Reviewed by: Karen Mason
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!