The Magazine

See Jane Run

‘Because I wanted to be pretty again.’

Aug 29, 2011, Vol. 16, No. 46 • By JUDY BACHRACH
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Why, in other words, the recitation of lie upon endless lie? Of muddled thinking? Why, for that matter, Jane’s tired opinions on the political landscape, all of them inexplicably delivered in italics and accompanied by bullets? “We deserve to see our political leaders resolve the solvency issues that will burden future generations,” for example. Or: “Women deserve equal pay for equal work.

We need Jane for this?

Jane wants us to know that she has “become a much more inviting and optimistic person since I entered my Third Act.” And honestly, given what I remember of an earlier act, maybe Act II starring the Cannes Film Festival Jane, I do believe her. But the trouble here is that there have been so many previous Janes, and they all, in every incarnation, professed themselves a huge improvement on whatever Jane preceded them. And then, with the passage of years and husbands, the last Jane would be renounced and invariably replaced. Jane was babe-Jane with the French director Roger Vadim, and then serious-and-strident Jane with the political activist Tom Hayden, and after that, with Turner, she was prop-Jane who appeared at Atlanta Braves games, always in a baseball cap. It really is hard to keep up.

And now she’s just plain-Jane? No husband, just a honey? No future, just a past? Some movies, but not many, and no good ones. I think she still wants to be pretty again. And that’s about the end of it. That is the fulfillment of her desires, that is her newest book, and all she has ever wanted. 

Judy Bachrach is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair.