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Jane Emo. Now with violins!

Perfect Husband and I had a movie date this evening. He took me to see the newest Jane Eyre.

I’m always on the lookout for a GOOD version of my favourite book. So far, my favourite is the 1983 version with Timothy Dalton. Jane is spritely enough but doesn’t have quite enough edge for my taste. Still, it’s decent.

I have been very excited about this version, however, ever since I heard that Ellen Page would be playing Jane. I knew that she would get the sharp wit of Jane exactly right, even if she is too pretty. She’d even have the perfect wry smile that I see on Jane’s face whenever she calls Mr. Rochester “sir”.

Then Ellen Page dropped out and they cast that chick from The Kids Are All Right instead. But I was still willing to give it a chance.

…I regret it.

It was dreadful. Possibly one of the worst adaptations I’ve seen yet.

You won’t believe me, but I swear, I’m not an impossible-to-please cynic who complains about every cut scene, and every alteration to the plot in a book adaptation. Some of my favourite book adaptations (About A Boy, The Neverending Story, The Last Unicorn, Bridget Jone’s Diary, Jurassic Park), have totally altered key parts of the books, but recreate the characters, the feel, and the meaning of the story so well that I love them to bits.

This was not one of those movies.

This movie stuck to the plot faithfully but managed to totally wreck the characters and the whole point of the story. They took a story about a feisty little feminist who doesn’t let poverty and abuse get her down, and made a movie about an expressionless dishrag who falls in love with someone awful for no good reason. You know, like Twilight, except Bella Swan has more personality.

It also involved a lot of emo chiaroscuro and a softly wailing solo violin.

For those of you who aren’t intimately familiar with Jane Eyre and her awesomenesshere’s a summary in 30 seconds:

Jane’s relatives: “We don’tlove you because you’re poor and you aren’t pretty.”

Jane: “Fuck you, I’m just as worthy of love and kindness as anyone else.”

Mr. Brocklehurst: “You are poor and ugly and female and therefore do not deserve food or comfort.”

Jane: “Fuck you, I have basic human rights, you douchewad. Oh, and when all my friends die of typhus because of the appalling conditions here, you’re going to be in so much shit.”

Mr. Rochester: “I’m going to mock you because you’re young and innocent. You’ve never even had sex, have you?”

Jane: “Fuck you, I’m educated, intelligent, and what’s more, I’m a better person than you are.”

Mr. Rochester: “…You’re right! I will be kind to you and provide you with intellectual stimulation.”

Jane: “Well… thanks! But you’re still my boss so I’m going to keep you at arm’s length.”

Mr. Rochester: “Then marry me and we’ll be equals.”

Jane: “Ok.”

Mr. Rochester: “Sweet. Now I will lord my wealth over you by trying to dress you up and boss you around. You’re my little woman.”

Jane: “Fuck you, I am poor and plain and I LIKE IT. Keep your damn jewels and stop treating me like a lap dog, you sexist pig.”

Mr. Rochester: “By the way, I have a wife, but I hate her and she wants to kill me. Want to be her sister wife?”

Jane: “Fuck you, I’m no one’s mistress.”

St. John: “Hey, you’re my cousin and you’re rich now. Want to marry me and be my slave?”

Jane: “Fuck you, that’s not love. Mr. Rochester was a jerk, but he loved me for who I am and he liked my spunk.”

Jane: “Hey, Rochester, I heard that your wife killed herself and that you’re all blind and helpless now. I like that in a man. By the way, I’m rich and powerful now.”

Mr. Rochester: “Hurray! Will you marry me and boss me around forever?”

Jane: “Damn straight.”

None of Jane’s fiery nature comes out in this newest adaptation. It’s basically a story about this plain, stony faced girl who stands around and watches stuff happen to her with a slightly confused look on her face.

I know that Mia whatserface can act, because I’ve seen her in other things, so this must have been a directing choice. The result was that I didn’t give a damn about what happened to this woman. I swear, she hardly changed facial expressions throughout the whole movie. It’s about as exciting as watching paint dry.

This is the 2011 version of Jane Eyre:

Jane’s relatives: “We don’t like you for some undisclosed reason.”

*solo violin*

Jane:

Mr. Brocklehurst: “I don’t like you either for some undisclosed reason.”

*solo violin*

Jane:

Mr. Rochester: “I’m going to insult you and mock you because you are a governess.”

*solo violin*

Jane:

Mr. Rochester: “Oh, and there’s something creepy going on in my house. ”

*solo violin*

Jane:

Mr. Rochester: “Oh, and surprise! I love you, let’s get married.”

*solo violin*

Jane:

Mr. Rochester: “Now we are in love and happy.  I’m going to dress you in expensive clothes and it will make you marvellously happy.”

*solo violin*

Jane:

Mr. Rochester: By the way, I have a wife and she’s fond of me but crazy. She doesn’t like you much.

*solo violin*

Jane:

*LOTS of solo violin*

St. John: I saved your life, I gave you a job, I’m being very nice to you, and by the way, you’re rich now. Will you marry me?

*solo violin*

Jane:

Mrs. Fairfax: “I’m at Thornfield’s smoldering remains for some reason. Probably because I’m Judi Dench and I wanted more screen time in this shit film. By the way, Mr. Rochester’s wife is dead. I’m going to hug you now.”

*solo violin*

Jane:

…And they lived happily ever after!

*solo violin*

*zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzOHTHANKGODITSOVER*

On the bright side, I like the name “Fassbender.” It sounds like an insult. FASSBENDER!

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