Had your fill of romance? Indulge in a delicious British satire about a smart city girl (Kate Beckinsale) who saves her gothic Wuthering Heights-y family (Stephen Fry, Ian McKellen, and more) with good common sense.
Dir. John Schlesinger (1995)
Sure, you could spend your Valentine's Day wallowing in the most gothic of English Romances, the likes of Thomas Hardy, D.H. Lawrence, or the Bronte sisters. (In fact, the 1996 adaptation of Hardy's Jude the Obscure, retitled Jude and featuring Kate Winslet, is now available on Hulu.) But for all those romantics out there, here's a better option: the smart and cheeky British adaptation of Stella Gibbons' comic novel Cold Comfort Farm.
Made for British TV (but released theatrically in America), John Schlesiinger's (Midnight Cowboy) adaptation features an all star cast (Kate Beckinsale, Absolutely Fabulous' Joanna Lumley, Stephen Fry, Ian McKellen, and Eileen Atkins), doing proper tribute to this parody of the English country novel. In this film, smart city girl Flora Poste (Beckinsale, in her ingenue years), recently orphaned, moves to the country to live with her crazy relatives on Cold Comfort Farm. The farm is cursed, its residents crazy (a personal favorite is the hunky, perptually shirtless Rufus Sewell playing a Wuthering Heights Heathcliff riff), and the only thing that's going to help these hicks is Flora's good common sense. It's a witty film with fabulous one-liners that any vaguely literary person could appreciate: "In fact, when poetry is combined with ill-groomed hair and eccentric dress, it's generally fatal."
Watch it and be very happy that you're not wandering the moors, stuck in an English romance.
Watch the film now for free on Hulu:
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