There really isn’t all that much to this film, which is loosely based on the life of Jane Austen, it is watchable but not memorable. The film amps up the real-life flirtation between Austen and Tom Lefroy to turn it into a full blown romance, with elopement and other such excitements thrown in. There may be some who are annoyed by the historical inaccuracies, I didn’t really care. However, knowing it was based on Jane Austen’s life means that there really was no point in the whole “will they won’t they” drama. You can’t keep an audience guessing when they know the ending.
Apart from that I found the first half of this film quite slow. Hathaway didn’t have the personality or screen presence to engage, and McAvoy was far too believable as the rogue to ever repent. And then there is the fact that Lefroy is Irish, and so obviously one of the “evil English invaders” oppressing Ireland, so he was never going to be in my good books ;) Watching a romance between two characters that you don’t really like, and when you know the ending, isn’t really all that great. I did enjoy Fox’s Mr Wisley though, Jane should’ve chosen him from the beginning. Would have made far more sense.
I also had a bit of a problem with the whole love story. Once Lefroy tells Jane that Show Spoiler ▼
The second half was an improvement, but it didn’t blend properly with the beginning. The whole film felt unbalanced, as though they weren’t sure whether this was to be a light-hearted romance or a sad tale of unrequited love. But on the plus side the costumes were pretty, and every thing looked nice.