Oh Miss. Bates. Often we see her in Emma films or when we encounter her in the story we ignore her:
Find her annoying:
Or pity her:
But then something stood out to me this time I read it that made me wonder…
Maybe WEhave always approached this character the wrong way and we should actually strive to BE her.
So let’s start at the beginning.
Miss Bates was the daughter of a vicar, he having passed on and left the family in an improvised state.
She isn’t known to be intelligent, witty, or wise.
She wasn’t considered beautiful when she was young and isn’t seen as such now,
She never was courted, engaged, or married.
Her youth passed by with no distinction.
She now is middle-aged and spends all her time taking care of her elderly mother.
And she spends most of her time trying to stretch her dollars as far as they can go.
Yes, life seems to be pretty grim.
So why should we want to be like her?
Because, despite ALL this, despite her life and circumstances, this is how she is:
“And yet she was a happy woman, and a woman whom no one named without good-will[sic].”
And where does this happiness come from? How does she have such pleasant emotion in such a bleak situation?
“It was her own universal good-will[sic] and contented temper which worked such wonders.”
Yes, her happiness isn’t derived from objects, money, people, beauty, etc. She is happy because she wants to be happy…
And because she can find pleasure in everything.
“She loved everybody, was interested in everyone’s happiness, quicksighted[sic] to every body’s merits: thought herself a most fortunate creature, and surrounded with blessings in such an excellent mother, and so many good neighbors and friends, and a home that wanted for nothing.”
Yes, most of us would be complaining, grumbling, whining, or disgusted to have her life…
But that isn’t how Miss Bates react. Instead she is joyful in everything and thankful for all she has in her life, even though most would view it as nothing. She reminds me of the green onion girl from Veggietales. Always joyful in everything.
And because of her joyful spirit she finds herself enjoying “a most uncommon degree of popularity.”
And that’s why I believe we should strive to be like her. How much nicer would life be if we learn to love what we have? If we tried to be kind and compassionate to all? If we looked at the good in others and our life instead of focusing on the negative?
So this film is supposed to be a modern day retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice.
Strangely enough it stars two people who had been in films based on Jane Austen’s work. Hugh Grant plays Daniel Cleaver, our George Wickham, when he was in the 1995 Sense and Sensibility as Edward Ferras.
And then we have Colin Firth as Mark Darcy, having played Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice (1995).
Now I understand why Colin Firth decided to be in the film, I read online that he thought it would distance him from the 1995 miniseries, along with killing the wet shirt.
But oh Colin Firth, you were so wrong.
That will never die
So let’s look at the film:
So prior to this viewing, I had seen the part where the mom has left the dad for another guy, the “vicars and tarts party”, and the very end in the snow.
From what I had seen I wasn’t really interested as I didn’t think it looked that good at all.
However, lots of people love it. Everyone says the films are funny and it was just given a third installment.
My friend is one of those who loves this film and she convinced me to watch it with her.
I did and I really didn’t like it.
I just don’t get the love for this film!
It doesn’t really follow Pride & Prejudice, the characters aren’t that likable, the situations silly and don’t really make sense.
Mark & Bridget Falling in Love
Mark (Mr. Darcy) and Bridget (Elizabeth) barely have any screen time together, so they don’t really have the opportunity to grow in a relationship. This is a problem with modern adaptations as in the original tale (and in history), when people visited they didn’t stay a few days, they stayed weeks or months. Darcy spent a long time with Bingley, encountering Elizabeth when she came to assist in her sister’s recuperating. And then again when Elizabeth stayed with Charlotte. But here they meet up at a family party her parents are throwing, a dinner party, accidentally while she is on vacation with Daniel (Wickham), and they fall for each other?
It doesn’t really work. They should have had them spend more time together. I mean he decides to forgo a new career in New York, throws himself at her feet, etc. We should see why he would.
Bridget is an Empowering Character. Or is She?
Bridget is constantly being sexually harassed but does nothing about it.
I know! Look at the little tagline there, it says
“For anyone who’s ever been set up, stood up, or felt up”
And it acts like it is going to be real empowering or something. And is it? No!
Bridget never stands up for herself or does anything about; choosing to just suffer through it. We have her creepy uncle who every time he sees her grabs her butt. Does she tell him off or her parents so they stop inviting him? No. Instead she just lets him continue.
And then when Daniel gropes her in the elevator and says inappropriate comments, does she do anything? No She just lets him do whatever.
And then there is the way that her new job treats her, as breasts and a butt.
What kind of message is that saying, especially since it is “based” on a character who is renowned for the beauty of her wit?
I mean I’m not asking her to go all out like this:
I’m just asking for her to stand up for herself.
Where Oh Where is the Witticism?
Where is the wit? Elizabeth was a great character who always put her two cents in.
In this Bridget is made to be more of one who never thinks but just spouts off the first thing that pops in her head.
If only people followed this advice.
She is nothing like who she is based on at all.
Why Does Bridget Continue to Believe Daniel?
Why does Bridget go on believing Daniel after she finds out that he is a big fat liar?
Daniel tells Bridget this story about how Mark Darcy slept with his fiancé, being the nail in the coffin of hate. But then we find out that Daniel is a a liar and was not only cheating on Bridget, but she is the other woman.
Yes, he was in a relationship the whole time and leading Bridget on with no intention of ever having it be more. Then when Bridget quits, we discover that Daniel had been keeping Bridget from moving ahead as he wanted to keep her to dabble in.
Why does she think anything he said is the truth? When I found out my ex cheated in me I was really angry:
But it also made me question everything he did and said. Why wasn’t it the same for her? I mean in the book Elizabeth doesn’t find out that Wickham is a liar until Darcy reveals what he did. And as soon as she sees him again, she lets him know that his drivel isn’t welcome here.
Why Did They Have Her Parents Separate?
I really don’t understand why the film has the mother and father split up. It doesn’t really enhance the plot or create growth for the characters. I mean the only thing it “adds” is that with the mom out of the way the truth about Daniel’s lie isn’t given until the end. I also didn’t like that she comes home on Christmas and everything is okay, the parents are back together. There isn’t even an emotional payoff in that.
Why Would Darcy Read Bridget’s Diary?
So Bridget leaves Mark downstairs while she changes out of her embarrassing underwear. She tells him to make himself comfortable and read some magazines and he reads her diary.
Really? I do not see Mark ever doing something like that when he has other options. He’s just not that type of guy at all.
And her running after him in the snow with no pants or coat. Yeah right, she would freeze before she met up with him.
Bridget’s Friends are Atrocious
Bridget’s friends are awful.
All they do is give horrible advice or make the situation worse.
Where is level-headed and realistic Charlotte?
Where is the kind, caring, always seeing the good Jane?
We have Tom who makes the situation worse, bringing the fight into the restaurant and the wait staff out; Shazzer who just complains and places all kinds of doubts in Bridget’s mind; and the other friend who just cries all the time.
No thank you.
So I haven’t read the book, (maybe I will like that better), but as for this film, except for a few good moments, I just don’t see why people like it. I don’t like it.
What are you thinking? What are you feeling? What have we done to each other? What will we do?
So I am just stating here and now that I will not reveal the end of this movie. It is a great piece of work, with an amazing twist that you must see or read (the book) for yourself. Since it is still out in theaters I do not want to ruin anything for the potential viewer. That being said:
So the book this film is based on came out in 2012 and I was really intrigued by it. I added it to my to-read list and planned on getting around to it. But you readers know how that is.
So yeah, I hadn’t gotten around to it. However, that all changed this summer. I told you in a previous post that I journeyed out to Wyoming for an internship. There wasn’t a lot to do in the town, and the other interns and I mostly hung out on the weekends. We talked about what there was to do, which was mostly reading or netflixing. (I don’t have netflix so I Amazon Instant Watch or putlocker things). Anyways, one of the interns, Gwen, hadn’t brought anything with her and was asking about where to purchase books. I had brought my kindle and was fine (until it broke). I told her the library was out as I had found out to get a card I would have to pay $20.
Then I remembered! There was a bookstore in town called “The Newstand“. But shortly after we arrived it went out of business.
Yep. I think the only place left in town you could to get books were the Walgreens or the Walmart. They had two thrift stores in town, one was only clothes, the other furniture. It was very different from anyplace I’d lived before.
Anyways, so one week Gwen starts talking about this book she just bought (I don’t know where. Now that I think about it, I’m not sure I ever asked her.) She told us it was Gone Girl. Immediately I was intrigued as I had really wanted to borrow it. I asked for the book and finished it in one day. It was that good.
The book is a mystery/suspense/horror. The way it is told is really interesting as it goes back and forth between the present and the past. In the present Nick Dunne’s is trying to figure out and cope with his wife Amy’s disappearance. The past is revealed to us through Amy’s journal, as she details the everything prior to her disappearance. It was an interesting book as it has the same unsettling qualities as Catcher in the Rye or Alias Grace. In Catcher in the Rye, the main character, Holden Caulfield, admits to the reader that he is a liar, leaving one unsure of what in the book is real, and what is a child’s fantasy. Margaret Atwood, author of Alias Grace, does a similar thing in her novel. There are no quotations marks put around the dialogue, leaving the reader very uncertain as to what was said and what was only in the character’s minds. Just like Holden, Grace Marks leaves us wondering if she is really telling the truth?
Gone Girl isn’t exactly written that way, but it does have some similarities. With Nick, he is described as being somewhat of an a***hole (his word not mine) and having a face that makes himself always look as if he is lying. He is too good looking and charming that you don’t want to trust him (the characters joke that his chin causes you to not trust him.) As you read his accounts you start wondering if there is more than he is telling the reader. You feel as if he is hiding something from you, even though it is told in first person. It makes you wonder what is he hiding? What are his secrets?
And then you have Amy. Everything we hear is from what she wrote in a journal. But is it the truth? After all a journal is where you release your emotions. Sometimes you exaggerate or write things down that you would never do, just because it helps destress you. As I mentioned before it is a release. Besides that you don’t write everything down in a journal. After all, that is a lot of work. Most of the time you write down the things that made you upset or happy; never giving the whole picture but a moment. Just a moment. It’s selective in memory. So that begs the question: how much of it can we take as fact? How much is fiction?
So one day I was at the movie theater watching Expendables III. The film finished and I contemplated sneaking in to see another film, but unfortunately the theater I was at was very small (four screens) and the ticket seller and I had had an actual conversation, so he would remember me. Along with that, my “California-ness” showed very strongly as everyone told that I looked very “different” from Wyoming girls.
Yeah I don’t understand it either
So instead I called a cab for a ride home and waited around until it came. As I was waiting, I started watching the screen that showed trailers for upcoming films. I saw one for The Equalizer, but it didn’t really strike me as a “must-see”. After that the trailer for Gone Girl came up.
I didn’t even know that they were turning the book into a film!!! Fantastic!!! Then I saw the cast list. As you know from an earlier post, I love Ben Affleck. I knew he would be a perfect Nick. Rosamund Pike was great as Jane in Pride and Prejudice (2005) and I was interested to see how she would do this role. I thought Neil Patrick Harris was a great choice as Amy’s ex, as everything I have ever seen him in he has conquered. The only thing I was unsure about was Tyler Perry. But to be honest, any time I see him not playing Madea, it’s a little strange. Anyways, I became excited for the film and couldn’t wait to see it.
And as I mentioned before it was pretty incredible.
Take note Hollywood
What was great about the film was that they followed the book pretty consistently. There are a few changes, but not enough to make you want to string up the director by his thumbs. On a whole the changes didn’t really hurt the film at all. I thought it was amazing how they handled the flashbacks, narrations, and journal entries. I would definitely read the book along with the movie as it has more detail and little things that can’t transfer over to film. I do give one warning though. If you want to be surprised DO NOT READ THE BOOK. The book has this amazing twist, about halfway through, and a killer end. It was a great shock when you read it, but not so much the second time encountering it on the screen. I mean you already know it, so while the rest of the audience is oohing and ahhing over it, you’re just chilling there thinking, knew it.
So if you truly, truly want to be surprised. I would wait to read the book until after seeing the film.
So I’m just going to do a partial review, as I really, really don’t want to spoil too much for anybody.
It is the day of the Dunne’s five-year anniversary. And Nick is not very happy.
You see life hasn’t been a bed of roses for the Dunnes. Nick is from a little town; North Carthage, Missouri. He went to college and moved to New York, and began writing for a magazine. He met Amy at a party and the two later married…but bliss did not last long. He lost his job due to downsizing as the economy tanked. His father is crazy and in a home where he constantly escapes from. And his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Immediately, hearing the news of his mother, he and Amy move back to his hometown much to her displeasure.
Now the relationship was already strained, but after moving to Missouri it becomes much worse. Amy is a New Yorker born and bred and doesn’t do well with places that are not New York.
That particular morning, Nick heads over to the bar that he bought with his twin sister Margot, and the two contemplate what would be a good anniversary present. 5 years is wood, “and there’s nothing good from that.” When Nick heads home, he receives the biggest shock of his life.
His house is a mess and his wife is missing.
He can’t find her and doesn’t know where she might be. He calls the police and later, her parents. They team up and begin commercials, signs, news reports, trying to find Amy. Ben Affleck did an amazing job at this role.
But some people don’t think that he’s quite so innocent. Some suspect he might have killed her. Things become espechially sticky when they discover the broken in area was staged, and a lot of blood was spilled and then cleaned up afterwards. Did he have something to do with his wife’s disappearance? Did he kill her? Is he innocent? If he is innocent, than what happened to her? Where can she be?
We are first introduced to Amy through her journal. Amy is the daughter of authors. Her parents wrote the best-selling series called Amazing Amy. Their main character is perfect and excels at every hobby. Especially things that Amy has failed at. Amy resents the books, but they have made her famous and a major spot in the limelight.
Amy is beautiful, charming, witty, etc. The “perfect” woman.
She writes personality quizzes for magazines for a living. I know some of you out there might think that’s a bit strange, but let’s face it…she has a major trust fund. She meets Nick at a “writer” party one night, and after that the two are hooked. They get married and have a few great years, but things start going downhill once Nick loses his job. He becomes someone that she doesn’t know.
She hates Missouri. Nick thrives, but it makes her feel like she is choking. Then things in the marriage start to get even worse…Or does it? Is Nick really as cruel as Amy paints him? Or are the writings in the journal just the exaggerations of an unhappy, displaced person?
Did Amy leave by her own choice? Or was she taken by force? But most importantly, where is Amy?
The supporting characters are just as great as Affleck and Pike. Carrie Coon is perfect as Margot as she is really able to capture twin sister needling brother, and being supremely protective of him. Kim Dickens is an amazing Detective Rhonda Boney, the homicide officer assigned to the case. She seems all midwestern, laid-back, easygoing, charm; but she has a real brain in her head and is highly observant. Neil Patrick Harris steals scenes, as he plays Desi Collings, Amy’s ex and possible kidnapper. And then we have Tyler Perry, rounding out the cast as Tanner Bolt. I never would have picked him for the part as he is radically different, but he does a great job as being one of those shark lawyers after the big-name cases.
And is has an awesome twist that I will not reveal as you all should definitely watch/read for yourself.
Where is Amy? What Happened to Her? Visit Your Local Theater to Find Out.
On the 10th Day ’til Christmas my blogger gave to me
A Jane Austen Birthday Wish!
For those of you who don’t know, today is Jane Austen’s birthday. If she was alive today, she would be 237 years old. I know it’s not a Christmas-y movie, but what kind of Austenite would I be if I completely ignored the fact that it is her birthday on my blog?
Jane Austen was an amazing woman who faced all kinds of adversary. Her father was a minister, and while well off to begin with, they ended up losing most of their money living in poverty. She fell in love with a high class man, and wanted to marry him; but his family intervened and sent him away. She was given another opportunity to marry a wealthy man that would have saved her and her family from destitution, but she couldn’t marry him. She continued to wait for her true love; although he never walked back into her life. Her first book she ever wrote, Northanger Abbey (then called Lady Susan) was published post-mortem. Her second novel and the most famous, Pride and Prejudice, was turned down several times before being published. In fact, it was published after she wrote her third novel, Sense and Sensibility.
Austen wrote not only great stories that have stood the test of time, but wrote about real issues and her more radical thoughts/philosophies, that wouldn’t be as easily accepted if spoken in person. In Northanger Abbey, we are all delighted as the main character is someone we can easily connect to. We all feel like Catherine at times in our lives, hoping that we will have an adventure and meet a dashing hero.
This idea of a girl wanting the life of a novel, and ending up living one is later used and recycled in films such as Romancing the Stone. Austen also pokes fun at all the social graces and little customs one must abide by, even though they are silly. It is a satire on societal rules and the gothic novel itself. However, it is a great book and one of Austen’s favorites.
Pride and Prejudice has so many things that are amazing to it. First of all parts of it are taken from her own life-a middle class woman falling for a high class man. Unfortunately she didn’t get the same ending. But Pride and Prejudice has such wit and wonderful lines; there is a reason why it is referenced in everything, has had a ton of movies and TV shows, spinoffs, vlogs, blogs, etc. I love it because the characters are so real. Elizabeth and Darcy are everywhere in the world. I’m a Darcy myself; every time I read it I always feel for him. But more on our shared traits later. I’m also an Elizabeth, they way she treats Darcy and others, when reading that its like looking into a mirror.
Emma, well I already stated that she and I have a lot alike. Sister’s amor hating you, a guy who won’t stop following you around. In my case 3), a friend who has a trifecta of boys rejecting her, deciding to become a spinster, and has meddled in friend’s love lives…need I go on? There are probably many of you out there who have had similar experiences. Not only that, but Jane Austen was able to share her own ideas of spinsterhood and how being a spinster who could care for one self (like Jane was able to in her writing) was nothing to look down on or pity. Austen said she was going to make a character that only she would love, but Emma has become beloved by all. Just like her modern counterpart, Cher from Clueless, there is something about that girl that is just lovable.
Mansfield Park, while it isn’t my favorite is still a great read. We see a woman, although she is meek and timid through most of the novel, isn’t afraid to say no to a “a good thing”. *Spoiler Alert stop reading now if you haven’t read the book* When Henry Crawford asks her to marry him, even though he is rich and could save her family from destitution, she says no. She holds out for her number one, even when threatened to be kicked out of the Bertram house. Very Austonian there. She even continues to be kind and nice to all around her, even though they constantly use and abuse her. She is a true heroine, very Uncle Tom, never turning to hate or anger.
I know I could never do that; Aunt Norris would have been punched in the eye already.
But Fanny continues to be good, and when everyone else’s lives fall apart; she is there to help all pick up the pieces. The whole guy being blinded by the wrong girl, is also very real, I’ve had two friends like that.
Sense and Sensibility, deals with the line between expression. I liked how there is the question of whether too much of either is bad and how much does one need? We have Marianne full of sensibilities, wearing her heart on her sleeve; but we see this gets her into trouble as she expresses too much, before anything is promised to her.
Elinor, expresses nothing, being purely intellectual and sensible; but this causes her to almost lose the man she loves.
While both sisters are the best of friends; their extremes cause the other to never fully know their sister. Marianne can never see what Elinor is feeling and makes all these assumptions about a “frozen” heart. Elinor on the other hand, never imagines that Marianne has any sense as she assumes she is solely governed by feelings. I liked how the sisters were never privy to each others complete secrets as I feel this is realistic. I can see myself and my sister in these.
Persuasion, is one of the saddest novels that Austen wrote, because even though it ends happily it was pure wish fulfillment. *Spoiler Alert stop reading now if you haven’t read the book* Anne is persuaded by her friend to not marry her love. He ends up leaving but returns, and after a series of misunderstandings the two are reunited. Austen always hoped that her love would return just like Captain Wentworth, but he never did.
She also uses a strong irony in this as Anne was rich when she turned down poor Wentworth, but when he returns Anne is poor and Wentworth rich. I simply love this book because it seems so real, how the characters react and treat each other are the emotions they actually would. Austen also does a great line about women being portrayed as a “femme fatale” so often as men are the writers of these novels; therefore the view is biased. Great book to check out.
Austen lived only 42 years, but changed the history of the novel with her great works. She has changed my life and I hope you give her a chance to influence yours. Happy Birthday Jane!
Now to tie this into Christmas:
“The very first day that [James] Morland came to us last Christmas–the very first moment I beheld him–my heart was irrecoverably gone.”
-Northanger Abbey, pg 142
“I sincerely hope your Christmas in Hertfordshire may abound in the gaieties which the season generally brings…”
-Pride and Prejudice, pg 122
“I remember last Christmas…he danced from eight o’clock to four, without once sitting down.”
Sense and Sensibility, pg 30
“If they were at home to grace the ball, a ball you would have this very Christmas.”
-Mansfield Park, pg 262
“At Christmas every body invites their friends and thinks little of even the worst weather.”
-Emma, pg 97
“On one side was a table occupied by chattering girls, cutting up silk and gold paper; and on the other were tressels and trays, bending under the weight of brawn and cold pies, where riotous boys were holding high revel; the whole completed by a roaring Christmas fire…”