Author: Luisa Perkins
•9:21 AM
What are your feelings about the new Jane Austen movie, Becoming Jane? I, for one, am torn. Should I see it as soon as possible? Wait for it to come out on DVD? Or snub it entirely? Here are a few of the thoughts I'm having surrounding this crucial dilemma:

Pros:

I haven't had a good historical romance fix in a while. I'm definitely due.

Rotten Tomatoes gives Becoming Jane a pretty high rating.

I have enjoyed favorite people being fictionalized in film before (Amadeus, A Beautiful Mind, The Pride of the Yankees, My Left Foot, The Elephant Man), fully realizing that many of the events have been dramatized.

I like all the Austen-related movies I've ever seen: BBC, A&E, Clueless, Bride & Prejudice, and all the American-made, reasonably faithful cinematic adaptations. Persuasion is my favorite, and heretic that I am, when it comes to Mr. Darcy, I prefer Matthew Macfadyen very slightly over Colin Firth (please still like me).

Cons:

I am generally prejudiced against movies with gerunds in their titles (though I love Searching for Bobby Fischer and Raising Arizona). I don't know why this is; it just is. Click here for a funny list of movies with de-gerund-ized titles.

Some trailers so horrify me with promises of undying passion in the face of all odds that I make a holy vow never to see the films they advertise. Ever. To wit: Titanic and The Bridges of Madison County (no, I will not read the book, either). Becoming Jane may fall into this category. Again, I'm not sure why. It's a visceral thing.

I have hated favorite people being fictionalized in film before (Shakespeare in Love, Out of Africa). And these films I hate are about writers.

I'm afraid of anachronisms and bad accents.

What about you? Are you planning to see it? Any advice for me? I welcome your thoughts.
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18 comments:

On 27/7/07 , Julie said...

Ha ha, I've been steering clear of Verbing Proper Noun movies for YEARS! My husband teases me about it, but I still maintain that there's no surer warning of pretentious drivel.

 
On 27/7/07 , Annette Lyon said...

I hadn't thought of the gerudizing of titles, but now that you mention it, every time I see one, it'll grate.

On whether to see the film, I'm with you. This *could* be a great movie, or it could make me want to pull my hair out and hurl large objects at the screen. Right now I'm struggling with the idea of Anne Hathaway as Jane--how could she possibly pull it off? (And not just the accent.) We know Jane never married, so how exactly can this be a deep romance with a happy ending? I'm

holding off a decision until later. There's a good chance that if I do see it, it'll be on DVD, because most of the movies I get to see in the theater are animated. And if I get a date night to the theater, would I have the heart to put my honey through something that, for him, would be akin to nails of a chalkboard?

 
On 27/7/07 , bubandpie said...

I live under such a rock. This is the first time I've even heard of this movie! But I will totally see it. I'm a sucker for anything Jane (to my cost, as I discovered after buying Pride and Promiscuity, the "deleted scenes" version of Austen's novels - the horror, the horror).

 
On 27/7/07 , some guy you don't know said...

Don't know about the movie but, hey, how's that book of yours coming? :)

 
On 28/7/07 , Adriana Velez said...

I hadn't heard of this movie, either. I think it depends on how "good for you" this movie promises to be.

For example, "Once" looks like it's very good for you. An indie rock musical with soul about sweet, complicated people and bla bla bla. I feel like I'm looking into a box of shredded wheat every time I see the preview. Yucky.

If, on the other hand, Jane is being sold as a happy bowl of candy, then by all means!

My movie of the day is called "Loving the new color of your blog." Ha ha

 
On 28/7/07 , Adriana Velez said...

Oh wait, also starring James McAvoy. Having a crush on him, having earned said crush after enduring Last King of Scotland. Planning to see the movie after all.

Annyoing you yet?

 
On 28/7/07 , Luisa Perkins said...

Bubandpie--that DOES sound horrifying, akin to my experience reading The Jane Austen Book Club. A book about Jane Austen! And book clubs! How could it not be terrific?!?

Oh. Let me count the ways....

AV--I have difficulty imagining you annoying me. The presence of James McAvoy definitely goes on the Pro list. And your 'good for you' test is a good one!

 
On 28/7/07 , Anne Bradshaw said...

Oh yes, I'm definitely going to see it. I mean, I would, wouldn't I, being from the Old Country and all. Saw the Beatrix Potter DVD the other week and loved it. Took me right back to the Lake District. Also loved the one about William Wilberforce--"Amazing Grace." Wonderful scenery, great acting, motivating true story.

 
On 28/7/07 , Christie said...

How funny...I had no idea you had written about this! :) Anyway - I understand your concerns...there's always the possibility that Hollywood will ruin this one. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, though...(and even if it turns out to be a horrible movie, there's a chance I'll still love it. I can think of many films I should be ashamed to admit I've seen more than once. Titanic comes to mind...even though I can probably blame that on the fact that I was in high school when it first appeared [think 14 year old girls squealing 'Leo Dicaprio's sooooo cute!', if you will] But movies like Elizabethtown or Raising Helen? No excuse. No whatsoever.) Please let us know what you think if you see it in the theatre...as much as I want to watch it, I'm sure it'll be a while before I can manage a night out to see a girl-sort of movie...

 
On 28/7/07 , P said...

Hey, wait a minute - I loved Elizabethtown.

 
On 29/7/07 , Radioactive Jam said...

Oooh, If you've never seen Titanic you might not "get" one of the jokes in The Simpsons Movie.
;-)

 
On 29/7/07 , compulsive writer said...

I'm not qualified to advise--I haven't even seen Phantom yet. But your comment about movies with gerunds in the title reminded me of a book I'm reading with a gerund in the title. I've not yet immersed myself deeply enough in it to determine if it is a good book, but I could not walk away from the title: "Saving Fish from Drowning."

 
On 29/7/07 , deb said...

so let's do the reverse of that clever list you share ... let's take perfectly good book titles and toss a gerund in...

Watching God with Their Eyes by Zora Neale Hurston

Killing Mockingbirds by Harper Lee

Dying Easy by Simone de Beauvoir

Speaking not of Hunger by Terry Tempest Williams

 
On 30/7/07 , Tristi Pinkston said...

At the risk of being a spoiler, Jane Austen never married, so there won't be a happily ever after here.

I do plan to see it, but I also plan to read lots about Jane in a non-fiction setting so I know what was real and what was hyped-up for the movie.

Now, the whole Colin Firth thing --I'll try to still like you. I really will. But only because you're a good friend of Annette's. Otherwise, there would be issues . . .

 
On 30/7/07 , Luisa Perkins said...

Tristi and Deb, you crack me up.

RaJ, I'm sure there will be enough Simpsons jokes I will get that missing one won't kill me.

Anne, thanks for reminding me about Amazing Grace. I totally missed it in the theater; I'll have to look for it on DVD.

Christie, we do love Elizabethtown at this house, so don't feel bad.

CW, you'll have to let me know how the book is. Gerunds aside, it's an interesting title.

All--P asked me Saturday, "What are you doing?" I answered, "Reading blogs." He said, "Oooh, that would make a good movie title. Oh, wait..."
Funny, funny guy.

 
On 30/7/07 , dawn said...

I don't really have an opinion on what you should do. We don't go to a lot of movies and I will or will not see it depending on the opportunities that arise. I did learn today what gerunds are. I probably learnt it in school, but that was a very long time ago.

 
On 31/7/07 , Brillig said...

I missed Amazing Grace in the theater too, along with the Beatrix Potter movie. WHAT"S WRONG WITH ME??? And yes, I'm most definitely planning to see Becoming Jane and my hopes are high. And I'm with you on preferring others to Colin Firth--he's all right, but he's not DARCY. I know, I'm going to be stoned for that....

And yeah, Shakespeare In Love was ridiculous. Perhaps "Some Poet In Love" would have been a better name, because that certainly wasn't MY SHAKESPEARE!!!

Obviously, I could go on and on here. But I shall spare you!

 
On 1/8/07 , rjlight said...

The previews look interesting -- I am sure I will see it. Most likely it will be in my house through Netflix in a year or so! :)