Jane Austen's final completed novel has always been the one that broke my heart the most, and is among my very favorites. Tonight I made the mistake of watching the 2007 BBC adaptation, which is the first time I've seen any of the "Persuasion" films. I had sort of avoided it before, but my boss, knowing how stressed I've been with our big annual event (which went quite well today), sent me home after with a stack of DVDs and instructions to take a couple days, get drunk, and watch the lot. She didn't have to tell me twice.
We had discovered our mutual adoration of all things Jane during a work conference we attended about a month ago in DC, so most of the stack is comprised of BBC adaptations. "Persuasion" was the first I watched -- I've only just finished -- and it may have ruined me for the others. It didn't quite turn me into a blubbering idiot, but almost. It's far too easy to identify with both of them, really, but probably Captain Wentworth all the more. Perhaps all I have to do now is get rich...
It's easy to believe that Austen may have tried to live through her novels, with all those happy endings to the stories of broken hearts. And it's a cold reminder that reality is often very different from the happy endings we imagine or hope for, when Austen herself died an "old maid".
I thoroughly enjoyed this adaptation, with the exception of the meaningful looks that Anne Elliott would sometimes give the audience by looking directly into the camera. They were disconcerting and incongruous. Apparently I'll not learn from my mistakes tonight, though -- on to the next!