Can you DNF a movie? I watched the first fifteen minutes of Aisha, a Bollywood musical based on Emma, but it wasn't working for me. I think I just wasn't in the mood for the zaniness of Bollywood, and there were other things I wanted to watch more. I might return to this one sometime, but I'm not sure.
Recently crowned champion of the "Teen Movie Madness" competition on Forever Young Adult, Clueless is definitely one of the most fun and quotable movies of the nineties. I'd actually only seen it in its entirety once before, and when I had watched it I was young enough to not know that it was based on Emma. Watching it with the new perspective made it much more entertaining, and I was impressed with how good an adaptation it actually was. Clueless is the perfect example of a spinoff -- it stays reasonably true to the original, while being entertaining in its own right. (And I love that Christian was Frank -- due to the "going to London for a haircut" incident, I'm sure).
I had also seen this adaptation once before, but I hadn't enjoyed it very much. It was before I had ever read Emma, and my parents had picked it up at random to entertain my siblings and me when they went out for the night. This time around, I absolutely loved it -- I'm not sure if it is being out of elementary school or having read the book, but I thought the movie was beautiful and well done. I am a huge fan of Gwyneth Paltrow, so that was an automatic point in its favor, but I really thought all the actors did an amazing job. I'll probably watch this again.
In writing this post, I realized that I didn't really like any of these adaptations when I was younger, but love them now (with the exception of Aisha). I had the same feelings toward the book Emma when I first read it -- maybe there is a reason for all of this. I think when I was younger I couldn't appreciate the humor in Emma and felt that it wasn't especially romantic, just annoying. Now I can appreciate the subtle humor, and through that, enjoy the romance.