I was completely heartbroken when I discovered Netflix removed one of my all time favorite (and most watched) films, Austenland. I was going to order it online, and then I remembered that wonderful thing called digital download. So earlier today I downloaded it on iTunes, and immersed myself back into Jane Haye's world. And as I finished it, I walked away with a different feeling- a reminder of what I discovered upon watching it for the first time.
There Are Others!!
I've never been what one would call a "casual" fan of anything. If I'm interested in something I have to be obsessive over it, or I don't waste my time with liking it at all. So how refreshing it is to watch a movie like Austenland and be reminded I'm not alone in my fan-girl ways!
I personally find those of us who are engaged in fandom culture always find more value out of the interest than others do, because we immerse ourselves in it. Despite the straits Jane gets herself into in the film, I can safely say most Janeites would give anything to live in Austen's world for a little while. It gives us fandom culture fanatics clarity to see we're not alone in our indulgence, and it's nothing to be embarrassed about.
Gentlemen Still Exist
My favorite thing about this film, like most, is just the very presence of Mr. Nobly. When I first watched it I knew that Martin was full of crap and that Henry was the real hero. Because while Martin enticed Jane with his modern attitude and causality, Henry won her with his gentleman like manner (the part where he kisses the palm of her hand has me swooning every time).
Sometimes the phrase "chivalry is dead" can feel sadly true. But this film reminds us that true gentleman still exist in modern life. They're few and far in between, but they stand out in a crowd, so finding them may be easier than you think.
It's Okay to Indulge Your Fantasies
Granted, not to the point of having a cardboard cutout of Mr. Darcy in your living room (dreamy as he may be). But sometimes its nice to dream about your ideal romance, even to lose yourself in the imagination for a while. As long as you can keep from confusing ideals with reality, you should be left to your fantasizing with a large cup of tea and your chosen book/film ready to be dived into!
Love Really Can be "Straightforward and Lasting"
The final scene with Henry and Jane is one of the best in the whole film. Henry's line about how the regency had such a simplicity about life really hit home to me. In particular, where he said "things like love are straightforward and lasting."
I believe most of us dream of only having to fall in love once and that be the person we spend our life with. But modern romance sometimes has a way of trumping out simplicity in love, and replacing it with confusion and uncertainty. Many feel its nearly impossible to achieve lasting relationships.
But the truth is love should be simple and straightforward. It's the people that make it more complicated than it should be. While it may take some of us a few tries before we hit the right nail on the head, once you find that love, you have to embrace it. I adore how in this film, when Henry realized he loved Jane, he didn't waste any time and made it known. Some of us may not be so bold to board a plane and fly across the pacific to do so, but the idea is there.
What do you think about Austenland? Did you gain a new perspective after watching it? Let me know in the comments below!