Gwyneth Paltrow in Emma © 1996 Miramax Films
“Vanity working on a weak mind produces every kind of mischief.” –Mr. Knightley
Have I got a movie for you. You’re lucky you came to me when you did. It’s a period piece, but don’t worry: It’s great looking with a wonderful personality. It’s nineteenth century, because I know you go for those sophisticated types. And who doesn’t want to go out with big stars? Gwyneth Paltrow. Before she was Viola De Lesseps in “Shakespeare In Love,” but believe me, this led to that and you’ll be in love with this, too. Ewan McGregor is in it. That’s right. From “Moulin Rouge.” And Toni Collette and Alan Cumming. What’s not to like?
The film is based on the Jane Austen novel. It has inspired a ton of adaptations, because everybody wanted their hands on it. This one was done by Douglas McGrath. “Bullets Over Broadway.” “Saturday Night Live.” He’s certainly no slouch.
So, I can tell you’re interested. Let me tell you a little more about it.
There’s Emma: a self-proclaimed matchmaker with a perfect lack of self-awareness. You might even call her clueless, but let’s resist, because, remember, sophisticated. So, Harriet Smith is Emma’s current project. Harriet gets a proposal from Robert Martin, but Emma makes her say no because he’s a farmer. Instead, Emma pushes Harriet on Mr. Elton, but Mr. Elton isn’t interested in Harriet because he’s interested in Emma, but Emma is completely, well, you know.
Anyway, Emma didn’t think she was ready to fall in love. But you are. And you will. Trust me. This is what I do.
Jane Austen’s nineteenth-century novel was adapted for the big screen in 1996 by Douglas McGrath. The film stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Alan Cumming, Toni Collette, James Cosmo, Jeremy Northam, and Ewan McGregor.