Pride and Prejudice project: Jane Bennet
I know you probably expected me to do Mr.Darcy next, but I decided to keep him for later since I’m not sure yet which version of the character I like best. I’m hoping that, by the time I get to him, we will have seen more of the TheLBD’s Darcy so I can have more material to work with. Right now, let’s talk about Jane Bennet, shall we. This time, I have four actresses to talk about. Jane was played by Susannah Harker in the 1995 series, Rosamund Pike ine the 2005 movie, Morven Christie in Lost in Austen and, most recently, Laura Spencer in TheLBD. By the way, there are spoilers in this, for Lost in Austen as well as P&P.
Like I did with Lizzie, let’s start with the physical side. Jane Bennet is described to be the prettiest girl in the county, so the actress who plays her has to be very good looking. I always thought that Susannah Harker wasn’t pretty enough for the part. She’s not even the prettiest one of the Bennet sisters. Morven Christie fits the part better, but I find Rosamund and Laura to be prettier. They are both handsome girls and they have a sweetness to them that’s just perfect for the part of Jane.
I think that Lost in Austen didn’t get Jane’s personality at all. Jane is a sweet, naïve girl who can never think wrong of anyone, yet they make her get angry at Amanda for keeping her from marrying Collins? I really don’t think Jane would get mad for that! She would find a way to think that Amanda was right to do it… and probably be thankful that she didn’t have to marry Collins. Of course, it’s not Morven’s fault, the movie was written that way, so I don’t blame her. Still, I really didn’t like her Jane because of that.
Susannah and Rosamund’s Jane I really liked. I think that they are both true to the book and the only reason I prefer Rosamund over Susannah is really just because of her beauty. Laura’s Jane, I absolutely adore! She is so sweet it’s almost sickening, she has the most beautiful smile and I just want to hug her so bad when she is sad about Bing Lee (Bingley). There is one thing that bugs me, though: Jane is supposed to be a very secretive person who doesn’t show her emotions a lot, which is an essential thing, since that’s what pushes Darcy to pull Bingley away from her. In TheLBD, Jane actually is very secretive in front of Bing and the others, but she shows the entire internet how she actually feels and even actually says that she likes him in one of the vlogs. I just really don’t think that someone who doesn’t show her feelings easily to the man she loves would showcase them so freely on her sister’s vlog.
The fact that we do get to see her true emotions makes her that much more adorable and you just completely fall in love with her and want to kick Bing Lee’s butt when he hurts her, but it derives a bit from the book and kind of doesn’t make sense to me. Since I’m not as super strict about staying close to the book as some people, I still love Laura Spencer above all the other Jane Bennet out there, but I know that not everyone will agree with me on that.
So, my opinion is Laura Spencer for the best Jane ever, followed by the beautiful Rosamund Pike, Susannah Harker third and Morven Christie in last place. What do you think about the different Janes? Do you agree with me? Stay tuned as I continue to compare the different versions of other Austen characters. I’m not sure yet if I’m going to do Lydia or Bingley next yet, so if you want to hear about one of them in particular, let me know and I might listen to you!