Dearest reader, whatever shall we do without the joy of another “Bridgerton” season on the way soon?

Even as “Bridgerton” Season 3 wrapped up last week, it might not be until 2026 that Season 4 could drop on Netflix, with showrunner Jess Brownell telling TheWrap a yearly release schedule is “probably out of the cards.”

If you’ve already binge-watched “Bridgerton” Season 3 — and revisited its first two seasons as well as spin-off series “Queen Charlotte” — it might take a regency era love story like “Pride & Prejudice,” “Sense and Sensibility” or “Emma” to fill the “Bridgerton”-sized void.

Maybe you’ve already had your fill of period pieces and are just looking for a fun watch with a bit of whimsy, in which case we’ll point you to contemporary romances like “Kate & Leopold” or “The Princess Diaries 2: A Royal Engagement.”

For a full breakdown on the seven movies you should watch while waiting for “Bridgerton” to return for Season 4, see below.

“Pride & Prejudice”

"Pride & Prejudice" (2005)
“Pride & Prejudice” (Focus/Universal)

There have been many adaptations of Jane Austen’s “Pride & Prejudice” but director Joe Wright’s 2005 film starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen is roundly considered to be one of the best, if not the best. Austen’s 1813 novel of love sickness endures to this day, and was surely an inspiration to both the “Bridgerton” books and the show as it chronicles a family with five daughters as they wade through issues of marriage, love and what the future holds for each. Wright nails the iconography associated with Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, and few have smoldered better than Macfadyen. Adam Chitwood

“Emma” (1996)

emma-gwyneth-paltrow
Gwyneth Paltrow in “Emma” (Miramax)

Just like Penelope Featherington, Emma Woodhouse (Gwyneth Paltrow) has a knack for meddling in the lives of high society members, except she chooses a less controversial method than Lady Whistledown: matchmaking. While Emma’s intentions are pure — undeniably more so than some of Penelope’s most enraged columns — she finds herself in a similar dilemma as Penelope in Season 3 of “Bridgerton” when she finds herself wrapped up in two many schemes that may compromise her own chance at happiness. “Emma” also features an all-star cast made up of Paltrow, Alan Cumming, Toni Collette, Ewan McGregor and Jeremy Northam. – Loree Seitz

“Emma.” (2020)

“Emma.” (Focus Features)

Another adaptation of “Emma” arrived in 2020, but it had the misfortune of opening in theaters in February, right before the pandemic. Filmmaker Autumn de Wilde’s take is a sumptuous feast – visually arresting, colorful and stylish. Anya Taylor-Joy plays Emma in this adaptation with an ever-so-slight aloofness that comes off charming. Johnny Flynn is delightful as George and Mia Goth gets to shed the darkness that surrounds so many of her roles for her sweet spin on Harriet. The swell ensemble cast includes Josh O’Connor, Bill Nighy and Callum Turner. AC

“Kate & Leopold” 

kate-and-leopold
Miramax

If you’re looking to blend together contemporary, city life with a hint of old-timey whimsy, “Kate & Leopold” might be the right pick for you. Romcom queen Meg Ryan stars as Kate, a corporate executive whose life is made a little bit sweeter by Leopold (Hugh Jackman), a Duke from 1876 New York City who accidentally time travels with Kate’s ex-boyfriend to contemporary times. Kate resists his many of his chivalrous attempts — meanwhile not believing his story is legit — before he eventually sweeps her off her feet. Liev Schreiber, Natasha Lyonne, Breckin Meyer and Bradley Whitford also star. – LS

“Sense and Sensibility”

sense-and-sensibility-kate-winslet-emma-thompson
Sony Pictures

I know I know, another Jane Austen adaptation. But if the shoe fits! 1995’s “Sense and Sensibility” adaptation won an Oscar for Emma Thompson for Best Adapted Screenplay and stands as one of the best Austen adaptations ever. If the story of the Featheringtons in “Bridgerton” strikes a chord, this one’s for you – “Sense and Sensibility” follows a family facing destitution who are forced to seek financial security through marriage. Thompson, Alan Rickman, Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant and Hugh Laurie star. AC

“Little Women” (2019)

little women
Sony Pictures

Greta Gerwig’s fresh, female-driven “Little Women” is the perfect supplement to Shondaland’s “Bridgerton.” The 2019 adaptation follows the familiar story of the bond between four sisters, showcasing the intricacies of identity as a woman in the late 1800s. Jo’s contrarian, feminist ideals and love for writing are not unlike that of Penelope Featherington and Eloise Bridgerton. While Meg’s debutante ball might not compare to that of Queen Charlotte’s, this film will give you the Bridgerton fix you need. And you get Timothee Chalamet as Laurie – what more could you ask for? Tess Patton

“The Princess Diaries 2: A Royal Engagement”

the-princess-diaries-2
Disney

If you burn for “Bridgerton” Season 2’s enemies-to-lovers arc between Anthony and Kate with the satisfaction of a happily ever after, we recommend queuing up one of the best sequel’s cinema has to offer: “The Princess Diaries 2: A Royal Engagement.” Despite being set in a fictional yet contemporary regime, the yearning between Anne Hathaway’s Princess Mia and Chris Pine’s Nicolas matches that of “Bridgerton” leads, with each having a satisfying payoff which should be expected from the Shonda Rhimes-written screenplay. The 2004 flick also gives “Bridgerton” fans a much-needed dose of Julie Andrews, whose fate as a “Bridgerton” narrator for Season 4 and beyond hangs in the balance following the Season 3 finale. This time, however, we get to see Julie Andrews as the icon she is, mattress surfing in style during Mia’s sleepover bachelorette party. – LS

“27 Dresses”

27-dresses
20th Century Fox

In “27 Dresses,” Katherine Heigl’s Jane feels just as overlooked as Penelope as she pines after her aloof boss, George (Edward Burns). Taking “always a bridesmaid, never a bride” to an extreme as she has served as a bridesmaid 27 times, Jane never feels like its quite her time to shine, especially when her charismatic, carefree sister Tess (Malin Akerman) enters the scene and woos George. While her sister going after her longtime crush isn’t quite the same as Penelope’s longtime pining after Eloise’s brother, Colin, the messy family connections push Jane out of her comfort zone to see herself as the main character and embrace love where she might not expect it, even if its with an arrogant journalist (James Marsden) covering her sister and George’s wedding. – LS



Source link