I finally watched Becoming Jane this month as part of the Everything Austen 2 challenge at Stephanie’s Written Word.
This is a fictional biopic of Jane’s life that takes facts from her real life and massages them to make a romantic story. Anne Hathaway plays a young Jane Austen who is interested in writing but hasn’t much use for men until she meets Thomas Lefroy, a young lawyer. They don’t hit it off immediately. In fact Jane dislikes him, but of course his rakish ways somehow charm her and soon they are in full blown love. Unfortunately Tom needs his uncle’s blessing to marry her because he’s dependent on his uncle’s money, and Jane may be a lady, but she’s a poor one.
This was the second time I tried to watch this movie. The first time I tried was last year, and I was so bored after the first ten minutes I switched to something else. This time I made it half an hour before losing interest again. I took a break for a couple of days but made myself keep going for the challenge. The problem was I just did not care about this Jane or about Tom, and the story was just.. uninspiring. Jane spews off quotes directly taken from the real Jane Austen, and it felt like the screenwriter was trying really hard to make Jane seem as witty as she was supposed to be in real life.
The romance annoyed me. First Tom points out how much more worldly he is in comparison to Jane and suggests she is missing out on knowing real love in her novels. It felt kind of like he was using her curiosity to lure her in (and the fact that she IS lured puzzled me since she’s supposed to be smart), and then suddenly, they’re both in love with each other! Did I miss something? It didn’t make much sense.
The best part of the movie may have been the decisions Jane ultimately makes, along with the response of Mr. Wisley (who I liked better than Tom Lefroy), but you have to watch the whole movie to get there. Everything else.. I found myself picking it apart, perhaps unfairly, so I won’t go into it.
In summary – MEH. It was pretty, and it’s about Jane Austen, two positives, but with the exception of one or two scenes, it was bland.
I have never seen this movie, but from your review, I don’t think I am going to watch it. I really like Anne Hathaway in The Princess Diaries, The Devil Wears Prada, and Bride Wars. I can’t wait to see what her next movie will be! Thanks so much for the helpful review!
I was able to watch all three of those movies in one sitting. Not so with this one. It could be me, but I really found this so hard to sit still for.
I loved parts of this movie. But the overall whole didn’t work quite as well.
On an only slightly related note, I was wondering if you’ve seen The Young Victoria yet? I watched it the other night and fell in love.
I really liked Mr. Wisely over Tom Lefroy. It felt like Jane was kind of frivolous and silly when she was with Tom – and I didn’t buy that she would do what she did with him or the way they fell in love. Sigh. Anyway.
No I haven’t watched Young Victoria (but I heard good things). I am afraid of crying. Also Bright Star is another one I haven’t seen yet. I will.
Yep. Meh about sums this one up. I just did not go away feeling anything in particular about this movie. Which makes me quite sad.
That said, in response to Angie’s query about YOUNG VICTORIA – you should really check it out. It is fabulous – it didn’t make me cry, even though there were sad parts. Mostly it was just very, very good stuff.
I think I preferred the BBC version – MISS AUSTEN REGRETS. It was more faithful to history I think.
OK I will watch YOUNG VICTORIA for sure then. 🙂
Oh no, I have this DVD unwatched in my bookshelf, I think I will just leave it there for a while now 🙂
If you watch it totally disregarding that it’s about Jane Austen and pretend it’s just some regency lady, maybe it will sit better. But for an Austen biopic, I’d recommend BBC Masterpiece’s MISS AUSTEN REGRETS over BECOMING JANE.