For those of you who haven’t already seen it, some LA Mormon girls have made a hilarious and so far fake trailer for Jane Austen’s Fight Club.
Now this is deeply satisfying; I don’t deny it. Everyone wants to see proper young ladies kick ass. Time period is not important, but the more proper, the more ass they obviously have to kick. (See: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, obviously Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Kill Bill – does she count as proper? – and so on and so on.) I’m tempted, naturally, to make a list of other movies Jane Austen could be inserted into, for copyright-ambiguous fun and profit. The Matrix: Jane Austen Reloaded springs to mind.
What about Little Miss Sunshine Bennet? In this quirky romp, the Bennet family drives their falling-apart carriage from Hertfordshire all the way to London just so Mary can compete in a talent competition. Lydia isn’t talking because she wants to join the military [wink wink nudge nudge], and Mr. Collins dies en route, the dirty old man. I think it should do well.
Or, in Eleanor and Marianne’s Excellent Adventure, the two bodacious sisters set out on a time-traveling quest to find sweet rhyme and pure reason, which will save the future universe from annihilation by evil spamlords. Along the way, they pick up a fun set of characters, including Lady Gaga, Stephen Hawking, and Stephen Colbert, all of whom embarrass them immensely. Quite by accident, they do find true love and happiness. Barack Obama advises a gathering at Sir John Middleton’s to be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes!
All of this is very jolly, but I would just like to point something out here. Readers, has or has not Austenacious had a Jane Austen Fight Club column for almost a year now?! Are we owed royalties on this video? Our legal team better get busy!
In the meantime, perhaps our loyal readers could make trailers for our other columns. What Would Jane Do? is clearly a sickeningly sweet romance in which a cynical advice columnist is saved by a long-lost love (probably by falling down a hill). Jane Austen Hates You is probably an indie comedy, possibly about YouTube, MySpace, and all them there Social Networking Sites, hopefully starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel. Ask Mrs. Fitzpatrick sounds like an Agatha Christie to me, and Quote Unquote is clearly the new Bond movie.
Readers, are you game? What other movies mesh well with Austen novels? Or mesh so terribly badly they just have to go?
P.S. Jane Austen’s Army of Darkness! Just saying. . .
I just came back from the mall, yo! That’s what you do when visiting the parental units in New Jersey. (And no, despite having grown up here I most certainly do not say “Joisey,” and I say “mall” not “maaauwl.”) And as I was driving home, I was thinking how appropriate it was that I was contemplating what to say about Michael Thomas Ford’s Jane Bites Back this week. The thing is, it reminded me of reading a Janet Evanovich novel. Evanovich’s main character, Stephanie Plum, is a wise-ass bond hunter in Trenton, New Jersey. While “Jane Fairfax,” the 200-and-something-year-old vampire Jane Austen, doesn’t carry a gun or drop f-bombs, she’s still a wise-ass, as is her sidekick assistant who works at her bookstore in upstate New York.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked up Jane Bites Back. It sounded a bit cheesy, and there are so many mish-mash Jane Austen Meets Whatever Monster of the Week available now that I could have easily lumped it into that long list and never looked back. But I love vampire stories—from the original Dracula by Bram Stoker to Anne Rice’s books to Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Elizabeth Kostova‘s The Historian. When I was a kid, the next door neighbor would invite us over on a hot summer day, close the curtains, and play old radio broadcasts. The scariest ones always had vampires chasing lost people around abandoned castles. Mesmerizing! And now I’m just a little bit wigged out thinking about it.
What was I talking about? Oh yeah . . . vampire stories. I love them; therefore, I had to read Jane Bites Back. This isn’t a typical vampire story. It’s not scary, nor is it graphic with the blood sucking, and thankfully it’s devoid of Twilight-y teen angst. The characters aren’t particularly deep, and I’m sad to say that Jane Fairfax/Jane Austen is one-dimensional. (Single woman hanging out alone drinks red wine and eats lots of chocolate, is that they best you can do to describe the modern Jane Austen, Mr. Ford? Really?) But I found myself wanting to read more, and I laughed at Ford’s descriptions of the current Jane Austen industry. Actually, that’s probably the best part about the book, as I’m equal parts delighted and mortified with the variety of Austen-related crap, er, odds and ends available these days. The author isn’t taking any of this too seriously. Plus, hey, Jane Austen and other literary figures living among us because Lord Byron can’t keep his fangs to himself—I approve!