Danville Express

Living - August 10, 2007

Movie review: Becoming Jane - two and a half stars

Rating: PG for chaste romance et al Run Time: Two hours

Unless you have something new to say, don't say it all. Lesson learned from yet another Jane Austen re-tread that trots out its tired themes with 18th-century goodness.

Early confusion, pacing problems and silly scripting dog the narrative - a quixotic comedy that puts young Jane herself (Anne Hathaway) front and center in a romantic roundelay not unlike those that she penned for her devoted readers. You know the type - relentlessly quippy philosophizing and V-for-virtuous protestations of love not lust.

As in most Austen projects, Jane's parents (Julie Walters and James Cromwell) are searching for a suitable husband to guarantee their daughter's future social standing. The pair have their eye on the nephew of a rich widowed aristocrat (Maggie Smith reprising this role for the umpteenth time) who disapproves of Jane's spirited and independent ways.

Naturally Jane falls for the rogue in the form of an arrogant and dashing Irishman named Tom Lefroy (James McAvoy). Their frisky flirtation is fraught with social risk but the irrepressible Jane stubbornly thinks with her heart and not her head - refusing to marry for position. Art imitating life imitating art or something like that.

Somewhat surprisingly, "Jane" finally finds its groove late in the game, turning dark and dramatic when least expected. A spirited energy infects specific scenes, among them a jolly co-ed cricket match that has Title Nine written all over it and the ubiquitous but sprightly ballroom encounter.

McAvoy is a bit too aware of his "It Boy" status but it works to spark a come-hither attraction to Hathaway's glimmer and wit. Climax is effectively weepy for serious fans of the genre.

--Jeanne Aufmuth

For more movie reviews or local show times, go to www.DanvilleWeekly.com

Comments

There are no comments yet for this post

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: *

Choose a category: *

Since this is the first comment on this story a new topic will also be started in Town Square! Please choose a category that best describes this story.

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields