So I recently watched two more versions of movies of books I like.
The first is the Keira Knightley 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice.
I liked it. I think it was pretty and the music was nice. I thought the casting and acting was very good too. BUT, having watched the BBC version first, I have to say I liked the long one better. It just felt more like a book. I also missed the development of Mr. Wickam and Elizabeth's relationship in the shorter movie. Also, I thought Mrs. Bennett in the long movies was so hilarious, and not as much in the short version.
Second, my friend Aminda loaned me Masterpiece Theater version of Room with a View. I think it was shown in 2008 for the first time. I didn't like it nearly as much as the Merchant Ivy version. I knew I would be biased, so I want to point out what I did like about it. First, Cecil is a bit more charming, so you can understand more why she would be interested in him. I loved the actor from Enchanted that played Mr. Emerson. I think the actors did a good job.
BUT I didn't like the whole return to Italy flashback setting. I think it was cheesy and distracting. I think Freddy plays such a fun role in the book and the first movie, and in this version he is really minor. The MAIN problem I had was how they wrote so many explanations into the script. There is a conversation after the first kiss that is too obvious and wordy. George's speech to Lucy after the second kiss was annoying and overstated. I really prefer the subtlety of the book, which the first movie stayed true too. There were just too many verbal explanations added in. Another unneccessary one was after they are together, and George explains Charlotte's role, when in the first movie, it's just insinuated that she approved and helped them out.
**SPOILER**....the worst part is the ending. WHY oh WHY would you take a happy ending and make it sad? The whole book is a romantic comedy, then to make it a tradgedy. Not for me.
So, the newer version of Pride and Prejudice has merit because it is more condensed and a much more reasonable length. I didn't like PBS's attempt to remake A Room with a View at all. The movie was fine, but I just love the other one and the novel TOO much to like the liberties they took. But I do enjoy comparing different versions of film and lit. So thank you all my good friends for your recommendations.