Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Jane Eyre

(UK/USA, 2011)

This story by Charlotte Brontë has been filmed no less than twenty-two times, all the way back to 1914. Somehow, I was able to avoid every one of them until now, so I won’t be comparing it to past performances. This is a beautiful production, great photography, great acting, great adaptation. But it’s still a gothic romance, and I’m afraid that’s a genre that holds few attractions for me, whether it’s high-class stuff like this, or Wuthering Heights (which I really didn’t like) or the garbage of the Twilight series of books and movies. Don’t get me wrong, this is a very good movie and I’m glad I saw it, but I just always sit there grumbling: “What is it she sees in Heathcliff/Rochester/Cullen?” Dark, brooding guys without any attraction I can discern other than good looks. I’ve concluded it’s a girl thing (though of course there are plenty of non-gay men who do enjoy this sort of thing). The stories just don’t pluck a chord in my Y chromosome. Plus, with this one, every time I hear the word “Rochester,” my mind supplies the next line: “Comin’, Mistah Benny!”