I HAVE just been made to sit through yet another Jane Austen movie on the television.
This particular one was Emma, but quite honestly it could have been Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Persuasion or just about any one of her six completed novels, as far as I am concerned. Let’s face it, they are all, as near as damn it, the same story but with different characters.
Well all right, not exactly the same story, but certainly identical themes and you pretty much know after the first half hour, how it’s all going to end – Yawn.
I should be biased in favour of the lady, because she briefly spent some time with her sister attending a boarding school in my home town of Reading, but I guess it’s a bloke thing, because I just cannot get into the heaving bosoms, fainting away with the vapours, well-bred young gels attending endless balls thing. Well, heaving bosoms are okay, I suppose, but you take my point.
If Jane’s books (I feel that she wouldn’t mind me calling her Jane) are a true representation of those Regency times, then how utterly boring and tiresome (a good Austen word) the people were.
And how the heck did they manage to breed? I mean, when any of her male characters fancies the pants off the likes of Miss Elizabeth Bennet or Miss Catherine Morland, instead of just telling the wenches exactly what’s what in no uncertain terms, these less than red-blooded men go all the way to Moscow just to get to Benidorm.
They are lucky not to be drawing their old-age pensions before they finally pluck up the nerve to express their feelings. Or, heaven forbid, deliver a peck on the cheek.
Yes, yes, I know that the sight of Mr Darcy aka Colin Firth, striding toward Pemberley in his wet kecks is enough to send any modern-day woman into raptures of delight. But from a man’s point of view, I spent the whole six episodes shouting at the TV to “get in there my son and stop pratting around.” I ask you!
There’s Lizzy Bennet giving off mating signals that could be seen from space, and all that our immensely wealthy, sophisticated man about town Fitzwilliam Darcy can do, is look aloof and walk around in damp M&S underwear.
But I know what you are thinking. You are thinking that for a man who seems to dislike the works of Jane Austen so much, I am remarkably well informed on the subject.
It’s a trade off with my Princess, you see. If I sit through this stuff with her, then I am allowed to watch a Grand Prix occasionally. Simples!