UPDATE: Congrats to June and Patty on being the winners of GOING FOR IT!! Please message me (MarilynBrant@gmail.com) with the best email address to send your PDF copy of the story. And many thanks to everyone who took the time to comment!! 😀
Do you love films based on Jane Austen’s work or life, well, then you’ll love our theme this month. Grab your popcorn and a soda! It’s time for Movies in May!
Films inspired by Austen’s novels and characters, or those that play upon her most recognizable themes, dot the cinematic landscape and add a dash of Austenesque delight to viewers watching for her influence…
I’ve been waiting — and, I’ll admit, somewhat impatiently — for this month’s blog theme!
It’s no secret that I’m a movie junkie. And while I love with a passion the various adaptations made of our beloved Jane’s original stories, I get a deep satisfaction whenever I come across unexpected sources of Austen’s influence.
When I first saw “The Lake House” (2006), starring Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves, I was stunned by the far-from-subtle nod to Persuasion. (So much so that this book is the heroine’s favorite novel in the film!) But even with a plot that doesn’t resemble the relationship between Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth in any direct manner, the writers, directors, and producers of this beautifully romantic movie imbued it with the Austenesque themes of waiting…and trust…and patience…and the desperate hope for second chances…
If you’re not familiar with the story, here’s a quick summary of the plot: “A lonely doctor (Sandra Bullock), who once lived in a beautiful lakeside home, falls in love via letters with its latest resident, a frustrated architect (Keanu Reeves). When they discover that they are living two years apart, the pair must unravel the mystery behind their incredible romance.”
For those of you who have seen it, what did you think of the story? Without revealing any spoilers, I must confess that the first time I watched the film, I was in a state of suspenseful anxiety for most of that 1 hour and 39 minutes. 😀 This was, for me, a story I enjoyed all the more on my second, third, and fourth viewing!!
The more comedic and, yet, still very philosophic film, “The Rewrite” (2014), starring Hugh Grant and Marisa Tomei, was a delightful surprise. My mom was the one who first alerted me to its release. She’d seen a TV interview of Grant doing some promo for the film, and they showed a clip from a scene where he references Austen in a humorous but not so flattering manner. Needless to say, I was intrigued by her description and I had to see it for myself!
Here’s a bit of background on this movie: “A washed-up screenwriter (Hugh Grant) reluctantly takes a college teaching job and meets a single mother (Marisa Tomei) who changes his life in more ways than one.”
I’ve loved these leads in many prior films for their onscreen likability and their stellar comic timing, but what I appreciated most about this movie was its genuine understanding of life’s “Third Act” — a time when we realize we have the option of shifting into a different state of our own adulthood. This element not only infused what might have been a very light rom-com with added depth, but I couldn’t help but feel that Jane herself — had she lived into her late-forties, early-fifties, or beyond — would have approved of this particular lesson in human nature. Anyone else have first impressions of the film to share?
Aspiring singer-songwriter Tina Marie Moran has vowed to leave Sapphire Falls for Nashville this week — she’s put her music dreams on hold for long enough. But between her loving but meddlesome relatives and friends, a broken heart that’s in desperate need of mending, and a handsome stranger who can play her body like a virtuoso lead guitarist, she may find herself engulfed in a new passion that’s as strong as her love of music.
If you love small-town characters, creative songwriting, and whirlwind romance, I hope you’ll give this story a try! And, just for fun & because I love the readers here (!!), I’ll give away 2 PDF copies of GOING FOR IT to 2 commenters on this post! 🙂 Open internationally, and the winners will be chosen at noon Central Time on Monday the 23rd. (If you win on Monday and already have a copy of this novella, I’ll substitute with another one of my ebooks!)
Happy weekend, everybody!!