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Based on the novel by Jane Austen (who in the '90s seemed to be in the running alongside William Shakespeare and Stephen King for the honors of most adapted author in Hollywood), this period romantic comedy stars Gwyneth Paltrow as Emma Woodhouse, a young woman who imagines herself an authority on matters of the heart. With the best of intentions, Emma plays matchmaker for her friends, most notably her friend Harriet (Toni Collette), who Emma links up with the Reverend Elton (Alan Cumming), and her governess, (Greta Scacchi), who she introduces to her future husband, Mr. Weston (James… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Suddenly you remember how merciless and cutting Austen's satire can be, even in the brutal '90s."
‑ Hal Hinson, Washington Post
"It's not difficult to enjoy the genteel amusements Emma provides even while wishing its virtues were less wholly on the surface."
‑ Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"Perfect for warmhearted family entertainment."
‑ Ellen MacKay, Common Sense Media
"McGrath pokes gentle fun at the over-refinements of privileged gentility, though not without enjoying its trappings and honoring its best aspirations."
‑ Steven D. Greydanus, Decent Films Guide
"Although it is a very fine film, I found the pace a little slow in places as it wandered off the mark."
‑ Robert Roten, Laramie Movie Scope
"When the going gets tougher the film doesn't have many answers, and the odd unsettling surge of over-emphasis betrays an eye on the American market."
‑ Trevor Johnston, Time Out
"Gwyneth Paltrow sparkles in the title role, as young Miss Woodhouse, who wants to play God in her own little patch of England."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"This Emma is light, airy and modern -- surely Austen's funniest work."
‑ Laura Clifford, Reeling Reviews
"A good Jane Austen adaptation that can be watched over and over."
‑ Mark Robison, Reno Gazette-Journal
"Slightly fun, but really boring."
‑ Alex Sandell, Juicy Cerebellum
"Gwyneth Paltrow makes a resplendent Emma, gliding through the film with an elegance and patrician wit that bring the young Katharine Hepburn to mind."
‑ Janet Maslin, New York Times
"Paltrow is smashing."
‑ Jeff Millar, Houston Chronicle
"While Sense and Sensibility loves subtlety, silence, and space, and Persuasion loves realism, repression, and understatement, Emma loves its star Gwyneth Paltrow ..."
‑ Jeffrey Overstreet, Looking Closer
"Fun, but pales next to the previous year's Clueless."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, San Francisco Examiner
"Pure movie joy."
‑ Jeffrey Westhoff, Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
More reviews for Emma on Rotten Tomatoes

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