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Movie Review

Emma

Reviewed by: Karen Mason
STAFF WRITER

Better than Average
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens to Adults
Genre:
Romantic Drama
Length:
111 min.
Year of Release:
1996
PG

It is refreshing to view a movie for which you don’t have to make excuses to justify giving it your time.

“Emma” is for those who enjoy a clean, light hearted, easy-paced romance. It is probably not for those looking for adventure and excitement. (There are no gunshots, murders, bed scenes or fast cars, not even a genuine chase scene.) There are however, ordinary good people of a different era, complete with both virtues to admire and vices to avoid. And of course, primarily, this is a film about matchmaking and romance in early 19th century England.

Emma, the film’s namesake, is the 21 year old, beloved daughter of a wealthy, country gentleman. Her feminine nature and beauty are enhanced by her endearing qualities of both graciousness and expressiveness. Emma is not without fault however, because she is a hopeless matchmaker as well as at times a bit of a snob. She makes a tangled mess of handling other’s romances and in the process nearly misses her own life’s love. On the way, the viewer is reminded that a good, honest and faithful friend are the qualities that truly make a “good match.”

As in “Sense and Sensibility,” another Jane Austen novel/movie adaptation, the necklines are quite low, but are in keeping with period clothing. Settings for “Emma” are reminiscent of “Sense and Sensibility”: lovely gardens, stone mansions and rolling green countryside. Unlike “Sense and Sensibility”, “Emma” is not as emotionally engaging or as humorously crafted. However, the leading lady, played by Gwyneth Paltrow, as well as the other supporting cast (my favorite is the amiable, incessantly chatty, Miss Bates) perform skillfully.

This is a great movie for romantic females like myself, and the guys who want to make us happy!

Viewer Comments
What my friends and I found most interesting about Emma was the interest Mr Knightley showed in Emma’s goodness. It does seem a little incongruous, but one of the most romantic scenes in the whole thing was when he rebuked her for her rude, contemptuous remarks to Miss Bates. His concern for her character was a great example to Christian men everywhere.
—Katrina, age 22
I found this movie the most boring I have seen in a long, long time. I watched this movie with my Christian parents and they went upstairs before the movie was finished. I finished the movie but almost fell asleep in the process. Besides being from the 1800’s it has lack of subject intrest to any one in their right mind. I read your review on Sense and Sensibility and thought it sounded good, but since you compared Emma to it, there is no way I will be watching Sense and Sensibility.
—Vanesa, age 13
Movies like “EMMA” are such a breath of fresh air. I put it in the same vain of “Sense and Sensibility”. It’s real life with real feelings. Dealing with normal people. I must admit as a man when my wife rents these movies I always wonder if I will be bored and almost fall asleep. But I urge you to give it a try. No bad lauangue. No sex. No murder. Not a gun, knife or bomb shown or used.
—Clark Julian, age 41