Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Pretty (Ugly) People

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.


  1. Don't you day say a bad word about William Hurt's aesthetics.

    Plus, isn't the whole thing about Jane Eyre that neither of them is particularly good-looking?

  2. Junior year we watched a version in which, not only were they not attractive, there were multiple scenes of awful making out with way too much visible tongue and licking. More attacking than kissing, really. That experience kind of killed the Jane Eyre genre for me.

  3. haha this is fantastic and I completely agree!! That's why they get paid bajillions, because they are attractive. Okay, not always, but still it's a big factor!

  4. @Andy - read more carefully. That's exactly what I said. Doesn't make it any easier to watch.

    @Jeanette - Gross.

    @Hailey - I can always count on you.

  5. What do you mean love is about more than physical attraction? You've just shattered my whole world...

  6. but what about the ugly actors? are we suggesting that ugly people don't deserve to land jobs? (hopped over here from christina's blog, nice to meet you.)