My wife practically dared me to do a post about Jane Austen. Now, I am not a huge Jane Austen fan and, quite frankly, all I know about her is what my wife has forced me to watch. My take on Jane Austen may be just a bit different than most…
I’m not going to waste my time getting into debates as to which is better: Kiera Knightly’s Pride and Prejudice or the mini-series with Colin Firth. I’m sure there are women all over the world that have their opinion. Most of them seem to prefer the BBC mini-series.
My Jane Austen post comes from the outskirts of Austenocity. The fringes that are only sort-of Austen.
First off, there’s Austenland. This is an obscure little film starring the adorable Kerri Russell taking a trip to the country to experience a weekend as though she were a character in an Austen novel. It was a cute movie at first, but it dragged on way too long. A lot of the cleverness wore off by the end. Jennifer Coolidge played… well the same kind of character she usually plays.
Second off, there’s Mafia!. What, pray tell, does this spoof movie have to do with Jane Austen? Answer: Absolutely nothing. This comedy, which is basically a parody of the Godfather series, was originally named Jane Austen’s Mafia!. Simply a comedic twist to the title contrasting two things that don’t typically go together.
Third off, there’s Clueless. Alicia Silverstone shines in this 90s retelling of Emma. If you know the story of Emma, as my wife does, you see comparrisons all over the place. She spends most of the movie pointing out who is who from the source material and saying who played that character in Gwyneth Paltrow’s Emma. If you don’t know Emma, then Clueless is just a really fun movie full of 90s slang, 90s fashion, and 90s humor. Not bad for a story from 1815!
Third-and-a-half off, there’s the video for Iggy Azalea’s Fancy. This video spends its entirety reshooting scenes from Clueless featuring Fancy’s singers. So, it’s even more degrees away from Jane Austen than Clueless itself.
Fourth off, there’s Bride and Prejudice. This is a silly, Bollywood style, knock-off of Pride and Prejudice. A little bit odd, it actually has some fun moments. I also had some of the music stuck in my head for days after I saw it! “No life, without wife!”
I don’t think that adult males are the target audience that Jane Austen was shooting for. Women like my wife get all gushy as soon they see a Regency era dress on-screen. I think it looks like they’re hiding a baby-bump. Maybe, if Gwyneth was wearing her costume from the end of Iron Man 3 (see pic above), more men would be willing to watch Emma!
So that’s my brief tour around the out-skirts of the Austen world. I made it over 500 words on a subject I know nothing about! Woot! Probably not the most Austeny post you could ask for, but hey, the non-Austen Austen world needs love too!
What about YOU? Do you have a Jane Austen story (or non-Austen story, like mine) that YOU enjoy?