, we can't really complain about things being hard to believe, but it grinds my gears.
All in all, a waste of three to four hours.
The Ugly Truth (2009)
A complete middle-of-the-road attempt. For a movie with an R rating one would think there'd be some nudity, but it was just for language. Even the jello-wrestling girls kept their bikinis on. Gerard Butler doesn't really come off as funny, just as crass and trite, which is fine as I suppose that was his character. But, if he was doing this movie to show he's a comic actor, then he didn't really hit the mark. Also, he should have used his own accent; he'd have been more appealing. It was weird listening to him try to sound American. Katherine Heigl is beautiful and I was hard pressed to believe she was "turning guys off" or unable to get a date. It was OK; not worth watching twice.