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Monday, March 04, 2013

Which Golden Girl makes for the best Bennet sister?

Continuing my Darcy Disciple quest for the P&P Bicentenary Challenge, I treated myself to a rereading of a very lively modern adaptation by Paula Marantz Cohen.

Jane Austen in Boca focuses on a trio of Floridian widows living in a retirement community,Flo,May and Lila,whose love lives begin resembling those of the cast of Pride and Prejudice,complete with versions of Bingley,Darcy and Mr. Collins.

There are also equivalent counterparts to Mrs. Bennet,Lady Catherine and Aunt Gardiner(in the form of a film making niece)to be found within the story lines. It's a smartly unique twist to this time honored novel and I highly recommend it(must also put in a good word for the author's take on Persuasion,Jane Austen In Scarsdale as well).

 Since Jane Austen in Boca is often described as "The Golden Girls meet Pride and Prejudice", I thought it would be fun to recast those famous Miami ladies as P&P characters. Let's see if I arranged it just right or at least more smoothly than Mrs.
Bennet would a chance meeting for one of her daughters at a Meryton Ball:

 LIZZIE/DOROTHY: Dorothy has a lot in common with both Elizabeth Bennet and Flo in JAIB;all of them are spirited women with a keen wit and lively sense of humor who have trouble brooking fools gladly.

Dorothy also prefers down to earth men and abhors snobs,while enjoying the company of those who appreciate the fine arts. However,like her other fictional sisters,Dorothy has had her share of Mr. Collins types(her ex-husband Stan)and can be willingly deluded by many a Wickam sort of person. However,she's not afraid of admitting her errors in judgement and correcting them as soon as can be:



BLANCHE/LYDIA: While there is not quite a Lydia to be seen in JAIB,Blanche would certainly be the only logical choice for that part in any P&P production. Her flirtatious nature and unbridled pursuit of the opposite sex more than qualifies her here.

Plus,she does have a touch of Mrs. Bennet with her freely given advice to her friends and matchmaking attempts. Of course,doubling up those roles would be ideal for her,as Blanche thrives on being the center of attention no matter what the situation:


 JANE/ROSE: You couldn't do a P&P adaptation without the sweetness of
Jane Bennet and both May of Jane Austen in Boca and Rose of the Golden Girls are practically separated at birth soul sisters.

 All three gals can't help but think well of others and put the feelings of those around them above their own. While May and Jane may not be as silly as Rose can get at times,they all exude a sincerely genuine charm that brings them plenty of Bingleys to their door.

Another trait they share is how difficult they find it to truly insult someone or say anything really negative about certain people,even if he or she honestly deserves  their censure:



SOPHIA/MR.BENNET: While it may seem sensible to cast Sophia as Mrs. Bennet merely due to gender,her sarcasm and sass regarding the follies that her daughter and roommates often get into suits her more for the other half of the elder Bennets.

Jane Austen in Boca doesn't really have a Mr. Bennet(with all of the sly observations on Boca life by the narrator,it's really not necessary) but I dare say that Sophia would get along famously with him,as she loves to mock her loved ones as much as he does and be mocked at in her turn:



While it is a great pity that there are not enough Golden Girls still among us to do justice to a film version of Jane Austen in Boca,we still have many pleasant memories and more creative reenactments of P&P in the near future to entertain us for a long time to come. Both the Bennets and the Golden Girls are blessed with the knack of amusing themselves when other delights are not easily available,a trait we could all learn to cultivate better although piano playing skills are a huge bonus there:


1 comment:

Sophia Rose said...

Ah, fun post! I loved the Golden Girls and I have never heard of this book. Now I'll have to read it.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the blend and the clips.