Last week I watched the 1996 version of Jane Eyre, starring Charlotte Gainsbourg as Jane and William Hurt as Rochester. This is one of my favorite books (read it. I'll lend it to you) and I'm getting excited for the new version to hit only select theaters this weekend. Honestly, I probably won't see it until I can Redbox it, but I'm still excited. I thought this was a great representation, but I found myself mildly dissatisfied.
No one wants to watch two ugly people kiss and fall in love.
Sorry. But I'm right. Why do we go see movies? Because they transport us to another time, another place, another life. Why would we trade for something average? Pointless.
I would never knock the genius of the Bronte sisters. I love the book. I fully recognize that major parts of the theme and storyline are the physical appearances of Jane and Edward, Jane's humble upbringing, the status difference between them, and so on. I know. I get it. In the book it doesn't bother me. I tend to focus so much more on the dialogue, creating less of a mental picture. But when I'm watching the movie I can't help but think....
Is it too much to ask that actors be cast (even if inappropriately) that are attractive? Its so much easier for me to watch. Every romantic garden scene, every lingering glance would be safe from my interrupting thought of "Well this might be more gush-worthy if it wasn't two uncomfortably average-looking people." Does this make me a shallow, entertainment-seeking American? Probably. It would be worth it.