36 user 4 critic

Unleashing Mr. Darcy (2016)

In this modern day spin on "Pride & Prejudice," Elizabeth Scott (Cindy Busby), is fishing for direction in her life and gets the opportunity to professionally show her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel in a fancy New York dog show.


David Winning


Teena Booth (teleplay), Teri Wilson (novel)
1 win. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Cindy Busby ... Elizabeth Scott
Ryan Paevey ... Donovan Darcy
Elizabeth McLaughlin ... Gabrielle Barrow
Frances Fisher ... Violet Darcy
Lini Evans ... Linda Scott
Tammy Gillis ... Jenna Scott
Sarah Desjardins ... Zara Darcy
Courtney Richter ... Felicity Robson
Ryan Kennedy ... Henry Robson
Ken Tremblett ... Grant Markham
Ty Wood ... Joe Markham
Hannah Carter Hannah Carter ... Student
Keith Martin Gordey Keith Martin Gordey ... Dr. Thurston
Robert Allan Hughes ... Dog Show Man
Noel Johansen ... Linus


In this modern day spin on "Pride and Prejudice," Elizabeth Scott is fishing for direction in her life and gets the opportunity to professionally show her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel in a fancy New York dog show. Dog show judge Donovan Darcy comes across as aristocratic and rude and a chain of misunderstandings unfold during the competition, complicating their mutual attraction. In true Jane Austen fashion, Elizabeth and Donovan begin to see the error of their ways and it turns out Mr. Darcy is far more kind and interesting than Elizabeth ever imagined. Written by Happy_Evil_Dude

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


TV-G | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Aired as the fourth of four original films in The Hallmark Channel's 2016 "Winterfest" lineup. See more »


In a dog show, ribbons are handed to the handler, never draped around the handler's neck. See more »


Version of Pride and Prejudice (1952) See more »


The Lionized
Written by Jeff Toyne and Melissa R. Kaplan
Performed by Melissa R. Kaplan
See more »

User Reviews

Bewildered by very disappointing movie
16 June 2016 | by istaraSee all my reviews

I was excited to watch this after reading several other very positive reviews. I'm happy to see twists and adaptations of Jane Austen, such as "Lost in Austen" which was excellent, or "Clueless" (closely based on Emma).

This film simply had nothing to do with Austen save for a couple of names. It wasn't just that the entire plot and subplots of Pride & Prejudice were absent, but the tone was entirely wrong.

The main character "Liz" is rude and gauche and quite stupid from the outset. As an example, Mr Darcy quotes: "my good opinion once lost is lost forever" and Liz asks with genuine bewilderment "what does that mean?"

Mr Darcy just smirks and looks handsome. There's no real arrogance, just a fairly polite rich boy.

So let's put aside Austen and not judge this movie on that, since there are really no true associations between the two.

Is this a good move in itself, then, as a lighthearted romance? It's certainly not my kind of movie, even though I enjoy romance. I've seen a couple of other Hallmark movies (the one with Leanne Rimes and Eddie Cibrian springs to mind) and while they're pretty saccharine fare, they're not bad for what they are. They're watchable.

But "Unleashing Mr Darcy" is truly dire. It's pastel cutesy shiny glossy all the way, no depth, nothing funny or even plausible. There's no romantic tension or chemistry. You won't find yourself caring about any of the characters. If you enjoyed Legally Blonde but groaned with disappointment at the execrable sequel, you'll get a sense of how and why this is so awful.

The constant music is also profoundly irritating: the movie is barely allowed to breathe without the silly, frothy, jingly tunes bouncing up every few seconds.

I simply don't get what there is to enjoy here. I've been watching quite a few comedies - including "screwball" comedies - from the 1930s and 1940s recently, and they are so much funnier, sharper and overall more adult than slack lowball fare like this.

In summary: there's really nothing for Austen fans here, and there's really nothing for romance fans either. It's not even a "watch once" for me, you'll have wasted your time.

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Canada | USA



Release Date:

23 January 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Unleashing Mr. Darcy See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hallmark Channel See more »
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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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