Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Love and Marriage in "Becoming Jane"

I just finished watching the movie Becoming Jane. It’s a 2007 romantic chick-flick starring Anne Hathaway as a gorgeous, extremely fictionalized, Jane Austen, who scribbles with a fountain pen with her dark tendrils spilling down her back, pursing her full, red lips. Aside from the ballroom scenes and lovely scenery, the movie struck me because, not only is James McAvoy charming/handsome/a genuinely endearing rascal, the movie centered on the fact that “love,” erotic love, as C.S. Lewis would call it, between a man and a woman isn’t sufficient to build a marriage on. Jane states this when she leaves Tom/James McAvoy, who she is truly is in love with. Their scandal of a marriage would have been lived in poverty and their love would have turned into resentment and blame, destroying them both. They would have been fools to fail to recognize it and no matter how much they loved each other and wanted to be together, it would have lead them both to ruin. Therefore, the existence of erotic love, no matter how genuine or true, isn’t enough to base a marriage on. It’s really disappointing to realize within the genre of chick-flick too! Some aspects of the movie I thought could have been done better, such as Jane’s initial, well-placed, derision of Tom suddenly changing to passionate love. I bought it, mostly due to McAvoy’s charm, and because of the necessary suspension of disbelief required by the chick-flick genre, but I still felt like I was missing something. Perhaps that’s just part of the mystery of love? This film, though entertaining and sweet, really doesn’t deserve a blog post. It’s the concept that, in some cases, love alone really isn’t enough to survive on, that I’m trying, and perhaps failing, to address. We dealt with these same issues in Christian Marriage, discussing the importance of financial stability, of having a plan, being able to provide for future children, and one another. Marriage, in the eyes of the Church, is forever, and is so monumental and sacred, a true becoming of one flesh, that it deserves more than a blurb in a hasty reaction to a movie. As much as I was disappointed in the resolution of the movie, Jane made the right decision. I would just hate to have to do the same.

1 comment:

Okay Here I Go... said...

I saw "Becoming Jane" last semester....more like I was dragged by several of my Jane Austen-groupie friends. I didn't like it much at all. James McAvoy is indeed very nice ("nice" being my good-Catholic-girl euphemism for "attractive in ways that, if put into words, would probably compromise his human dignity"). But aside from that, I just couldn't really get into it. The same group of people made me sit through the 6-hour BBC version of "Pride and Prejudice" a week later. Let's just say I'm not a big Jane Austen fan, and leave it at that. ;)

P.S. Thanks for the link -- I'll add your link to Okay Here I Go!