City Pulse

By Yelena Moroz

We could all learn a thing or two from Jane Austen – especially when it comes to the art of playing hard-to-get and choosing suitors. By reading (or watching) the works of the one of the most respected novelists in English literature, one thing was made clear to me. The art of seduction is eternal, yet must be carefully studied to avoid miscommunication. Looking to brush up on the finer points of getting your flirt on? Then check out the Becoming Jane, with Anne Hathaway starring as Ms. Austen.

The movie premiered at the Sunshine Cinema. Hathaway, who is more stunning in real life than photographs convey, was the starring attraction both on and off of the screen. It takes but a few short moments in her presence to understand why she was chosen for the role. Magnetic smiles beckon and entice, often leaving onlookers captivated by her presence.

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If you are familiar with the works of Jane Austen, you will easily make correlations between the chronicles of Austen’s young life, as portrayed in Becoming Jane, to the intricate characters of her novels. The movie focuses on Austen’s enthusiasm and delight for writing along with the poignant love story between herself and Tom Lefroy (James McAvoy), a witty, unbridled lawyer from London. (You might remember McAvoy from The Last King of Scotland. I, on the other hand, couldn’t stop picturing him as Mr. Tumnus, the Faun, from The Chronicles of Narnia, making it very difficult for me to completely embrace his character.) Lefroy’s flirtatious attempts to test Austen’s proper upbringing kept my attention, especially when it came to deciphering their witty phrases. Without giving away any secrets, let’s say that the movie is one to see with your girlfriends, especially if you want to swoon and partake in a few ‘awww’ moments. Those who enjoyed the comedic and tumultuous love affairs of Pride and Prejudice (2005) are apt to appreciate the style of Becoming Jane. However, in some ways I felt that the movie was a modified version of Pride and Prejudice, making it somewhat repetitive at times. Not that it’s a shocker. I mean, Austen is known for seeding her narratives with young women, potential husbands and mothers jaded by marrying their daughters off to rich suitors. And this film was no exception See for yourself. The film hit theaters on Friday, August 3rd.

After the screening, Hathaway made her way to The Bowery Hotel where she mingled with guests, including her father, Sylvia Miles, Rachel Roy and Heather Matarazzo, aka Lily from The Princess Diaries. Anne Hathaway is mesmerizing, even as she plays billiards. The starlet has certain cool mixed in with a girl-next-door quality. Lindsey Lohan could stand to learn a thing or two from Hathaway’s good clean fun. All in all, the premier for Becoming Jane was, well . . . quite becoming.

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Santi Wines was the wine sponsor for the event.

Originally published August 2007
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