My visual entertainment swung between two extremes over the weekend: first The Wolf Of Wall Street, with Leonardo Di Caprio snorting cocaine out of a hooker’s butt crack, then Austenland, with Kerri Russell visiting a Jane Austen theme park in search of her real-life Mr Darcy.
The Austenland viewing was prompted by inhaling the book, by Shannon Hale, on my flight back from Brisbane a few weeks ago. Austenland is pretty much perfect chick lit, which suits me right down to the ground at the moment. I tried reading What is The What by Dave Eggers, about a Sudanese refugee, but it was so depressing. I decided I needed to lighten up for a while.
Austenland is such a fun read, I recommend it if you can handle that sort of fluffy stuff (I know a lot of my followers can’t).
Here’s the prologue …
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a thirty-something woman in possession of a satisfying career and fabulous hairdo must be in want of very little, and Jane Hayes, pretty enough and clever enough, was certainly thought to have little to distress her. There was no husband, but those weren’t necessary anymore. There were boyfriends, and if they came and went in a regular stream of mutual dissatisfaction—well, that was the way of things, wasn’t it?
But Jane had a secret. By day, she bustled and luncheoned and emailed and over timed and just-in-timed, but sometimes, when she had the time to slip off her consignment store pumps and lounge on her hand-me-down sofa, she dimmed the lights, turned on her nine inch television, and acknowledged what was missing.
Sometimes, she watched Pride and Prejudice.
You know, the BBC double DVD version, starring Colin Firth as the delicious Mr. Darcy and that comely, busty English actress as the Elizabeth Bennet we had imagined all along. Jane watched and re-watched the part where Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy look at each other over the piano, and there’s that zing, and her face softens, and he smiles, his chest heaving as though he’d breathe in the sight of her, and his eyes are glistening so that you’d almost think he’d cry…Ah!
It was embarrassing. She didn’t really want to talk about it. So let’s move on.
Austenland the movie wasn’t quite as successful for me as the book. The plot was vastly different for one thing and I didn’t really fancy Mr Nobley, the romantic lead (played by some guy called JJ Field). Mind you, Bret McKenzie from The Conchords* played the hunky gardener (above) and he was very easy on the eye, but his acting was a teensy bit dodgy.
Still, it passed the time on a chilly night.
The Wolf of Wall Street, on the other hand … I don’t think I could handle the book. I had to tackle the movie in three parts because it was so full-on.
So much debauchery. It was sad. And kind of startling that they survived all those drugs. But mainly sad.
Here’s the basic plot, just in case you’ve been hiding under a rock and missed it, via The Guardian: “It is based on the memoirs of crooked broker Jordan Belfort who during the 1980s and 90s enjoyed unlimited amounts of sports cars, drugs and prostitutes, paid for by millions of dupes and dopes buying his fraudulently inflated stocks.”
He doesn’t show one single bit of remorse for any of the wrongdoing. What is it with some people? Remorse is my middle name, I’d be lost without it.
And all the sports cars, French champagne and mansions in the world wouldn’t be worth the soul staining involved.
The movie was crammed with nudity and sex, but I didn’t find it titiallating at all. If I had to choose between the wild partying in The Wolf Of Wall Street and the flirty anticipation of a Jane Austen movie/mini-series, give me the Jane Austen movie/mini-series any day.
I think it’s a girl thing: all that unresolved sexual tension. When the lead characters finally kiss … phwoar …
While Colin Firth in Pride and Prejudice got me through the sleep deprivation and night feeds with my first child, it was Jeremy Northam in Emma who stole my heart. Oh how I loved him in that movie. So freaking gorgeous and funny. (Tip: make me laugh and I’m hooked.)
As for finding a Colin or a Jeremy in real life, I’m not looking for the fairytale. Too cynical. Though not quite so cynical that I’d EVER want to attend a party at Jordan Belfort’s house …
Besides, fairytales are for kids, not middle-aged women.
Song of the day: Savage Garden “Truly, madly, deeply”
BONUS TRACK: The Conchords “Business time” (because that’s more like real life …)