Wow. Colin-Firth-as-Mr-Darcy-in-Wet-Shirt is now a 12-foot-high fibreglass statue, currently installed in the Serpentine lake in Hyde Park, London.
The popular-culture aspect of the Austen film adaptations would make a good study, right there. Everyone knows that wet shirt scene, and loves it (well, okay, everyone who’s of the female persuasion and has ever watched an Austen movie, so long as it wasn’t under duress). The funny thing is, as they’re pointing out in that article, that that scene is strictly Andrew Davies, not Jane Austen. Austen would have never written a scene where her heroine meets the hero in his underwear (incidentally, the same goes for the final proposal scene in the 2005 Pride and Prejudice movie – that’s even worse, they’re both in their nightshirts). Davies tried to do another wet shirt scene in the 2008 Sense and Sensibility, where Dan Stevens (yes, he of Downton Abbey) in his role as Edward Ferrars chops wood in the pouring rain to work off his frustration that he’s bound to Lucy and can’t marry Elinor. Somehow it doesn’t quite have the same effect as the Darcy-wet-shirt-scene, though, probably because it isn’t immediately followed by the utterly romantic encounter between the protagonists.
A 12-foot-high fibreglass statue. Oy veh.