Originally Posted by Smokering
I admit the recent Keira Knightley travesty had a bit of rags-to-riches theme going on, thereby completely ruining the point of the book; but to call it 'Cinderella' is going a bit far.
This falls into the "owes a substantial debt to" category rather than the "based upon" category.
1. The structure of the family is similar -- there is a (gentle) rivalry there btw the Elizabeth/Jane faction and the Lydia/Kitty faction (and the Mary faction all by herself), and of course Mrs. Bennett falls very much into the category of the mean mother who favors her other daughters at Lizzie's expense.
2. Darcy is clearly a Prince Charming by the end of the story, though he clearly does not begin as one. His act not only enables Elizabeth to be married (to him) but Jane to be married (to Bingley).
3. Like Cinderella, the story is all about transformation: from "rags" to riches for Elizabeth, from snobbish rejection to noble behavior (for Darcy), from "wild girl" to "married girl" for Lydia, and of course from pride and prejudice to mutual sympathy.
And of course, the big one...
4. Marriage is the transformative act for the heroine, one that elevates her from genteel poverty to incredible, fantastic riches (Darcy has 10,000 a year and Pemberley)...and she meets him at a ball.