It's a ballsy move adapting any Jane Austen novel – especially the author's last. Readers are fiercely protective of her legacy and characters; especially the independent, intelligent heroines peppered throughout each novel. So, now that Carrie Cracknell's Persuasion has landed on Netflix, it appears some are surprised that the film is less BBC and more Fleabag.
Dakota Johnson leads as Anne Elliot, an Austen protagonist that errs on the older side (read: late 20s), who after falling in love with Frederick Wentworth aged 19, was persuaded to break the engagement off as he had no fortune. In the eight years since the relationship ended, Elliot is still very much in love and regrets her decision deeply. Her family has lost much of their own fortune after years of living beyond their means, and when Wentworth arrives back in town she finds that the tables have turned.
Personally, I thought it was accessible and fun. Although it appears Austen purists are not having one bar of Johnson staring down the lens and delivering quippy one-liners. The dialogue has definitely been condensed with a modern polish. And some characters are caricatured – that is the joy of comedy. So, what else has the internet said about Persuasion? Keep reading for some of the best reactions.
jane austen did not die rejecting every single man who ever came into her life for dakota johnson to say “now we’re worse than exes, we’re friends” in netflix's persuasion
— sophie 🌙 19 AND ON FIRE (@loversrespite) July 16, 2022
— Love & Friendship (@LandFMovie) July 18, 2022
what the netflix persuasion failed to understand is that the silent yearning and pining between anne elliot and captain wentworth is what makes the story of persuasion so sexy.
— lois (@packcloudsaway) July 15, 2022
jane austen crying shaking throwing up in her grave after dakota johnson said “now we’re worse than exes, we’re friends” in persuasion on netflix
— biryani (@whysopain) July 15, 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
The problem with the Netflix Persuasion is it insults the audience’s intelligence. It assumes the original material isn’t relatable to modern viewers. Except if that were the case there wouldn’t be a new Austen remake coming out every 2 years.
— Sarah Cameron (@thesarjane) July 15, 2022
The embargo for Netflix Persuasion is up and I actually LIKED the film. I’m annoyed people hate the film so much because we need more diverse Austen adaptations set in period and gatekeepers are gonna ruin that for us Black and POC fans.
— Amanda-Rae Prescott (@amandarprescott) July 8, 2022
— Penguin Books UK (@PenguinUKBooks) July 14, 2022
stop blaming bridgerton for netflix persuasion being bad and start blaming the real enemy. dakota johnson’s hairstylist
— nia (@sofiabikes) July 15, 2022
The Netflix #Persuasion is a bad adaptation but a great teaching tool for defining the relationship between plot and character. The film retains Austen's plot but completely changes Anne's character. So there's an odd disjunct between who she is and the things that happen to her.
— Anwesha Kundu (@k_anwesha) July 15, 2022
What is (preemptively) pissing me off about the new Persuasion is that it speaks to a much, much larger problem in adaptations of classics where studios seem to think all these female characters need to be glossed with a zany millennial girlboss patina to become Relevant™️
— meha (@chaipters) July 8, 2022