I have no idea why. It lacks the wit of Austen, though it resembles the P&P storyline. It has it tear-jerking moments, which I usually avoid in movies. Perhaps it is because Thornton smiles more then Darcy. I really don't know why I like it so much more then anything I've ever watched. I just do.
I have little fault to find with the script, the costumes, the actors. As a movie, excepting the last scene, it follows the book so closely. (And I almost like the movie ending better, only wishing for the one line Thornton utters to be included. *sigh) Anyway, now unto my real review.
The story centers on the Hale family. When Mr. Hale, a clergyman, feels he cannot reaffirm as a matter of conscience, he moves his family from the country in the south to an industrial northern town called Milton. This is where we meet the Thornton's and the story gets good ;)
Costumes: Very good, I believe them to be accurate (though I am certainly not as familiar with this time period as I am with the Regency era, if any who read this knows more please let me know!) I thought the dresses the woman wore were lovely, whether accurate or not and I would be happy looking at pictures for ever so long.
Characters: The characters in the movie were well written and well acted. The screenwriter(s) really didn't mess with Gaskell's original story or the characters personalities at all.
*SPOILER* I love that in this story there is no real bad guy, save one who is out of the way fast without much trouble. Unlike P&P we always see both sides of the story, we immediately like both Margaret Hale and John Thornton. Also we sympathize with both sides when it comes to the mill owners and the strikers *END SPOILER*
Scenery: Good, it's not all pretty but it is accurate to the places the story takes place in.
In general, this is a movie/book I suggest all period drama lovers have under their belt. I do not suggest it for viewing with children however as it gets intense and rather dark at times. *SPOILER*At one point Thornton witnesses what appears to an inappropriate affair involving Miss Hale. However, the audience is always aware of the truth *END SPOILER*
Hope this helps!