The yassified Jane Austen adaptation has already bombed online
If you thought NASA’s breathtaking new photos of our wildly expansive and glittery universe were enough to drive home our insignificant place in it, then you’ve never been on Twitter. It’s business as usual online, and this week’s main character is Netflix’s Persuasion adaptation, out this Friday, July 15.
We’ve allowed the Fleabag industrial complex to run AMOK pic.twitter.com/bO5blvQR3l
— Christina Grace (@C_GraceT) June 14, 2022
People online are panning the film, starring Dakota Johnson in a lot of Fleabag-style breaking-the-fourth-wall narration, for its chaotic anachronisms and winky writing. Lines like, “We’re worse than exes; we’re friends,” and “If you’re a five in London, you’re a 10 in Bath,” abound. Author and king of literary Twitter Brandon Tyler has a great thread that sums up the trailer’s most egregious horrors. “The man who wrote the Rain Main screenplay and an actress who wrote some short films wrote this movie and all I am saying is that they should know better,” he says.
Along with Johnson, the film stars Cosmo Jarvis, Henry Golding, and Richard E. Grant, and is directed by Carrie Cracknell. I haven’t watched much more than the trailer at the time of this writing, but that’s enough to know it’s a dud. Whereas Jane Austen’s Emma—a novel of youthful misunderstandings and pride—thrived in a modernized, playful adaptation in early 2020, Persuasion is a much more emo beast entirely. The novel opens on Anne Elliot’s broken engagement—people persuaded (get it?) her to dump her one true love—and is rife with angst, sorrow, regret, and tenderness toward that lost love. It is not, to quote the trailer, Austen’s “timeless love story.”
“Good luck to everyone involved,” Brandon Tyler wrote on Twitter. “Everyone who makes a movie deserves to be congratulated. Good job everyone.” But it’s pretty clear that the art of Persuasion-mockery has barely begun to flower online.
Instead of waxing on any longer, I’ll let the best of literary twitter speak for themselves:
Okay, but I really did laugh at this point in the Persuasion trailer. Ever heard of her? pic.twitter.com/7jFAQuUS3t
— Maris Kreizman (@mariskreizman) June 14, 2022
jane didnt write "there could have never been two hearts so open, no tastes so similar, no feelings so in unison, no countenances so beloved. now they were as strangers; nay, worse than strangers, for they could never become acquainted. it was a perpetual estrangement" for this😭 https://t.co/izO12i3OpP
— steffi (@steffinixx) June 14, 2022
While generally not a believer in carceral solutions, I did just see the new PERSUASION and think everyone involved should go to jail for the line about how “It’s often said if you’re a 5 in London, you’re a 10 in Bath.”
— Alison Willmore (@alisonwillmore) July 3, 2022