If the source material is soft, the film then takes another punch with the casting of Renée Zellweger in the title role. She overflows with tics and twitches that make the author seem vaguely deranged.
The film offers scant insight into the forces that inspired Potter's phenomenally successful career.
Unbearably, the script accommodates a quaking courtship between the slightly dotty Potter and her devoted young publisher, ho exchange romantic byplay such as, "You and rabbits -- extraordinary!" and "I recently remembered a story...about a duck!"