I was 13 years old in 2007, when Becoming Jane hit the theaters.
At the time, I was a recent convert to all things Regency England, which for the most part, was a very wholesome time in history to be obsessed with, yet not everything about this period was so innocent. I was an awkward, introverted nerdgirl with a penchant for thick books and a weakness for British accents and big blue eyes (“Ha – glad THAT phase of my life is over,” she wrote in her Pride & Prejudice t-shirt.)
The cultural modesty was familiar to me, and empire waisted fashion led me to Regency England, but I stayed for the smooth-talking, Mr. Darcy-esque Tom Lefroy (played in the film by James McAvoy.) It was the first time a fictional character made me sit up and think to myself Where do I find him?
I feel it’s important to mention that, as good-looking as the actor is, my infatuation lies specifically with this character. A man who was, at first rude and insufferable and arrogant, but later let down his walls to reveal wit and charm. (That being said, if James McAvoy is sitting at home just being single I am relying on the powers of the Internet to put this love letter in his face so that he knows about my existence.)
I mean just look at that smirk.
LOOK AT IT.
My definition of an honest-to-god, true blue crush was was born out of a very specific scene that took place, where else? In a library.
Books and intelligence and wit were very important parts of my attraction to this character. In the scene, Jane Austen, played by Anne Hathaway, engages in a very scintillating conversation with Tom LeFroy that leaves me breathless even to this day.
Up until this point, most of the movies I’d seen had been for kids and teens. And the boys in those films were cute and all, but they weren’t him. This was NO scene for a child, not because it was terribly salacious, but because I’m sure most youths who watched it were bored out of their minds. Discussions about old, dry books written by dead people?
To everyone but ME. Sign me up for an intellectually stimulating library banter any day. Such conversations make me swoon.