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.