Pride & Prejudice: Atlanta (2019 Lifetime)
Synopsis (via Lifetime)
In a contemporary adaptation of the Jane Austen classic, “Pride and Prejudice: Atlanta” follows Reverend Bennet (Reginald VelJohnson, “Family Matters”), a pastor of a prominent southern Baptist church and his wife Mrs. Bennet (Jackée Harry, “Sister, Sister”), who is the author of a self-help book on how to find the perfect husband. Needless to say, Mrs. Bennet is less than thrilled that all five of their daughters, Lizzie (Tiffany Hines, “Toni Braxton: Unbreak My Heart”), Jane (Raney Branch, “Being Mary Jane”), Mary (Brittney Level, “The Purge”), Lydia (Reginae Carter, “Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta”) and Kitty (“Alexia Bailey”), are still single. When the very eligible Will Darcy (Juan Antonio, “Empire”) arrives in town, Mrs. Bennet sets her sights on the handsome bachelor for daughter Lizzie, leading to a modern-day, comedic take on themes familiar to fans of the novel.
Oh, yes, Henny! We start with a Jackee Harry voice over giving the play by play of everyone in a southern gospel church. Of course, there is her husband, Reverend Bennet. (Played by Carl Winslow) Charles Bingly is the eligible bachelor, and his sister Caroline. (Played by Rudy Huxtable…) They are new to the congregation. Jackee Harry has five single daughters: Lydia (Likes tattoo’s), Mary (Likes to read), Kitty (Gossipy) Jane (Widowed with a son), and Lizzie. (She is an activist and isn’t focused on love.)
Lizzie protests strip malls and loves theater. She is not focused on getting a man. “If a woman ain’t happy alone, she won’t be happy with a man.” Jackee wants Lizzie to go on a date with the building developer, Antwon, or the pro golfer. She pushed Lizzie to invite one of them to Sunday dinner with the family. Reverend Bennet steps in and mandates that his daughters meet Charles Bingly.
At the country club for a wedding, all the daughters are waiting to meet Mr. Bingly, who shows up with his sister and Will Darcy. On the terrace, Lizzy overhears Darcy and Antwon talking about her and agreeing that she is not their type. When sitting down to dinner, Jackee shuffles the cards to set her daughters up. The plan works for Jane and Charles Bingly, but Lizzie is more into her red wine and dancing with her friend. While at the bar ordering a martini, Lizzie bumps into Will Darcy and goes in on him because he is a politician. (aspiring congressman.) Then she tells him she overheard his conversation and will tell this story 100 times. He apologizes and says it was a misunderstanding.
The next day, Jackee Harry is meddling in her daughter’s affairs. Jane is going to meet up with Charles and his sister at their mansion. They go horse riding, but it doesn’t go well, and Jane hurts her ankle. She is embarrassed and asks Lizzie to come to pick her up. When Lizzie arrives in her janky Honda Civic, she realizes she is at a party and severely underdressed. Darcey stands on a balcony looking hot AF.
Darcy and Charles invite Lizzie and Jane to stay the night because Lizzie’s car is broken down, and rideshares don’t exist, apparently. Jackee Harry is ELATED (and such a joy to watch, I love her as an actress.) She also thinks Tinder is firewood? Haha?!?!?
Caroline gives Lizzie a hot little red dress to wear. Lizzie is mortified and awkward but goes out to the party. She talks about politics again. This time stating that “I think we can all agree that Character doesn’t win elections anymore.” and is pretty rude to Darcy.
Lydia is at another party that is less boushie and meets Darcy’s brother. They hit it off and play poker.
The next morning Lizzie gets caught watching Darcy riding his horse. He promises to get her on a horse someday. They then walk around the grounds and talk about the community, growing up, and then things go south again. They are just too different. Jackee Harry shows up with the other sisters to pick up Lizzie and Jane… and to check out the digs.
Rev and Jackee invite a family friend, Stevie over. He is also a reverend and wants to take over for the Reverend when he retires, and he will need a wife. He has his eyes on Jane, but she is WAYYY out of his league. He is a goober and will take Lizzie if Jane isn’t available.
At the club with Lydia, Lizzie talks to Darcy’s brother, George. He is a record producer and nothing like his snobby/self-centered brother.
Darcy has a speech for the people in the community. Lizzie speaks up about his views on education and healthcare, but the speech is cut short. At the cocktail hour, Darcy saves Lizzy from Stevie, and they go outside and talk some more. It is supposed to be flirty talking, but I’m not really getting that subtext. Stevie doesn’t stay away long and asks Lizzie to go to a BBQ with him. She turns him down, and he thinks she is playing hard to get. No matter because it looks like Stevie will end up with her friend. (They eat their fries the same!)
Jane gets broken up over text. (Which was truly shocking) Something else surprising is that Charlotte (The friend) and Rev Stevie are engaged after two months. Lizzie is pissed at her friend, and Charlotte tells Lizzie to stop hiding from love.
The friends go back to Pemberley manor. Auth Catherine is not impressed with Lizzie and her normalness. She then talks shit about Jane and calls her a baby momma, not realizing that it is Lizzie’s sister. Aunt Catherine says will Darcy her Charles straight and told him to end the relationship. Lizzie storms off and tells Darcy that she would never be with a man who did something terrible to her family. To add insult to injury, the historic downtown area she has been fighting to save is going to be developed.
After talking with her parents, Lizzie thinks of a way to save the theater. She has kids singing while Darcy is touring the building. Antwon and Darcy argue about the theater, Darcy wants to dave the theater.
Lydia is pregnant, and all the sisters gather together. They want to know if she loves George, and she might. They encourage Lydia to be with the himbo. Jackee Harry joins in, and it seems like Lydia is going to take the leap to be with George.
George, Darcy, and Charles get together. They talk about the girls and decide that they are going to go for who they love. They all go over to the Bennet household. George asks to marry Lydia, and she is like, “nawww, you are going to have to earn these goodies.” Charles apologizes to Jane and admits he made a mistake. He asks for him to take him back as the whole family watches on. She accepts his proposal, and they are engaged. Finally, it is Darcy’s turn. He tells her that he bought the theater and is donating it to the historical association. Lizzie is impressed, and they almost kiss, but Jackee Harry interrupts! (WTF, Jackee?!?!?)
Aunt Catherine shows up at Lizzie’s house the next morning. Turns out, Darcy admitted his feelings for her, and she threatens Lizzie to stay out of her family’s life. Lizzie talks to her father and realizes that she does love Darcy, but she is scared. He tells Lizzie that he almost called off his engagement to Jackee Harry, but didn’t and look how great his life turned out. Lizzie runs to Darcy.
Darcy apologizes for his aunt and tells Lizzie that she inspires him, and he knows they are supposed to be together. They say they love each other and kiss as the camera pans out.
Flash to April, it is a double wedding of Charles and Jane & Darcy and Lizzie. Jackee finishes up with a voice-over as the wedding processed out. Three daughters down, and two more to go!
The first in Lifetime’s Book to Screen series. What do we think?
Minority Report: Whole dang cast of POC’s. Great work, Lifetime.
I want Jackee Harry to be my mom. She is so thirsty on behalf of her daughters.
I love the parent’s relationship with their daughters in this movie.
❤️❤️❤️ ❤️ (4 Hearts)
🍷🍷 (2 glasses of wine required)
*Photo Credit: © 2019 Lifetime