You like the awesome WWE reference to open my official Jane Austen smackdown?? Of course you do :) I was asked by three different readers to watch three different movies based on Jane Austen novels. I have never in my life read a novel by Jane Austen or seen a movie based on one either. And I have to admit I was not really excited by the thought of this task. However, after watching the three, I am totally surprised and happy to announce that they were actually pretty darn good! But which one prevails when they go head to head in a battle of Ladies, Lords and empire-wasted gowns? Let's find out, shall we?
Contestant #1- Sense and Sensibility
(Movie #18) Suggested by Sweeneyville reader Kaylee Adair
Kaylee was the photographer for the local paper who took my picture when my deep-fried Raccoon Fritters won the blue ribbon at the Polk County Fair. She was a little skeptical about my choice of ingredients, but one bite and she was slapping her grandma! Totally kidding, of course. I would never use raccoon, when armadillo is so much more tender. Kaylee is a former BYU roommate. She was a couple years older than the rest of us and she was probably the wisest of us too. We all loved her for her good example and ability to always get along. She lives in Utah with her hubby and two kiddos. She has the best funny stories about what her kids say and do. I thoroughly enjoy reading the updates on Facebook :)
Contestant #2- Persuasion
(Movie #19) Suggested by Sweeneyville reader Amy Schmutz
I met Amy on the TRAX train in Salt Lake City back in 2001. We were both on our way to a Winter Olympics Volunteer training meeting. Come to find out, Amy speaks Basque and was to be a translator to the Spanish short track speed skating team. Wow, that would be amazing to actually meet someone who speaks basque, wouldn't it? Amy is also a former BYU roomie. She was from my very first year, very first semester. She had a CAR and I remember the days of our awesome trips to Super Target with Jen. She was part of BYU Singers (elite singing group, it's a scholarship thing), so she is pretty much an amazing vocalist. She has two cute girls, one on the way, she sews the most adorable modest Barbie clothes AND she gets to do all that while moving to Las Vegas from St. George this month. Supermom? YES :)
Contestant #3- Pride and Prejudice
(Movie #20) Suggested by Sweeneyville reader David Bingham
Two years ago Jacob and I went to a Tampa Bay Rays baseball game. During the bottom of the 6th inning Evan Longoria hit a wicked foul just over the third base line wall and it was making a bee line right to my forehead. If it weren't for the guy sitting right behind me (David) and his cat-like reflexes, I wouldn't be here to write this blog. In return for his heroism, he demanded I sign an indentured servant contract and in only 5 more years I will be able to move back home. Yippee! Dave is actually my oldest brother. And I am still trying to find out if his suggestion of this movie was real or not.... He lives in Tallahassee with his fam and he graduates from FSU next month with some sort of IT degree. Which is pretty much a Bachelor's of Computer Hacking Skills. I think I need get one of those...
Sense and Sensibility
Deductions: Delores Umbridge!
Bonus Points: Snape! Rose! House!
I really enjoyed this movie because of the amazing cast of characters and possibilities of how it could turn out. I had absolutely no idea what was going to happen and the last thirty minutes were kind of torture for me. And I actually teared up a little at the end for Ms. Dashwood, well, actually both of them. Loved that the steady, noble, nice guy wins in the end. Plus, I am a total sucker for anything Hugh Grant.
Deductions: Two people taking bad falls in one movie
Bonus Points: Her entire horrible family was brilliantly acted, Aunt Petunia!
This movie plot was more of a "will they or won't they" kind of movie. You will like this movie because of three things: The main character, Anne, is the perfect underdog to root for, her sister the hypochondriac and her high-and-mighty father say some of the funniest things, and the dialogue is very witty and quick throughout. Thoroughly enjoyed this movie! And I dare say that you will too.
Pride and Prejudice (Kiera Knightly version)
Deductions: Mr. Darcy's giant sideburns and mini mullet were killing me
Bonus Points: Mr. Collins, The MUSIC
I just have to say that I really, really wanted to come away from this movie not liking it so much. Everyone I know loves it and it is by far the most popular Jane Austen story that gets redone and redone and redone. But darnit, I really, really loved it! This is a movie that I have been thinking about since I saw it. I even dreamed about it all last night. At first I was not impressed with Mr. Darcy's looks at all. But he totally grows on you! His hair definitely looked best in the rain. I admit, there are still a lot of unanswered questions for me about it, which maybe is why I kinda have to declare it the winner. But if all these movies were comparable for the most part in how good they were, then I guess the one thing that would push me over the edge for this movie was the music. I am a total move music person and the score to this movie was INCREDIBLE. I even bought a few of the songs off the soundtrack on Amazon this morning. Best movie music score I have heard since New Moon.
So as you can see, they were darn close to each other. It was actually terribly painful trying to pick a winner because they were all different, but all very good in their own way.
And watching all these movies was not completely frivolous, for here are three things I learned from watching Jane Austen movies:
1. Never, ever, EVER get caught in the rain. You will die.
2. Apparently it's quite acceptable and not uber-creepy to marry your cousin.
3. If you don't play the pianoforte, like to take long walks or enjoy gossipping, don't bother getting out of bed :)