When it comes to English romance that takes place across the Georgian countryside, HBO is best known today for its 2019 breakout lesbian historical drama Gentleman Jack. But few stories can challenge one of the most classic works of English literature brought to the silver screen. In the U.S. this week, Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen’s Pride and Prejudice is dominating HBO Max’s top 10 list.
Originally released in 2005, Pride and Prejudice adapts novelist Jane Austen’s iconic book of the same name. The story follows Elizabeth Bennet, one of several daughters to the rural English Bennet family, who must contend with the fate of their father’s fortune should he pass before his daughters marry. Along the way, Elizabeth strikes up a complex courtship with Mr. Darcy, whose seeming arrogance hides more than meets the eye.
It was no easy feat adapting one of the literary world’s most popular romance stories, and yet director Joe Wright was up to the task. The film has an 86 percent critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes, along with an 89 percent score from viewers. Fear not if you snoozed during English classes in high school; one Rotten Tomatoes critic argues that the film “may even reach a few young people who normally might not be attracted to a period piece.” That may explain Pride and Prejudice’s popularity this week, as the film has held steady as U.S. HBO Max’s sixth most popular film across Nov. 16 and 17, FlixPatrol reports.
Of course, if you’re more in the mood for an updated Jane Austen adaptation, Amy Heckerling’s ’90s take on Emma, the iconic romantic comedy Clueless, is available on Hulu and Amazon. Or if you’re eager for something based on reality over fiction (and a little more LGBTQ), Gentleman Jack’s second season is still on the way and expected in the coming year ahead.
In the meantime, Pride and Prejudice is available to stream on HBO Max in the U.S. now.