Bridget Jones' Diary is a whimsy interpretation of Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice. Jones (Renée Zellweger) is the film’s female heroine as a contemporary Elizabeth Bennet in search of love. Her love interest, Colin Firth, was cast to play the real Mr. Darcy as he played the character in the BBC adaptation of Austen's tale.
What could a 19th century aristocrat and Valley Girl have in common? Clueless (1995) addresses this conundrum as it was loosely based on Jane Austen's Emma. For those who've read the classic, you'll soon recognize that Cher is the spoiled yet altruistic Emma. She's always playing matchmaker and eventually finds her own charming suitor, Josh, who's a modern day Mr. Knightley.
Cruel Intentions takes Pierre Choderlos de Laclos’ Les Liasons dangereuses (1792) and adjusts the plot to circle around modern teenagers living in New York City. The French novel was about two rivals (and ex-lovers) who use seduction as means of humiliation — sounds a lot like Kathryn (Sarah Michelle Geller) and Sebastian (Ryan Phillippe), no?
Pretty Woman is a rags-to-riches story based on George Bernard Shaw’s 1912 play Pygmalion. This time around the female protagonist is Vivian Ward, a prostitute working Hollywood Boulevard who strikes up a Cindarella-esque romance with businessman Edward Lewis. The two end up happily ever after in true fairytale fashion.
Would Pygmalion be even more of a classic if its characters had a choreographed dance number set to "The Rockafeller Skank"? That is just one of the many questions that its '90s teen adaption, She's All That (1999), had us wondering. The story centers around Laney (Rachel Leigh Cook), a social outcast, who against all odds, becomes the most popular girl in high school while being romanced by Zack (Freddie Prinze Jr.).
10 Things I Hate About You, based off of Shakespeare's play Taming of the Shrew, is one of our favorite modern retellings thanks to Julia Stiles's immaculate take on a present-day Katarina (named Katherine), and Heath Ledger as a modern Petruchio (named Patrick). From Kat reciting '90s era poetry [I hate your big dumb combat boots, and the way you read my mind. I hate you so much it makes me sick; it even makes me rhyme] or Patrick's "Can't Keep My Eyes Off of You" performance, it's perfection.