So James will appear in "Austenland", a rom-com about a woman who's obsessed with Colin Firth's Mr Darcy (who's apparently not called Mark except in Bridget Jones - so much for my classical literature education ;)). It's an adaptation of a book by Shannon Hale, starring Keri Russell. Brief article here.
I'll start with the good: it sounds like a mainstream film that WILL make it to Finland, so I can actually go see him in the cinema and buy the DVD. Yay for that! The premise sounds like it could be interesting, book adaptations tend to be better than run of the mill rom-coms, and I do like Keri Russell. (And Colin Firth, assuming he appears in the film at least in some way.)
But the bad... Oh, dear. OK, I'll just say this now, before I know more about the film: I'm a huge James Callis fan, but that comes second seat to my politics. I'm a feminist, and rom-coms exhibit all things I hate about modern "women's culture": they're shallow, feminist on the surface but patriarchal in the core, terribly dated and stereotypical, and what's worst of all, totally unfunny. I've seen a couple I liked, but there's a big chance I will not like this film. And I'm sorry, but I will gripe in that case. If I think it's a waste of my time and James' talent, I will gripe. I'll try not to make the posts ALL about that, but I won't make totally unpolitical gushery posts if I'm not feeling it. The only thing that will stop me from griping, if it's anything like other rom-coms I've seen, is if a) James is fat or b) he gets to play a really charming, funny, sexy gentleman (a well-written one). Preferably both. I know, boring feminist grouch, but there it is. (I wouldn't apologize if this were my personal blog, but I always feel like a fan blog should be a little more for the other fans, and I've already made it so much about me. But I am what I am.)
Also: SUPPORTING cast. In a rom-com. If this is another Bridget Jones's Diary, I will just... I mean, I know some good actors (Colin Firth) have done a bunch of rom-coms of varying quality. Maybe I'm biased because I'm just a big ol' fangirl but James is talented. He's smart, he brings a world of emotion into his roles, he's handsome, he has it all. He could be doing main roles, serious movies, genuinely funny comedies, Charlie Kaufman or David Lynch or something like that. It troubles me when he's cast like this, mentioned last in a Stephenie Meyer project. Is there something I'm missing? Is it his accent? His height? His lack of buffness? The fact that BSG was popular only in nerd circles? Or maybe he's just happy doing this kind of thing and doesn't want the stress and fame that would come with a bigger role. Maybe I'm taking him too seriously again and I need a new hobby.
On the other hand, he was going to be working on 17th Precinct, and probably passed by some other roles because that was his first choice. So maybe there's more good stuff coming later.
All of that said, I will give "Austenland" a try, and if it's good, address a full and frank apology for suspecting it sucks. (But can you blame me? Stephenie Meyer, Nacho Libre writer.)