Towards the end of Becoming Jane,a new — and generally lousy — dramatization of the early life of novelist Jane Austen, a would-be suitor to the inimitable Ms. Austen utters the phrase, “It is a truth universally acknowledged…,” and the great opening line to Pride and Prejudice is born. It’s no small concern that screenwriters Kevin Hood and Sarah Williams imagine their protagonist snatched one of her most famous lines from the lips of a man; indeed, Becoming Jane would have us believe that Austen, played here by the perennially boring Anne Hathaway, was nothing less, or more, than a watered-down variation on one of her own heroines, a woman who owed her inspiration as an artist to her doomed love affair with an Irish barrister (a suitably charismatic James McAvoy). This Shakespeare in Love style premise is tired enough on its own without the dubious implication of the romantic fantasies in which it trades. It’s all right there in that execrable title: she was always a writer, but she needed to know the love of a man in order to…become Jane.
Click here to read the rest of Chris Wisniewski’s review of, giggle, Becoming Jane.