On Becoming Jane

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2007/08/25 17:01 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2007/08/25/4563239.aspx

So I went and saw a movie last night with colleague/comrade/friend Melanie.

We went to Lincoln Square Cinemas armed with two recommendations (Death at a Funeral and Superbad) but we ended up seeing Becoming Jane, instead....

This would not have been my first choice, to tell you the truth.

Not due to any feelings against Jane Austen, mind you -- while not a genuine Austenite (Janeian? Not sure what the authentic term is here), I loved Sense and Sensibility and Emma nd the others and read them all on my own after being "forced" to read Pride and Prejudice in grade school (it was not the sort of book one could actually admit to enjoying at that point, so I didn't). But Jane taught me irony, something we all have and experience but so few people recognize, and that was quite a gift, if I do say so myself.

But I was skeptical about the romance between her and Lefroy, and I was doubtful about Anne Hathaway in the role (though I loved her in The Devil Wears Prada), and I was petrified that a "Hollywood ending" would be bolted on to the story leaving us with more of a "Becoming What Jane Would Be Like Had She Married" rather than a more truthful "Becoming Jane."

But I'll be honest, it seduced me.

Perhaps there was no actual even almost relationship between them -- in reality I think they had less than a month for it to happen so in the end it is unlikely they did. But the movie made me believe it and I had no trouble suspending disbelief given the chemistry between Hathaway and McAvoy (though there were several scenes that would have benefited from a Steadicam!). After I got home I had to check dates for Lefroy's daughter Jane and see if things lined up as well as they did in the movie -- they did.

Plus the preview of The Jane Austen Book Club coming this fall has also tempted me, I'll probably see it too (the book was wonderful).

I am truly glad we saw this movie.

Of course there was a price to be paid -- I am not the sort of person who can be moved that much toward romance (even ultimately unrequited) and was up most of the night reading a Thomas Gifford novel to swing my sense, sensibilities, pride, and prejudices back closer to where I usually keep them. There is romance there too, mind you -- but with the added notion of conspiracy and a more cynical edge upon which I can tune my own moral compass....

But that is just me. Normal people can see the movie and meet the Jane before the Jane who wrote the books they knew so well, and enjoy thought that she did indeed have a chance to feel the stirrings about which she wrote so very well.


This post brought to you by (U+0d60, a.k.a. MALAYALAM LETTER VOCALIC RR)

TG on 25 Aug 2007 8:56 PM:

Michael, I saw the movie with my wife the other night.  Better then I was expect, thats for sure.

Ted Griser

Mihai on 26 Aug 2007 3:02 PM:

Looks like "U+0d60, a.k.a. MALAYALAM LETTER VOCALIC RR" likes you.

It is the second time this year that it sponsors you: http://blogs.msdn.com/michkap/archive/2007/05/20/2752500.aspx


Michael S. Kaplan on 26 Aug 2007 3:17 PM:

I don't know that it likes me so much as the posts it sponsors. :-)

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