Psst…I’m giving away a DVD of this film, along with goodies and coverflats! To enter, see my contest page.


If anyone ever asks me why I became a romance writer? This movie is to blame.

Travel back in time with me, to November 11, 2005. (cue wavy effects and plinky music) I was a work-at-home mom with a toddler (dareling two was yet to be). My birthday had just come and gone a few days ago, with little fanfare. It was Friday morning, and as I drove to pick up my daily workload from the office, I listened to the weekly movie reviews on NPR. They reviewed the brand new adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, and in a rare occurrence, all of the critics loved it.

Now, I was already a P&P fangirl. Since high school, it had been one of my favorite books, and I’d been a huge fan of the 1995 BBC miniseries adaptation (which, for the record, is still my favorite adaptation. Colin Firth will forever be my Darcy.). Anyhow, I immediately called my husband at work and told him, this was what I wanted for my birthday – he needed to call his mother and have her come over to babysit, and then take me to see P&P that very night. So he did.

And oh, it was lovely. Funny, touching, romantic, filled with beautiful landscapes and a beautiful score and beautiful people. I pretty much floated around for days, which Mr. Dare obliquely enjoyed but did not exactly “get.” I eventually sought a different outlet for my effusions of delight…online. That serendipitous click of the mouse was my introduction to the vast Austen online fandom, and the inspiring, creative playground that is JA fanfiction. And that community was my reintroduction to the historical romance genre. I was reading romance again, after many years hiatus, and I began writing it, too. First in short works of fan fiction, and then longer fics, and eventually (after a little contest called FanLit) my own original historical romance novels.

So without this movie, whatever writing career I might have would look verrry different. Darcy, what I do not owe you!

Any movies that you’ve watched at turning points in your own life?

9 comments to “The movie that launched my writing career…”

  1. Kim
    · March 10th, 2009 at 6:46 pm · Link

    Oh, I love that story, Tessa!

    Love the movie too. The line, “you bewitch me body and soul”, *swoon*!

  2. Lori Brighton
    · March 11th, 2009 at 12:18 pm · Link

    I adore both movies! If i want a quick fix, i’ll watch the newest. My favorite part in the older version is, well, every part, but the lake, of course. Favorite part of the newer one is when they are leaving the house after Jane has been ill and Elizabeth starts to climb the carriage and Darcy takes her hand and helps her in. Not sure why, but love that part.

    There are so many movies I like, I wouldn’t know where to start! I’d probably be trying to write those if not books.

  3. Santa
    · March 11th, 2009 at 7:05 pm · Link

    Ah, P&P. Love the book. I LOVE the 1995 version. I own a copy I bought for an embarrassingly low price I paid for it a neighbor’s garage sale. Suffice it to say I ran home before she realized what a treasure she let slip through her hands.

    I am a slow fan to the new version. On some level I feel like I’m being disloyal to Colin. I was the same way about Star Trek: The Next Generation. The very idea to create another series. Star Trek was a classic. You don’t mess with perfection. It took a while but what can I say Patrick Stewart is the hot!

    The same is happening with this version. Every new viewing brings something wonderful to the table. When Darcy hands her up to the carriage then opens and closes his hand is visceral proof that he feels something powerful for Liz Bennett. Delish!

  4. Tessa
    · March 12th, 2009 at 4:20 pm · Link

    Kim, I love that line, too! Even though it’s not really from the book. 🙂 *swoon* indeed.

    Lori, I feel the same way – I love both movies, for different reasons. And yes, that scene where he hands her into the carriage is to die for! The hot look they exchange. And then afterwards, as he’s walking away, there’s a close up of him flexing his hand…like he’s just felt an electric shock or something… *sigh*

    Santa – Yes, the hand flex! (see above) I love the 1995 version too, and I don’t think anyone could ever replace Colin as Darcy in my imagination. He owns that role. And he’s such a great guy to boot. In an interview, he was once asked which three women have had the greatest impact on his life – he answered: his mother, his wife, and Jane Austen. 🙂

  5. Antonia Girmacea
    · March 13th, 2009 at 11:41 am · Link

    I love Pride and Prejudice. 🙂
    The 2005 version is among the few movies I rewatch and the soundtrack is one of my favorites ever. 🙂

  6. Evangeline
    · March 13th, 2009 at 11:52 pm · Link

    I have to say the movie that changed my life was Easy Living. A wonderful, fantastic screwball comedy that personified all I love about romance: pathos, wit, sexiness, and just sheer fun all rolled into a zany package. Even though it is a movie, I finally found my “voice” and the courage to tackle not only the NY-set historicals I’d been so hesitant to write, but contemporary romance.

    But I must say I love P&P05–the grimy, dirty pastoral setting, the social contrast between the Bennetts and the Binghams, and the giggling relationship between the sisters is exactly what I find missing in the Regency Historical. I’m glad you were inspired by the movie!

  7. Andrea
    · May 26th, 2009 at 1:09 pm · Link

    the best thing the BBC has ever done!!!
    this was a good movie, but Colin Firth was born to play Mr. Darcy! He’s sooo awesome!!
    Also, an interesting take on Pride and Predjudice is the movie Lost in Austen. Everyone, go see it!

  8. Christy
    · October 22nd, 2009 at 9:03 am · Link

    Pride and Prejudice was the movie that changed my life as well! It got me hooked on all things Austen, which led to being hooked on period dramas which then led to me becoming hooked on Regency based historical romances. This is the best movie I have ever seen and probably ever will see and I am so pleased to discover that this movie made such an impact on a favorite author of mine 😉

  9. Nancy J. Collins
    · August 25th, 2011 at 9:05 am · Link

    P&P did change my life. I used to be hooked on international espionage (Ludlum) but I decided to try the classics and now I watch it at least monthly. I have to say that I love Elliott Cowan in Lost In Austen, the way he used his eyes to tease and play with Elizabeth. Of course Colin is Darcy. My fav P&P is (1980) with Eliz. Garvie and David Rintoul. And Ciaran Hinds in Persuasion (Rupert Penry-Jones did not quite do it for me…love Rupert in Spooks). I watch them all over and over.