Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Pride and Prejudice Divide

Probably one of the biggest rifts categorizing the world of Austen-lovers, or period drama-watchers in general is the issue of Pride and Prejudice'95 vs. Pride and Prejudice'05,

Colin Firth vs. Matthew McFadyen,

Jennifer Ehle vs. Keira Knightley,


The ranks on each side are so distinguished that I can draw stereotypes of each: 

'95 lovers have read the book multiple times, are particular with their details, and often on the older side. 

'05 lovers have read the book once or never, have a short attention-span, and are generally younger than 20. 

It's at the point where your preference between the two has become an identifying mark as a period drama enthusiast or blogger. 

First of all, these stereotypes aren't always true. A grandmother-aged woman in my church loves '05 with Keira Knightley and handfuls of teens across the blogosphere are loyal '95 fans.

 Before I go on, please understand that nobody on the internet has ever challenged my opinion or written anything offending. Seriously, you have all been very understanding with my P&P preferences. :) Actually, it's usually face-to-face remarks that have made me question the importance laid on these two movies. 

I'm an '05 fan. There are good reasons I prefer this version:

1. I watched it twice before the other one. 

2. I honestly don't understand the hype over Colin Firth. 

3. I have good memories of lying on the living room floor in a sleeping back while thoroughly enjoying it with a friend, and watching(i.e. whispering, giggling, and squealing over) it with some of the girls in my class during a birthday party, then storing up quotes and inside jokes we still use regularly("What excellent boiled potatoes!").  

I don't pretend that it's always the most historically accurate or thorough. 

I also like the '95 version for its sensitive adaption, music, and deliciously long 5 and 1/2 hours. :D

In the end, does it have to be a big deal? They both follow a classic Romance novel; they're both funny; and they're both clean. 

You can't make yourself like a movie you don't want to, but shouldn't we appreciate the movies and their respective fans for what they are rather than letting the difference stretch into a gulf between the two Pride and Prejudice parties? Shouldn't we just communally enjoy the book and story?

People who enjoy P&P'05 can be legitimate Jane Austen fans and people who enjoy '95 aren't snobs.  

Besides, it's not like there's only two legitimate options for enjoying this story; there's one from 1980(only part of which I've seen), the book, and if you like zombies, there's a P&P movie for that, too. (TOTALLY joking) :-)

What do you think? Has the "Pride and Prejudice divide" gotten on your nerves, too? 


  1. Please don't stone me, but I've never actually read the book D:

    It's on my list, but it never really occurred to me that I should read it until recently. I've only ever seen the 2005 version which I really enjoyed. I did notice a lot of historical inconsistencies, like you mentioned, but since I don't have a good background on the book, I didn't let it bother me too much.

    Mostly I liked the score, Donald Sutherland, and Matthew McFadyen.

    1. I won't stone you! xD I've only read it once and that was a few years ago.

      There are inconsistencies and such, but it's dreadfully fun and pretty, and the casting is very well done!

      Oh, and you should read the book, when you get a chance. :)

  2. The divide HAS gotten out of hand. Since I like but don't ardently admire and love P&P, it doesn't really bother me one way or the other, but I DO get irritated at the constant comparison and general hype over it, like you said :P Great post, Meredith! I really enjoyed it, as usual :)

    1. Okay, so I'm not the only one who thinks that. :)

      Thank you!!

  3. Yes I has started to get rather annoying, to a degree. And I, a huge fan of the '95 (though not the gaga nutcake over Colin Firth that some people are), have nothing against '05 lovers.......I just CAN'T watch the '05! My family (I and I am not exception) has always been HUGE history geeks and when I see a movie like the '05 that has SUCH huge historical inaccuracies, I can't stand it.....but that doesn't mean that other people can't like it.

    This was a great post.

    1. I can understand that! If someone made a new, watered-down, inaccurate LotR trilogy, I might not be able to stand it either. xD But I appreciate that you've never said anything to suggest that anyone who enjoys '05 isn't an Austen fan, you know?

      Thanks! :))

  4. I so agree with you!!!! I think people get WAY too worked up about the whole thing.

    I am a '05 fan, but I really like the '95 version.

    I like Matthew Macfayden better, but Colin Firth is cute too.

    I'm not saying '05 doesn't have it's flaws. I just like it better.

    Great post! You explained your thoughts marvelously. :)

    1. Thank you!

      Same here! I really like both.

      Matthew Macfadyen is an awesome Mr. Darcy. :)

      Yes-- same!

      Awww, thanks! And thanks for commenting!

  5. Tough decision...but I think I like the 05 version better - by a slight margin.

    1. Good choice! But I would say that about either. ;)

  6. YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I like both the '05 and the '95. I prefer the '05 over the '95, but I prefer the book to both. And I am sick of the ceaseless bickering over it.

    We all love P&P. Let's just leave it at that. Yay us! Jane Austen is cool! Group hug.

    1. Thank you for understanding! :)

      And yes, exactly. :D

  7. I have watched P & P '05 four times. Love it! I never watched the version of '95. So, I prefer the '05. :) I have READ the book.

    1. Yay! It's lovely to meet people who've read the book and STILL prefer the '05!

      But I would recommend the '95, when you have an extra 5 and a half hours. :D


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