This morning I had my ‘now more normal than not’ crying jag before I left the house for work. I told my friend Michael that I feel like Jane in Broadcast News. Every morning before she had to ‘get to it’ professionally, she’d sit down, look at her watch, bawl her eyes out and then stop just as easily to go about her hard-driving, fast-paced day. She was – and is – one of my favorite movie characters. And, as I explained to Michael, men didn’t like her either. I was dying to find some clips from that movie. Unfortunately, there are not many on the internet. I loved Holly Hunter’s Jane so much back in 1987 when the movie came out. I don’t know if I loved her so much because I was like her, or if I became like her because that’s what I wanted to be. She somehow reminded me of a modern day Scarlett O’Hara with substantially less feminine charm and a lot more integrity.
Broadcast News Trailer
I love the scene where she tells her best friend Aaron – who is not unexpectedly in love with her – “I’m beginning to repel people that I’m trying to seduce.” I feel exactly like that now and have for some time. She pulls no punches with a good-looking schmuck (William Hurt) who is as talented as an anchorman and showman as he is at evading the truth. Jane, even though she abhors all that he stands for, falls madly in love with him anyway. She’s a girl underneath it all. I remember thinking she was so absurdly adorable in the dress she wore on their date. She didn’t know how to inhabit a girly dress, and she clomped around like a horse in a pasture. I’ve often felt that way myself, and I choose more sophisticated styles because I feel like I look like an imposter in really feminine clothes.
One of the funniest scenes in the movie is when Aaron – her co-worker and friend – finds out that she’s probably in love with Tom. He has a rather large stake in this because he’s in love with her. But, instead of telling her up front, he tells her that “Tom, while he’s a really nice guy, is really …. the devil.” He has a great argument which you can see on the Hulu clip below. I quite enjoyed re-watching it today. I often tell friends they are the devil when they tempt me with something, and I add Aaron’s logic that the devil is not really going to show up with horns and a red suit. I didn’t realize I’d gotten that from this movie until today. Jane’s sharp wit and cutting edge honesty is beautiful here, and Aaron does not flinch at it. He finds her amazingly sexy just the way she is.
In the blog Feminema, Holly Hunter is described thusly:
One might be tempted to refer to her as “the thinking man’s [fill in blank with name of less talented starlet],” but it’s too easy. I think Hunter is so distinctive because she has a perverse desire to be dissonant — she doesn’t play her beauty for the thinking man’s benefit (or anyone else’s); she’s wary but not fragile; she’s unexpected but not quirky. Her characters can suddenly become sharp-edged and mean. Holly Hunter is eminently watchable — one of the most watchable women of her generation.
I love her wit and her intelligence, but her Achilles heel is her honesty and her unwillingness to budge on what she thought was right and wrong. A friend of mine just last night emailed me and told me my Achilles heel on those dating websites is my honesty but that I shouldn’t change it to please people I don’t even know. I remember Holly Hunter standing in the airport talking to Tom who had a bikini wrapped around his shoulders and tickets to a tropical paradise. There was no sorrow at all in her resolve that this – HE – was not right for her because he played showman with her beloved credible broadcast news. It was the line she couldn’t cross, and she didn’t waver or apologize even in the light of losing the one guy that she loved. I remember thinking … wow… how did she do that? I also thought it was one of the sexiest things I’ve ever seen a woman do.
There are all kinds of articles on the internet about what men find sexy. I suppose sexy is in the eyes of the beholder. It’s hard as a woman to remember that we each have our own sexiness and charm, and not everybody is going to appreciate it. I’m probably a little more like Jane – edgy, intelligent, funny and driven. I’m sure a lot of men don’t find that sexy at all. Maybe I have a limited audience. But, I’d rather limit my audience than limit myself. And I think that’s part of my charm. Thanks, Jane, for giving me a role model.