“Becoming Jane” Review


Becoming Jane PosterThis weekend, Hayley and I saw “Becoming Jane,” a fictional story about a suspected romance between Jane Austen and Tom Lefroy – a romance which, it has been suggested, inspired the famous Mr. Darcy. Here’s my review. (I’m using the “Ramsey Movie Criteria.”)

The story was fairly basic – an intelligent Austen meets an equally intelligent and arrogant LeFroy and, after some sparring, a romance blossoms. It is never quite clear exactly why Austen likes LeFroy, as the progression between tension and affection was immediate. If one is aware of Austen’s life story, the movie will play out unsurprisingly – for those that are unaware, there may be an interesting twist.

The movie was fiction, but it was interesting the way they provided glimpses into Austen’s inspiration for her novels. You saw glimpses of her characters’ mothers in her own; the inappropriate behavior of 15-year-old Lucy paralleled perfectly with Kitty from Pride and Prejudice; and, most obviously, the burgeoning relationship between herself and LeFroy as the foundation for Pride and Prejudice’s major romance.

The movie is rated PG. There was (very) brief (male butt) nudity, minor foul language and a little violence (a couple scenes of boxing).

Anne Hathaway (Austen) didn’t get on my nerves even once – which is saying something. She did a fine job with the accent. James McAvoy (LeFroy) – the main character from Last King of Scotland – shows his acting ability once again – although, he plays a similarly slimy/charming character.

Artistic Value
I don’t really remember being offended or wowed by the visual presentation of the film. The soundtrack was nice – a fairly basic classical affair. No song jumped out at me as a “must download.”

Hayley and I arrived at different outcomes from this movie (big shock!). She enjoyed the film, but isn’t anxious to buy it on DVD and watch it again. I, however, didn’t enjoy the movie quite as much as she. There were some small bits of humor that made me chuckle, but I lost interest fairly quickly. I’m not a romance-movie-hater — in fact, I even enjoy Pride and Prejudice — so I believe this was a pretty weak movie. I will say that it made Hayley happy that we went, so I’m not upset that we saw it.


I give this movie 2 out of 5 historical fiction novels.

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  1. Brooklynne
    August 14, 2007 at 1:26 am — Reply

    Hey – I’m Sam Peters’ girlfriend and I just can’t help but saying that I saw this movie recently as well and I just thought it was…..awful! I agree with you about anne hathaway being annoying, and her accent, to me was one of the most unbearable parts of the movie. the romantic scenes were so awkward and out of place – and you’re right – you had no idea why they liked each other! It almost seemed to me, however, that the producers were trying to do the opposite of what you said, rather trying to echo the movie pride and prejudice into their film, coming even down to the opening scene of a peaceful morning in the country. I guess it was my fault for going into it with such high expectations, but I should have thought better. It’s anne hathaway. She is just not a dynamic (or talented enough) actress to fill the role of Jane Austen. I think Claire Danes would have done a much better job.

  2. August 14, 2007 at 9:33 am — Reply

    Hey Brooklynne, thanks for stopping by. It’s funny, I actually wasn’t bothered by Hathaway. I did have EXTREMELY low expectations for her, but still.

    When wouldn’t Claire Danes be better for anything?

  3. August 14, 2007 at 4:20 pm — Reply

    oh fun! a male review of becoming jane. and well thought out to boot!
    what a pleasant addition to my day.
    thanks for stopping by blendingworship and bringing some encouragement.
    and i WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree that it’d be easier to blend if we could cut the announcements!!! LOL

  4. sally loftin
    August 17, 2007 at 11:25 am — Reply

    One of my favorite movies. I have to admit that Anne Hathway annoyed me a bit only at the times where her mannerisms were the same as in The Devil Wears Prada. Otherwise, darling LeFroy was perfect (for the somewhat lowly character he portrayed) and I adore the film. But I might have even if the acting was terrible- Jane Austen’s work is fantastic either way. So my two cents concludes. -Sally

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“Becoming Jane” Review