Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Becoming Jane...and the four millisecond rule

I've just gotten home from watching "Becoming Jane". Lovely film, even though it was a bit odd to see one of the current villains in "24" as Jane's loving father. Casting was excellent, with only an occasional vowel of Anne Hathaway's giving her away. And very brave of Hollywood to go for the (look away now) unhappy ending.

In the film, Jane is in love with Tom LeFroy, a young barrister dependent on his uncle's purse. They decide to run off together, but Jane thinks better of it when she realises that Tom sends his parents a share of the allowance he stands to lose if they marry.

But leaving the angst aside for the moment, let's go to the delightful scene reminiscent of the ball scene from the definitive "Pride and Prejudice" from 1995 (Colin Firth, a man I wouldn't kick out of my bed for eating jam doughnuts), where the sexual tension was so intense, I snapped open my fan. In this film, Jane and Tom, each with other partners, meet in a diagonal cross during a country dance.

Reading between the lines, here's how I reckon the conversation *really* went:

Jane and Tom see eachother - their eyes widen, they blush, they grin like hyenas.

Jane: Tom! How lovely to see you!
Tom: Jane...why, you know, I never noticed what a lovely bosom you have.
Jane: Yes, this housekeeper really knows how to fit one into a corset. But, love, I have never noticed you breaking the four millisecond rule before.
Tom (blushing): Well, my darling, we do, actually. We're terribly beastly. I just didn't want you to catch me're the one woman whose good opinion ever mattered...
Jane (blushing): Well, now that you mention it...
Tom: Yes, my sweet?
Jane: I've been looking too. And those trousers...
Tom: Yes?
Jane: Well, I expect you'd have a hard time finding the proper size cricket box...and...
Tom: Why, Jane! Such hidden depths. And...
Jane: That coat makes your bum look fabulous.
Tom: Why, darling, it's getting warm in here. And my heart is beating faster... would you consider...
Jane: Yes?
Tom: Spending your life with me?
Jane: Well...
Tom: I'll have £2500 a year.
Jane: Ah. In my novel, "First Impressions", Mr Bingley has £5000. Mr Darcy, £10,000.
Tom: I see. A bit of pride and prejudice over my situation, perhaps?
Jane: (Thoughtful silence) Those figures are a bit excessive. I can dispose of myself for £2500 and affection.
Tom: Such sense and sensibility...shall we, my love?
Jane: Indeed.

I hope I've convinced you with my powers of persuasion.

*The four millisecond rule states that every man, straight or gay, looks at a woman's chest for four milliseconds on meeting her. Breaking the four millisecond rule means staring for five milliseconds or longer.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Whereas you may not have convinced me to see the film, I do think your dialogue has a more honest or realistic touch or feel - which is what they'd both be doing sooner or later if you were in charge... oops!