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Friday, August 6, 2021

From Prada to Nada | guest review from Beth

On my long, long list of ridiculous Austen adaptations to read/watch, From Prada to Nada features highly. It promises exactly what I want: melodrama! Cheesiness! Vague and tangential use of Jane Austen! I really need to get around to watching it. But until then, Beth is dropping in to let us know if it lives up to all of the cheese it promises...

from prada to nada, sense & sensibility, jane austen movies, jane austen retellings, movie reviews, austen in august, the book rat

Adaptation of: Sense and Sensibility

Character Guide:

  • Elinor = Nora
  • Marianne = Mary
  • John = Gabe
  • Fanny = Olivia
  • Edward = Edward
  • Colonel Brandon = Bruno
  • Willoughby = Rodrigo

Notable Changes:

  • Nora (Elinor) and Mary (Marianne) are orphaned and must live with their aunt (no mom, no Margaret).
  • Their brother's existence is a surprise to them until the funeral.
  • Their recently deceased father was bankrupt and Gabe (John)/Olivia (Fanny) buy the house.
  • Nora meets Edward after her change in circumstances, and befriends him through work.
  • Lucy's engagement to Edward is sudden and short.
  • Bruno (Col Brandon) appears to only be a few years older than Mary and is an artist and community leader.
  • Rodrigo (Willoughby) doesn't have a known history of debauchery and callousness and has had no previous dealings with Bruno.


Modern adaptations always have to get around the time-bound societal expectations that drive plot, but are usually construed by modern audiences as anachronistic or patronizing. 

But this film does an excellent job of using cultural identity, as well as the anxiety from a sudden change of circumstances, to drive the plot while keeping a modern setting.

There's an undercurrent not just of family, but of belonging and of home, which ties into cultural identity. Mexican culture is heavily focused on community, and the movie uses community to support both girls' "aha" moments. 

Nora has some sass lines at Edward. Unfortunately, there's something about her banter with Edward that feels "off"- rushed and wooden. I can't tell if it's meant to be endearingly awkward or defensive, but it doesn't land.

Mary really sells the fall in circumstances as not only lost money, but a loss of safety. She really had some of the best scenes (in terms of acting quality). 

Bruno is officially now one of my favorite adaptations of Colonel Brandon. And I low-key love the recurring jab about speaking Spanish if you live in LA. 


The liberties the film takes serve the plot, and aside from lackluster acting by one of the leads, it's an entertaining and solid take on Sense and Sensibility.

About the author of this post: I'm Beth: a bookwyrm, history geek, hobby baker, Austen fan, and collector of pastimes. Henry Tilney and Elizabeth Bennet are my Austen fictional crushes, which pretty much tells you everything you need to know about me. I can be found blogging at https://bethwyrm.blogspot.com/ and creating general nonsense at: https://www.instagram.com/goddessbeth/https://www.tiktok.com/@artemishi, and https://twitter.com/ArtemisHi.
Find more posts from Beth here

Jane Austen, Austen in August, blog event, Jane Austen fan fiction, JAFF, The Book Rat, BookRatMisty
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  1. Yes! I loved Mary and Bruno in this one. I thought it was a good compromise of modern retelling and S&S. Enjoyed your thoughts, Beth!

    1. Awww yay! I'm so glad you've seen it, and also liked it. Bruno sets a high bar. :)

  2. Not familiar with this. I was surprise to see it was created in 2011. (And I just now learned it) Thank you for sharing.

    1. I'm happy to have put it on your radar! I don't think it got much publicity when it first came out, but as modern adaptations of Austen go, I think it's worth the watch.

  3. I had never heard of this one before and will need to watch. Although I don't typically like modern adaptations as they tend to be too cheesy for my taste, this one seems promising as I liked the chemistry between Mary and Bruno in the trailer.


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