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Sunday, June 7

Jane Austen Movie Throwdown

Don't you love the way Jane Austen's novels still inspire our modern perceptions of romance? Don't you just love Sandra Bullock and pre-botox Meg Ryan? I think our Jane would have approved of these two modern feisty, independent heroines. And the heroes are nothing to sneeze at either. Of the two choices this week, which film is the most romantically inspired by Jane Austen? Lake House or You've Got Mail? You decide. You tell us.

Most Romantic Jane Austen Inspired Film

The Lake House, loosely based on Persuasion

Caution: Hanky alert. This time travel movie is about second chances. As in Persuasion, the two characters yearn and long for someone who is out of reach. It is 2004 and Alex, played by Keanu Reeves, arrives at his new lake house. He begins to communicate with Kate (Sandra Bullock), who lived in the house in 2006. Through an unexplained alchemy, Kate and Alex discover that the Lake House's mailbox acts as a time travel communication channel through which they can correspond. As they exchange letters they fall hard for each other. Kate recalls the exact day and time she lost Persuasion on a commuter train. Using this information, she tries to meet Alex in real time. He finds the book but they miss each other by seconds. The final scene of this film is reminiscent of the pivotal scene in Persuasion, where Captain Wentworth informs Anne by letter that she pierces his soul. The passage that Alex marks for Kate in Persuasion is one of my favorites: “…there could have been no two hearts so open, no tastes so similar, no feelings so in unison, no countenances so beloved." The film suffers from a lapse in logic, as most time travel tales do, but the pairing of Bullock and Reeves is irresistible and wholly romantic.

You've Got Mail, loosely based on Pride and Prejudice

I'll watch any film with Tom Hanks in it, even Turner and Hooch. In You've Got Mail he reteamed with Meg Ryan, playing the wily Mr. Fox to her feisty Kathleen. He is the owner/manager of a Barnes & Noble type chain store that opens just around the corner from a small book shop owned by Kathleen. She dislikes him on principle, knowing that these huge chain conglomerates put local book stores out of business. Joe in turn regards her as a shrill, royal pain in the arse. Though this engaging cinematic couple spar verbally whenever they meet, they unknowingly become email pals, where they express their true feelings and allow their personalities to shine. Kathleen has read Pride and Prejudice about a hundred times and each time worries that Elizabeth and Darcy are not going to get together. In the end, all is right with the world and Elizabeth and Darcy once again get together, as do Joe and Kathleen. This movie is a remake of that wonderful 1940 classic, The Shop Around the Corner. It also brought Ryan and Hanks together in multiple scenes, which Sleepless in Seattle failed to do.

Update: I forgot to add the poll! Here it is: free polls
Most romantic jane austen inspired movie
The Lake House You've Got Mail


Charleybrown said...

I love both those movies Vic! My favourite tie-in to Austen would have to be You've Got Mail. I love how the relationship between Joe and Kathleen evolves from loathing to love as in P&P and I adored the fact that Joe (Hanks) takes the time to read Pride and Prejudice.

Lynn said...

"The Lake House" was good but frustrating and I really got caught up in the importance of letter writing in your own hand in that one.

"You've Got Mail" is one of my favs because even with volumes of hints from Joe, Kathleen remains almost clueless until the very end...the last scene in the park is just perfect except for the hokey music (I mute it every time) and Meg Ryan really looks like Meg Ryan ! ( Parker Posey is hilarious in it too )

Thanks for all you both do on this blog... I look forward to each new post !

I'm home today with a
bad sore throat ( I can hardly talk either) and it's nice to have a new post to comment on LOL !

Lynn said...

There is also a good musical based on "The Little Shop Around the Corner"..."In the Good Old Summertime" with Judy Garland & Van Johnson.

Vic said...

Get better, Lynn, and thank you for the compliment. Ah, CB, I'd forgotten that Joe Fox read P&P. It's those touches that make a script stand out. V

Blarney Girl said...

As much as Persuasion is my favorite JA book, I have to go with You've Got Mail as being the more romantic of the two. It's been so long since I've seen The Lake House I don't even remember there being a Persuasuion tie in. I was so wrapped up in trying to figure out what the heck was going on, any book reference would have gone right by me!! :)

Jossie Posie said...

I love them both but I seem to be unable to change the channel whenever You've Got Mail is on...the dynamic of their relationship is so very Elizabeth and Darcy I can't help it.

Laurel Ann said...

Definitely You've Got Mail - one of my fav modern movies! I can watch once a week and it is still fresh. Screen writer Nora Ephron is brilliant. I wish she would do something new. Thanks Vic for the great throwdown!

Shell said...

I love both movies. Lake House is my secret pleasure, every time it comes on tv I have to watch at least some of it.

foobella said...

You've Got Mail is one of those movies that I have to watch if I happen to pass it while channel surfing. No matter what time of day or night. It's kind of aggravating actually. Keeps me up at all hours! lol.

foobella said...

I should have read the other comments first. Seems a few of us have the same problem. ;)