I may be a movie fan, but I have never been the type to obsess over a single movie, say Star Wars or Napoleon Dynamite. I’ll admit that I watched Bridget Jones’s Diary almost thirty times last year, but that doesn’t count. My point is, something has to explain why I was compelled to see Bride and Prejudice at Cinema Center three times in one week and would have gone more, had time permitted. Someone has finally knocked Bridget out of her favorite movie position.
Bride and Prejudice is the Bollywood meets Hollywood update of Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice (coincidentally the same novel Bridget Jones is based upon). Directed by Gurinder Chadha, hot off of Bend It Like Beckham’s success, it features the reigning Queen of Bollywood, Aishwarya Rai, as Lalitha, an intelligent, modern Indian woman in a very traditional small town. Her friend’s wedding brings to town Balraj Bingley, (Naveen Andrews, Lost) a rich lawyer living in England, his sister, and his American hotel mogul best friend, Will Darcy (Martin Henderson, The Ring). At first sight, Darcy and Lalitha hit it off…kind of. While they definitely are attracted to each other, pride and prejudice get in the way of their snappy love-hate romance.
While it is certainly not an Oscar deserving piece of art, this is my favorite movie so far this year. I l-o-v-e, love Bride and Prejudice. Its infectious music and dance numbers as well as its fun sense of humor and lovingly faithful adaptation of Jane Austin’s novel create an experience that is borderline addictive. I didn’t want the movie to end, so I went back to see it again and again, still loving it as much each time. Seriously consider renting this movie when it is released on July 5. It’s too long to wait, but don’t worry, I’ll remind you.
Still in theaters is another remake, House of Wax. The original 1953 production starring Scream King William Price is so bad it is funny (I taped it off TCM years ago and bring it out for a good laugh on Halloween). The update, however, is not so terrible. The movie is the story of some kids who get trapped in the middle of nowhere when their car “breaks down” at a camp site. The spark plug mysteriously is broken in the morning. While getting the parts to fix the car, they end up in an eerily quiet town, home to a wax museum where the figures are so real it is frightening. Little do they know, they could be the next models for the curator of the House of Wax.
This movie is a reunion of WB and Nickelodeon actors, featuring Elisha Cuthbert of Are You Afraid of the Dark as the lead, Jared Padalecki from Gilmore Girls as her boyfriend, Chad Michael Murray of One Tree Hill as her naughty twin brother, Robert Ri’chard of Cousin Skeeter as their friend with the sweet ride (the car that doesn’t break down and get them in danger), and Paris Hilton is in there too. This conglomeration works well because none of the above is an incredible actor, but as an ensemble they have good chemistry and it is fun to identify them with past roles.
This movie is not superb, but it was really entertaining. The audience was so engaged that when Hilton met an untimely and gross end one viewer yelled, “That’s hot!” I recommend a double header of the original followed by the new. It makes the current version seem even better than it is. I rate it a three out of five for being average but entertaining.
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