Today, I babysat for the last time until break for the Moore family. The three-year-old twins told me, as I was walking out the door, to "have fun at college!" Their mother prepares them well for many of life's circumstances, even how to say goodbye to their summer babysitter who will be gone for quite some time. I hope they don't forget about me, for they touched me indelibly.
Following my babysitting job, I ran by the bank, stopped in Chik-Fil-A for some lunch, then drove quickly to meet Tori at Tinsletown where we would be watching the first available showing of Becoming Jane in Jacksonville (it came out a week ago in Orlando. The audacity!). There was a totally random bout of traffic which seriously hindered my ability to arrive with time to spare, but I parked at 12:35 and met Tori inside, who had already purchased my ticket. Katie Stuart was there with her mom (and her dad, but he watched The Bourne Supremacy), which was a lovely surprise. Anyway, we made it in the theatre in time, and even got top row seats (it was actually fairly crowded but, as I suspected, the majority of viewers were sporting silver perms and 4-inch-thick bifocals...bless 'em). Tori and I are old souls, I suppose.
I thoroughly enjoyed the film, finding many times in which I could either relate to it, or at least want to, and this would result in the welling up of the tear ducts. I could have sobbed if I had let myself. But there were other people there, and they had paid to see a movie, not hear an angst-ridden teenager cry. So I kept my wits about me.
I'm not going to discuss the movie, because then I'll tell you everything about it. But if you are a fan of Jane Austen, a fan of her novels, a fan of her novel's film adaptations, or looking for a good but unconventional romance story, then I would highly recommend it. If you aren't a fan of Jane Austen because you've never read her work, then shame on you, and I would command you to see this film.
I love this recent phenomena, so to speak, of movies about female writers. It's so fascinating to me to see how their [love] lives greatly contributed to their passionate work. Miss Potter was a wonderful film, and further enriched the beloved childhood bunny stories to which I fell asleep listening at night. After watching Becoming Jane, I would like to know why she never took the time to write her autobiography, although it seems that her letters share enough of her story to compile a biography, and her novels are certainly paralleled to many aspects of her life. So perhaps she didn't feel the need to be obvious; perhaps she wanted historians to have to search for the answers to her life. Or perhaps she never really wanted anyone to know. And perhaps...we don't.
Jane, in the film, reminds me very much of myself, as I'm sure she reminds every woman in some way or another. But I especially connected with her when she spoke of the actual definition of "irony," a word so often misused and mistreated, poor thing, and also when she referred, aloud, to the literary techniques being used in her own speech. Oh, Jane Austen. The heroine of her own life, and yet she created six of the most touchable, relatable, and passionate heroines in literature's history.
I leave you with one of my favorites quotes from the film: "...His heart will stop at the sight of you, or he doesn't deserve to live. And, yes, I am aware of the contradiction embodied in that sentence."
I remember, sometime this year during AP Literature, leaning over to Victoria and asking her if she knew why Jane Austen never married. A woman filled with so much passion and inspiration surely must desire to love and be loved and to commit to do so. The movie provided me with answers to this question. Interesting to find that her sister, Cassandra, never married either, although both came very close, and both most certainly fell in love.
Life may be a beautiful thing, but happiness is another thing entirely.