Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Becoming Jane Part 2

A week or so ago I DVR'd an episode of Conan O'Brien where Anne Hathaway would be a guest and discuss the movie. Well I watched the episode yesterday afternoon. The clip she brought was the one from the ball by the pool (for lack of a better word), a lovely, if anachronistic, scene. This is where Jane nose-dives into Lefroy for a kiss and they, ahem, make out. Now I had taken this scene to be a nod to our 2007 notions of romance and courtship (i.e. if we go to a chick flick, we want kissing). Well, after the clip Hathaway explained that this kiss was the 19th c. equivalent of Paris Hilton exposing her hooha to the papparazzi (i.e. scandalous and slutty). Duh (although I wouldn't liken it to public nudity, but yes, it was slutty). So this tells me the writers/director knew they were protraying Austen as a slut, just for the hell of it (or perhaps for the sake of ticket sales). WTF! So much for my notion that the writers were fans of Austen.

I'm so confused!!!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Becoming Jane

DH and I went to the movies yesterday, we saw Becoming Jane, and I can't get all the sexy, romantic bits out of me head so I shall attempt to write a review.

Okay, so it was a complete work of fiction, let's get that out of the way, and comical in some ways for how anachronistic it was (I think that's the word)--Jane Austen who was all about propriety and the rules of society would not have a) made the first move, b) kissed before engagement, and c) called him "Tom" before engagement. But the screenwriter tried to flub over these bits with a line something like (this is Jane talking), "I don't make the rules, I just follow them." And it definitely had a 2007 take on 1796 that was laughable. DH said that toward the beginning he was ready for it to turn into a Disney animated feature.
There's plenty to criticize, but the fact is, I was completely drawn in. I loved when Jane and LeFroy hooked up. I wasn't sure how Tumnus, the faun from Narnia, would fare as a romantic hero, but he was sexy and believable and oh, the tears--two thumbs up for James McAvoy. By the end, I was crying buckets.

The other thing I liked about the film was you could see how much the screenwriter loves Austen's writings, weaving in quotes and themes from her novels, creating characters that might have inspired Austen's characters, and of course creating this plot that might explain Austen's recurring themes of societal mores, marrying for love vs. money, the consequences of poverty. As a Jane Austen fan myself, I loved these details.

I am a sap when it comes to unrequited love, longing glances, tears behind a man's eyes, and this film did those things proud (more on McAvoy's part than Anne Hathaway's, but she did a good job herself, I rarely thought of her as Queen of Genobia from Princess Diaries). Honestly, I can't wait for it to come out on DVD so I can own it.

So 4 stars out of 5. The first 45 minutes were garbage, but then I fell hook, line and sinker.