When I first heard about this movie coming about, as a Jane Austen fan I was thrilled. Then I heard that Jane would be played by Anne Hathaway, an American. Ok you have a a TON of British actresses who could play Jane (Keira Knightley, Emily Blunt, Kate Winslet, anyone who was ever in a Jane Austen movie) and they choose an American. Personally, I think that British actors can portray American accents MUCH better than the other way around. (I had no idea that Tom Wilkinson was British when I watched In the Bedroom). So this intrigued me to see how the former Princess Diaries actress would take upon this challenge.
James McAvoy is the new IT British/Scot guy these days. I swear, every new movie that needs a British guy in it stars him. I'm sorry though, he will always forever be Mr. Tumnas to me. But I really enjoyed him in his role as Tom Lefroy. It's very easy to see where her inspiration for Mr. Darcy comes from. The relationship between the two happened awfully fast though. It seemed like one minute they were fighting, the next minute they were making out (I don't think unmarried slightly upper class people kissed that much in public in those days). I do love their feisty bantering. I had read Just Jane by Nancy Moser so I kept comparing the book to the movie. Personally I liked the book better because it allowed for more characterization and inner thoughts. The movie however is wonderful at bringing to life a beloved icon. It's interesting to see where all the inspiration for the books came from.
What's sad about this movie is that you know what the ending is going to be like. We all know Austen never marries and no hoping or wishing is going to cause the couple to actually get together. That being sad, the movie is set in the style of Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. It's a wonderful costume drama (and yes you have seen those costumes before in other Austen movies) with excellent acting all around. The cast is wonderful (Mrs. Weasly and McGonagall!) and really adds to the tone of the movie. There's also a pug in the movie which thrilled our family to no end!! If you are a fan of her works, you will definately enjoy this movie. Rated PG, it's a movie that almost everyone can see (although be aware of slight real male nudity but it's James McAvoy so it's forgiven!!)