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Friday, August 20, 2021

Scents & Sensibility Movie Review from Beth!

Beth joins us again today to review a modern retelling of Sense & Sensibility, the brilliantly-titled -- you guessed it -- Scents and Sensibility... I'll leave the critiquing up to Beth, but I will only add, having seen this movie: it still pops into my head unbidden that one character makes lotion with fruits and cream and no apparent preservatives, and all I can picture is her selling rotting, moldy lotion, and I just... 
Anyway, take it away, Beth! 

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Adaptation of: Sense and Sensibility

Notable Changes:

  • Marianne is newly graduated with an English degree, Elinor is a financier (in her father's firm).
  • Marianne and John (Willoughby) are dating when the movie starts.
  • Henry Dashwood is arrested by the FBI for fraud (not killed off), which works well because all accounts are frozen, assets seized, etc. as well as dad out of the picture indefinitely.
  • Mrs. Dashwood and Margaret are shuffled off scene, living with a friend while Marianne and Elinor live in the large house by themselves.
  • Franny is Elinor's employer, Lucy is a coworker.
  • Colonel Brandon is young, attractive, and helpful and Marianne is immediately attracted to him.
  • Edward and Elinor have a flirty thing going on from the first.
  • Franny is massively in debt.
  • Marianne is mature and easygoing; Elinor is flirty. What is happening here?


I don't think this is a Sense and Sensibility adaptation so much as an 'inspired by' sort of situation- not so much for the changes in plot, but for the almost complete and total shift in every character. The motivations and personality of all the main characters are noticeably different. And the whole movie focuses on meet-cute modern romance more than the original story.

Elinor and Marianne's dynamic is off. The big drama is that Marianne lied to Elinor about job openings where she works and it...doesn't fly with logic? But that doesn't stop the angst! Also, how does one lie about their last name when legally employed? You have to fill out an I-9 and you get paychecks.

There's also a lot of Rich White Girl Whinging about how hard life is for them.


This Hallmark Romance movie has the emotional depth and character development of a cashew. It bears very, very little resemblance to the source material.

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
Click here to return to the master list of Austen in August posts!


  1. I am not familiar with this ( i need to watch more tv so I can see what's up in the movies etc) Thank you for sharing.

    1. You can definitely skip this adaptation! :)

  2. I think one of the problematic elements of updating S&S is the rich girl whinging! In S&S the ladies have no choice, but modern women are able to make their own money (thank goodness) so any scenario where they don't try and take their destinies into their own hands seem unfeasible.

    1. Definitely! Any modern adaptation has to set logic in place for why Elinor and Marianne are at the whims of others.

  3. Sounds like it is best to pretend it is just a light and fluffy romcom instead of an Austen modern. Thanks, Beth!

  4. I've never seen this one. Sounds like a pass.

  5. Thanks for the warning as this was on my watchlist. I'm glad I never took the time to watch as changing the characters is a big deal for me so sounds like a hard pass.


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