*stares into camera*

Help, a 2016 Jane Austen Adaptation Is Cyberbullying Persuasion

Photo-Illustration: Vulture; Photos by Netflix and Roadside Flix/YouTube

Kate Beckinsale’s take on Lady Susan Vernon in Whit Stillman’s 2016 Jane Austen adaptation, Love & Friendship, is the king of the zing. She’s a roast-master general. She’s a shady lady who can read you the (manor) house down (lace-up) boots. And so, too, is the movie’s promotional Twitter account, which you’ll be delighted to learn still exists. This particular account stirred back to life on July 17 to retweet Twitter user @mcsullivan, who wrote, “The reboot of Persuasion that we deserved,” attached to the news of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez Affleck’s marriage.

This tweet refers to Netflix’s own Austen adaptation, Persuasion, of the 1818 novel of the same name. The new film stars Dakota Johnson as Anne Elliot, all Fleabag-style mugging at the camera and millennial energy. It’s always fun when a promotional Twitter account for something time specific, such as a movie release, sticks around long after it fulfilled its intended role like a sassy widow in an Austen book. On July 18, the account retweeted a post about the anniversary of Austen’s death and wrote, “She died again this weekend. #PersuasionNetflix.”

Then, when someone responded by asking if Persuasion, directed by Carrie Cracknell, would “tarnish one of my favorite books,” the account quote-tweeted and replied, “Tarnishment is Assured!” along with the dictionary definition of the word tarnishment. Vulture’s own Alison Willmore wrote that the film gets the character all wrong and that the dialogue reads “like a clumsily simplified version of a classic for younger readers.” Her take appears to be the critical consensus, and you can count @LandFMovie among the critics. Gloves. Off.

Help, a 2016 Jane Austen Movie Is Cyberbullying Persuasion