Wednesday, August 08, 2007

A Truth Universally Acknowledged

I went to a sneak preview of Becoming Jane last night. As a story by itself, I rather enjoyed it. It was maybe a little sappy and some things were a little incongruous with the time period, but it was a great little romantic story. And James McAvoy has amazing eyes.

As a representation of Ms Austen though, the movie was quite disappointing. There is not, I believe, a huge amount of information about the famous authoress' life and the film is an exaggerated account of a flirtation she had with Mr. Lefroy over one summer. The character of Jane herself is not at all what I would have liked. In the movie she came off as a little insipid and romantic. I personally think of Jane Austen as more of a mix between Elizabeth Bennet (Pride and Prejudice) and Elinor Dashwood (Sense and Sensibility). Instead she's portrayed as more like Emma, one of the silliest of Asten's protagonists.

I could be wrong about the writer, of course. It just seems a shame to make a woman who was so astute with her social commentaries and who was one of the least romantic writers of the romantic era (this could open a whole new can of worms, but her books are really more about social commentary than they are about romance. In fact, the classical sense of romance, as it applies to the movement, involving rash, emotional, behavior is often disastrous in her novels) should be presented as such a romantic sap.

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