By Melissa Pierson
Updated April 05, 1996 at 05:00 AM EST

More Austenmania! Actually, exclamation points have nothing to do with Persuasion, a genteel adaptation of the year’s hottest Romantic (neither does the box art, with its decidedly unreserved and extraneous models). Perhaps, in these days of Ricki and Montel, these highbrow examinations of manners among long-dead gentry are suddenly popular because they’re as alluringly alien as Moms Who Strip for Fun. But productions like this one, about an 1814 heroine (Root) whose love is derailed, then put back on track, demand a patience from video viewers that Austenfests like Sense and Sensibility do not. If you have it to give, then this well-acted tale will thoroughly engage.