I officially just wasted one-hour-forty-two-minutes-and-thirty-seconds of my time. How? By watching The Jane Austen Book Club my friends. If you want to see it (which, as your friend, I need to tell you--you don't), then do not read this. It might spoil the pure idiocy of the entire film.
I am fuming right now. Absolutely livid. HOW DARE THEY SLANDER AUSTEN'S GOOD NAME BY PUTTING IT ON THE COVER OF THIS SLOPPY, IDIOTIC FILTH!
I rented the movie because I thought I might be able to use a few scenes from it in my upcoming Persuasion unit. I am going to be incorporating a lot of film segments into the final writing assignment. When I taught Pride and Prejudice last year, I used a few clips from that BYU version from a few years ago. My students really liked seeing the characters transported into a more modern context. I thought this flick might give me a few scenes that might do the same thing for Persuasion.
Unfortunately, unless I've completely misread Austen, and this film is correct, there is no possible way I could ever use this film in my class. According to the film, the tormented love of Anne Eliot and Frederick Wentworth can be compared to a middle-aged couple in the midst of divorce because the husband has decided to be with another woman. A woman who, when the wife finds out about the affair, the husband refuses to give up. These are his exact words, "I'm not giving her up. That's not negotiable." Brilliant. Practically Shakespearean, I know. Anyway, she TOTALLY TAKES THE SCUM BAG BACK! Why? Well, because he writes her a letter of course. And we all know, that is the only reason Anne and Captain Wentworth end up back together, because he writes her a letter. It has nothing to do with the fact that THE SITUATION IN THE NOVEL IS NOT EVEN COMPARABLE WITH THE ONE PORTRAYED IN THE MOVIE!
Oh, don't worry. It gets better. The plot of Persuasion also, apparently, parallels the story of a married high school French teacher being seduced by (and somewhat seducing) her STUDENT! EW! Of course, it all turns out all right in the end, because she and her husband (who has absolutely no common interests with her, and leaves you constantly wondering how in heaven's name they ended up together in the first place) cuddle in bed and read Persuasion together. Thus solving all their marital issues...including her making out with a high school senior in her car and planning to meet up with him in a dirty motel room. (Which was BY FAR my favorite scene in the movie by the way. That scene concludes with her looking at a crosswalk sign that begins to flash "What would Jane do?" No. I'm not joking. That really DOES happen in the movie.)
I understand this one-hour-forty-two-minutes-thirty-seconds disaster is based on a book. Let us hope it is either completely different from the novel, or that the woman who wrote it starts to beg for forgiveness. I'm sure writing such trash purely justifies Austen's haunting her for the rest of her career.
On second thought, maybe there's some hope in this travesty. If an idiot like that can get published, well then why can't I? It's motivation to start scribling again!