It’s been a while since I’ve posted but some of you may recall me speaking about Teri Wilson’s charming book, Unleashing Mr. Darcy, a couple of years ago as part of my Darcy December feature. My main critique of the book was it was somewhat racy and I argued that even if you toned down those elements, you would still have an adorable story.
A year and a half later, I get a phone call from my mother asking if I had “seen the new Hallmark movie about Darcy and dogs.”
I thought, “oh no… they didn’t…”
Unleashing Mr. Darcy, starring Ryan Paevey, Cindy Busby, and Frances Fisher premiered on the Hallmark Channel on Saturday, January 23rd at 9pm/8pm CST.
The Internet can be a beautiful thing.
For those unfamiliar with the plot, Elizabeth is a teacher at a prestigious school who, due to a scandal, is put on probation and takes her show-quality pup on the circuit where she meets Donovan Darcy, a dog show judge and King Cavalier breeder. Enter all the usual notes of a P&P variation, but condensed (no Mr. Collins for example), and you have a fun, dog-themed, contemporary take on the Jane Austen classic, with some spice!
So what did I think of the Hallmark film version?
Initially, “those King Cavaliers are some of the cutest dogs I have ever seen. I want one!”
(Post note — I just googled King Cavalier Spaniels and show quality dogs/breeders… ohmigosh they’re expensive!)
Secondly, Donovan Darcy and Elizabeth Scott, as portrayed by these actors, have no chemistry (sigh). All the ZING of the original Wilson book is gone, sanitized for a family-friendly film.
They’ve scaled down the drama between Jane and Henry, Sue Barrow has become a close family friend/meddler instead of just the magnanimous English dog breeder, even Elizabeth’s mother is by far less of an embarrassment.
It’s like they turned the character’s volume down by several decibels.
I’m glad they’re doing more airdates (see end of post) and I may give it another shot to see if my mind changes but as of right now, it was kind of a let down for me. What did you think? Share your thoughts in a comment below. Thank you for reading my rambling musings.
Future air dates (from Hallmark’s website):
- Sunday, February 21st at 7pm
- Saturday, March 12th at 7pm