Ok, call me an incurable romantic, but if you close one eye, and turn off the voice in your head that questions the producers promoting the script as a true story with taglines such as, “Jane Austen’s greatest love story was her own”, then I really liked this film!
Here is the plot lowdown. Anne Hathaway stars as the young, spirited Jane Austen compelled to write, but expected by her family and society to marry. When she meets the brash and arrogant young lawyer Tom Lefroy, played by James McAvoy, she is at first repelled by his proud and dismissive manner. (Sound familiar?) First impressions can be deceiving for both parties until romantic sparks fly, and they must accept the love that they are bound by duty to resist. Family, fate and finances are against their plan to marry. They must part inspired by their experience together, to achieve success in their professional lives, and reflect upon a love that could not be.
To insure that you enjoy the movie, be sure to let go of any ill will that you may be harboring against the producers for expanding the known flirtation into a secret love affair. In addition, with a little bit of mind bending, you will be able to accept Becoming Jane as being based on true events in her life, that an American actress could play our favorite author quite well, that Regency ladies did not really need to wear bonnets, gloves and shawls outside in the cold English countryside, and that Tom Lefroy was Jane Austen’s inspiration for the character of Mr. Darcy, and the reason why she wrote everything to begin with!
Otherwise, I loved the striking beauty of the English countryside (filmed in Ireland), the accuracy and detail of the costuming (sans bonnets), and to be taken away in spirit to Regency England for 120 minutes of bliss. Get your DVD before another Janeite talks you out of it. Mine is on its way!
Posted by Laurel Ann, Austenprose