Friday, August 24, 2007

From Prada to Janite?

I played hooky today and went to see Becoming Jane with C. As I suspected, it was a semi-entertaining story, and I emphasize the word, story! Also as I suspected, they'd have a way to skinny girl playing Jane.
This is not to suggest that Jane was fat, but back then, if a woman was as thin as Anne Hathaway, most people would have thought her family couldn't afford to feed her properly.

As a true Janite, I couldn't help but a feel a little uncomfortable with the liberties Hollywood took with her life, and when we left the theater, my uneasiness was confirmed. C., who has seen most of the movies based on Jane's books but has read no biographical information, was going on about how sad her life was and how awful it was that she died at such a young age (according to the notes posted on the screen at the end of the movie).

I then tried to explain to her that (a) she died in her forties (though, yes, to us in the 21st century that's young); (b) that she'd never have been able to write all those novels (which are actually 5, not six as the notes also said, and that's because I'm not counting her unfinished novel and I guess they are); and (c) finally, the whole story is fiction so don't stress too much for her because it's hard to say really if any of that happened at all, and I'd bet most of it didn't.

She was shocked and protested! No, the ending said she died young, and then her boyfriend actually named his daughter after her.

Err, yes, but young then and young now aren't the same, and Jane is a pretty common name, especially back then.

When I got home, I pulled out my copy of A Memoir of Jane Austen by Her Nephew. Though it's in pretty rough shape from being accidentally used a chew toy by one of my dogs the 15 years or so that I bought it, I fell compelled to read it again now.

For a full review of the movie, which I tend to agree with, see Contact Music.

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