Jane Austen’s Emma has been brought to the big screen time and time again. So how was the 2020 Emma remake? Is it worth watching?
I admit that I have not read the book version of Emma, or seen any of the other movies titled Emma besides this 2020 version. I have, however, seen Clueless, which is a version of this story. In fact, Clueless is one of my all time favorite movies. And it is when I fell in love with Paul Rudd.
As soon as I heard that Clueless and Emma were basically the same, I was thrilled. But I think that was the downfall for me. And perhaps why I found this movie just so… boring. Yes it was funny, and parts were entertaining, but the story over all just needed to hurry up. I found myself checking my phone and the time way too often. More than I care to admit.
Stunning Scenery and Costumes
All that being said, I must admit the scenery and the costumes were completely stunning. I often found myself taking in every detail as we went from scene to scene. They were truly something magnificent, and the saving grace to this film. Had it been not for them, and the fact that I could not wait to see Emma and Knightley finally admit their love for each other, I would have turned it off.
Was It Predictable?
I think, had I gone into this film not knowing to compare it to Clueless, I still would have. And I would have known who would end up with who early on. Being a story that has been redone so many times, it is hard to avoid the predictability. That is why it is important to make it your own.
I did love just how sarcastic Emma is in this version. Anya Taylor-Joy absolutely nailed the role. I also adored Johnny Flynn as Knightley (but he is no Paul Rudd). And while I knew what would happen for them at the end of the film, I somewhat enjoyed the journey. However, they were the only part of the story I did like, and often times that dragged on as well.
Is It Worth A Watch?
Is this worth a watch? It was far too slow and predictable for my taste. Although, the costumes and scenery are worth a quick peek. If you love period films and the story of Emma, sure. If you don’t? Well, you might just be better off popping in Clueless.
Check out my favorite quotes from the 2020 version of Emma.
Jane Austen’s beloved comedy about finding your equal and earning your happy ending, is reimagined in this delicious new film adaptation of EMMA. Handsome, clever, and rich, Emma Woodhouse is a restless queen bee without rivals in her sleepy little town. In this glittering satire of social class and the pain of growing up, Emma must adventure through misguided matches and romantic missteps to find the love that has been there all along.
Rent Emma now from your favorite digital retailer!
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Tessa Smith is a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer-approved Film and TV Critic. She is also a Freelance Writer. Tessa has been in the Entertainment writing business for almost ten years and is a member of several Critics Associations including the Critics Choice Association, Hollywood Critics Association, and the Greater Western New York Film Critics Association.