By some miracle (thanks again Mom!) I was able to slip out to a movie last night. I had to make a quick decision of what to see. The choices have been pretty bleak all summer (Bourne Redundancy, anyone?), but there was actually a few options last night so my decision, after ruling out "The Nanny Diaries," which I really want to see with a friend, was based on time. "Becoming Jane" was playing at 9PM and therefore declared the movie of choice.
I went in with low expectations due to a few cool reviews I'd read. Frankly, I was just pleased to be sitting in the theater with my popcorn and the fact that the film I was about to see had nothing to do with Pixar. I was quite pleasantly surprised and thoroughly entertained. Although I am a big fan of Jane Austen's novels I know very little about her actual life so the fantastical story didn't bother me even though I am sure it didn't have much to do with reality. The entire movie was basically a reflection of the plot of "Pride and Prejudice", but this time with a different sort of happy ending. The idea was that you could see where Jane Austen got inspiration for each character and plot twist in her famous book. That aspect was quite enjoyable and the fact that she doesn't end up with the man of her dreams is also satisfying. Her desire to be a writer trumps all other desires in her life. Anyone who has read and re-read "Pride and Prejudice" will likely enjoy this movie as well.
My only complaint with the movie is the fact that Anne Hathaway is (in the tradition of Keira Knieghtly playing Elizabeth Bennet, perhaps) downright skeletal. Her British accent was not perfect, but better than expected, but she looked like a stiff wind would blow her over at any moment and her collar bones were so spiky that I would be afraid to hug her. She was really so much prettier with a few more pounds on her in "The Devil Wears Prada."
Speaking of the actors, newcomer James McAvoy was both handsome and excellent as Ms. Austen's love, Tom LeFroy. I look forward to seeing him in the upcoming film version of "Atonement."