A modern day Pride & Prejudice, charming TV movie retells the Jane Austin story based on the book by Teri Wilson **** 4 Stars
By Gabrielle Pantera
HOLLYWOOD, CA (Hollywood Daily Star) 2016/1/23 – “As much as I love writing, I don’t know a thing about screenplays,” says Unleashing Mr. Darcy author Teri Wilson. “So, I was happy to have a very experienced screenwriter, Teena Booth, on the project. I’ve of course read the screenplay, and naturally there are differences between the book and the film, but the spirit of my book is very much there. Teena was so thoughtful about including little details from the book into the screenplay, even in the scenes that aren’t quite the same as the ones I originally wrote.”
Wilson’s book was optioned for film by the Hallmark Channel/Crown Media in April 2015 and went into production in October. Wilson makes a cameo appearance in the film. “I was on set in Canada for two days of filming, and during one of the scenes, David Winning [the director] turned to me and said, ‘Hey, Teri. Do you want to be in your movie?’ I walk right behind Frances Fisher in one of the scenes at Darcy’s mansion. Look for me with a turquoise sweater and very messy hair.”
“As far as casting, I couldn’t be happier with the actors that were chosen for the lead roles,” says Wilson. “Cindy Busby is such a wonderful, sweet, relatable heroine. And Ryan Paevey is absolute perfection as a modern-day Mr. Darcy. He’s of course devastatingly handsome, but it’s his voice that makes his performance really special. It is so Darcy-esque. And how amazing is it that we have Frances Fisher in the film.”
The 2-hour movie, based on the book by Wilson, has elements of both Wilson’s book and Austin’s Pride & Prejudice. The book was set in London and the movie is set it Washington D.C. and New York. The casting is spot on with Ryan Paevey as the American Darcy. The animals are great too. If you love Pride & Prejudice you will love Unleashing Mr. Darcy.
Elizabeth Scott (Cindy Busby) a teacher at a prestigious school is unfairly dismissed from her job at the school because of a parent. She still attends a dog show to show her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel where she meets Donovan Darcy (Ryan Paevey), one of the judges. They get off on the wrong foot. While at the dog show she runs into family friend Gabrielle Barrow (Elizabeth McLaughlin), there show her dog. Gabrielle offers Elizabeth a job showing her Border Terriers and a place to stay in New York. Elizabeth takes her up on the offer. After arriving she runs into Mr. Darcy who lives right across the street. He has two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. The two continue to meet and have more misunderstandings, but an attraction is there.
Executive producers Sydell Albert and Howard Braunstein. Producer Christian Bruyere. Sydell Albert Productions and Christian Bruyere of Mystique Films. Director David Winning. Screenplay by Teena Booth. Director of photography Ron Stannett. Production designer Michael Ritter. Editor Tony Dean Smith. Casting by Jackie Lind.
Elizabeth Scott (Cindy Busby), Donovan Darcy (Ryan Paevey), Gabrielle Barrow (Elizabeth McLaughlin), Violet Darcy (Frances Fisher), Linda Scott (Lini Evans), Jenna Scott (Tammy Gillis), Zara Darcy (Sarah Desjardins), Felicity Robson (Courtney Richter)