That Snogging Scene!

A week or two ago Amanda complained about the lame “sitting around in our underwear” ending on the 2007 version of Pride & Prejudice. It made me wonder (not for the first time) how I would have ended the film.

Riskies and friends probably all know that scene was added for the North American version; in the British release the film ends with Mr. Bennett giving his blessing to the marriage.

While I like a bit of basking in the glow of the happy ending–and definitely wanted something there, this ending didn’t hit me quite right. The first time I saw it it felt too sentimental. On viewing it again, though, when Lizzie talks of Darcy being cross with her, it reminded me of this passage from the book:

She began now to comprehend that he was exactly the man who, in disposition and talents, would most suit her. His understanding and temper, though unlike her own, would have answered all her wishes. It was an union that must have been to the advantage of both; by her ease and liveliness, his mind might have been softened, his manners improved; and from his judgment, information, and knowledge of the world, she must have received benefit of greater importance.

It’s a realistic happy ending. They won’t always agree but they’ll find a balance. I’m glad there was at least a hint of that in this final scene.

A couple other things bothered me more. First, the “sitting around in our underwear” thing. Not that I’m against characters cavorting half-naked in a garden–I’ve written such scenes. Nor do I have anything against snogging–only purists argue that JA never wrote a snogging scene. But I like to know the setup, i.e., what happened to all the servants? Surely they’re not all staring from their attic windows?!

The other thing is that this scene feels post-coital, so it seemed a bit out of order for them to be discussing what to call one another. It was just confusing.

I’m not sure how I would have ended the film. Jane Austen ended the book with a chapter of narrative describing what happened to everyone. It’s all nicely encapsulated in the wedding scene at the end of the 1995 Firth/Ehle version. Yet a double wedding scene doesn’t seem right for the 2007 version which is shorter, more intimate and more focused on Elizabeth and Darcy.

My idea would be to show the beginning of the wedding night, in their bedchamber (more believable for their first time) and with more of the lovely, youthful, somewhat awkward chemistry that we saw in the mist scene. Then a discreet fadeout to the theme music.

So anyway, it’s time for a poll. How would you have ended this film and why?

A) North American ending as is, sweet talk, snogging and all.

B) British ending, with Mr. Bennett welcoming suitors for Mary and Kitty.

C) Wedding scene as in the 1995 version

D) My idea – wedding night scene

E) Something else – do tell!


About Elena Greene

Elena Greene grew up reading anything she could lay her hands on, including her mother's Georgette Heyer novels. She also enjoyed writing but decided to pursue a more practical career in software engineering. Fate intervened when she was sent on a three year international assignment to England, where she was inspired to start writing romances set in the Regency. Her books have won the National Readers' Choice Award, the Desert Rose Golden Quill and the Colorado Romance Writers' Award of Excellence. Her Super Regency, LADY DEARING'S MASQUERADE, won RT Book Club's award for Best Regency Romance of 2005 and made the Kindle Top 100 list in 2011. When not writing, Elena enjoys swimming, cooking, meditation, playing the piano, volunteer work and craft projects. She lives in upstate New York with her two daughters and more yarn, wire and beads than she would like to admit.
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