Controversy du Week

November 22nd, 2005 · 3 Comments
by Booksquare

Turning our attention from world news, we now bring you a look at the latest Jane Austen controversy. For a dead woman, she has alarming power to raise ire. Admirable, if you think about it.

As it turns out, the latest filmed version of Pride & Prejudice has a romantic ending. It’s cute, if sappy. But, until just days ago, the ending was available only in America. This unfaithful-to-the-text ending is described as

It was as if NASA had prepared an international mission to Mars and felt a need to lace the Russians’ Tang with vodka.

Maybe it’s us, but we can’t tell if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. If we were in outer space, we might like a shot of vodka. One suspects that the ambient temperature would assure a properly icy serving temperature.

In this case, we say let the notion go. There will be another version of P&P and another controversy. We would note that this version is attracting men — men who are saying things like “I liked it*” — and this could only broaden interest in an author considered the domain of females.

* – Note: This quote did not come from the BS husband. We do not wish to create any misconceptions. He remains opposed to movies featuring accents, costumes, horses, and/or dirt.

File Under: Square Pegs

3 responses so far ↓

  • Karen Scott // Nov 22, 2005 at 10:36 am

    I suspect they were probably trying to imply that the producers were under the influence of alcohol whilst filming.
    I think it’s the posh way of saying that they must have been on crack.

  • Booksquare // Nov 22, 2005 at 9:30 pm

    Ah, yes, thank you for the translation. If only the British could speak English…

  • Caro // Nov 23, 2005 at 12:58 pm

    We would note that this version is attracting men — men who are saying things like “I liked it*

    That’s not surprising because at a test screening the husband and I didn’t get into because we didn’t fit the demographic, the audience they were specifically aiming for were males 18-39 (we made more than few jokes about a Jerry Bruckheimer-produced version entitled “Pride and Extreme Prejudice”).

    We did get into another screening a couple of months later and the ending that has raised such ire was not in evidence. However, the ending they did show was hardly better — a long monologue by Mr. Bennett that brought all forward motion to a screeching halt. Given the questions on the survey sheet, it was clear they knew they had a problem they had to fix.

    Now, the version I saw as over 2 hours and 20 minutes, so at least 13 minutes were cut from the film prior to release. However, the husband, who is an Austen fan, was not at all happy with the film and insisted upon rewatching the Firth/Ehle version afterwards. It wasn’t that he felt the “purity” of the text had been violated or anything like that, but he felt it just wasn’t as good (and he really hated the assembly scene where Darcy and Elizabeth meet).