During a recent Facebook discussion in Mr. Darcy’s Extensive Readers, started by Janis Barau regarding the “dryness” of Mr. Darcy’s trousers in the after the lake scene (BBC/Firth version circa 1995), I realized I truly do benefit from my husband’s point of view while watching Jane movies.
Sure, there is a lot of smirking and sarcasm involved, but his view can sometimes bring the characters into sharper focus. I consider my husband to have a lot of Mr. Darcy traits, whether he’ll admit it or not. He’s quiet and shy in social situations, almost to the point of being rude. Many times one of my acquaintances has approached me at a gathering and asked whether he was upset with them or if he wasn’t feeling well. My answer is always, “No, he just doesn’t converse easily with strangers.” And it’s surprising how many people can’t fathom what it’s like for him. Being proclaimed a social butterfly from my 5th grade report card-on, it was difficult for me to understand at first, too.
But back to Darcy and his dry breeches. As discussion of the lake scene progressed, I shared my husband’s take on the whole jump in the lake scene. From his view point, Darcy had just worked out his aggression from Elizabeth’s denial with his fencing instructor, rode in a fury to Pemberley, and just before he must become Master of Pemberley again, jumps in the lake to have a cry. While the scene is generally questioned by viewers as being necessary or not “period” as Janis points out (she notes he most likely would have been skinny-dipping on his own land) from my husband’s view point, it is a needed transition to allow Darcy to mourn his failure.
As a side note, the fencing scene is one of my hubby’s favorites and he has taken to answering me with “tomorrow week” whenever possible. “When is your appointment?” “Tomorrow week.” “When will the honey-do list be complete?” “Tomorrow week.” “When will it really be done?” “Tomorrow month?” You get the idea.
So although watching JA movies with my hubby is done sometimes begrudgingly and always sarcastically, I’ve found it’s brought me closer to Jane’s characters in a way I wouldn’t have if I didn’t try. Despite him calling Bingley “Willy Wonka” and Jane Bennett “Horseface” and despite him never being able to remember that Colonel Brandon and Captain Wentworth are two different people, I would much rather have his viewpoint than not.
Have you watched one of the JA movies with someone who opened you up to another insight? Share in the comments! We’d like to hear about it.
A special thank you goes out to all those significant others that suffer through JA movies. Thank you for indulging our obsession. We still enjoy it, no matter how smart aleck you become. 🙂