It is a truth universally acknowledged that all Jane Austen-related articles must begin with that phrase, the famous first line of Pride and Prejudice. Now that's out of the way, we can move to the subject at hand, which is Netflix's film adaptation of the author's last completed novel, Persuasion.
Dakota Johnson stars as lovelorn heroine Anne Elliot, who has spent eight years pining over humble naval officer Frederick Wentworth (Cosmo Jarvis) after refusing an engagement due to the influence of her self-important family.
When he returns to her circle, he is a wealthy and celebrated captain sought after by single ladies. Anne is still in love with him, but is uncertain if Wentworth can forgive her and reignite their romance. She also has to deal with a potential suitor in her distant cousin William (Henry Golding) and her family's continuing pomposity.
Persuasion is getting ripped apart by critics and actively boycotted by many fans over its anachronistic flourishes. But hey, maybe it will be your cup of tea (we're unclear if it will land in our best movies on Netflix list).
Here's what you need to watch Persuasion on Netflix.
When does Persuasion come out on Netflix?
Persuasion starts streaming on Netflix Friday, July 15 at 3 a.m. ET.
The movie's runtime is one hour, 47 minutes. It is rated PG.
The full-length Persuasion trailer begins with Anne Elliot lamenting how she almost got married years earlier, with "no two souls more in rhythm than Wentworth and I." She says this all to the camera, breaking down the fourth wall in a very Fleabag-like way. Her asides continue as she describes her family, then previews the various un-Austen-esque hijinks Anne gets up to.
Currently, Persuasion has a dismal 33 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The site's consensus reads, "Despite Dakota Johnson's best efforts, the chaotically anachronistic Persuasion fails to convince as a worthwhile Austen adaptation."
Many critics are almost savage in their reviews. Slate's Dana Stevens calls it "not only the worst Austen adaptation but one of the worst movies in recent memory."
Justin Chang of The Los Angeles Times writes the movie "appears to have lifted sentences from the novel and fed them through some kind of Instagram-filtering, catchphrase-generating, text-summarizing idiot bot."
Deadline's Todd McCarthy is a bit more positive, saying, "But however one might chafe at some of the liberties taken, this adaptation is so fundamentally lively and playful that it would seem churlish to complain too mightily."
Lindsey Bahr of the Associated Press describes it "like an Austen amuse bouche — an entry-level cover version that tries to rev up the humor and speak directly to Gen Z by using its lingo — or at least an advertising executive’s idea of what Gen Z sounds like."
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