Saturday, January 29, 2011

Movies: The Jane Austen Book Club

We've been hit with several inches of snow over the past few days.  The weather people are predicting a few snow showers tomorrow night, but I hope nothing to bad.  It's days like this I'm glad I don't have car....  (Taken by my friend in the parking lot behind our dorm)

So what is there to do on these snowy evenings? Besides read, I already do that ;) Curl up and watch a movie of course!

Movie: The Jane Austen Book Club (2007)
Genre: Romance
Grade: C+/B-

Six Californians start a club to discuss the works of Jane Austen, only to find their relationships -- both old and new -- begin to resemble 21st century versions of her novels.

The Jane Austen Book Club is a fun romp through Austenland with no particular emphasis on one book.  I wouldn't say it's particularly deep, as all the connections between movie characters and book characters are obvious, and it's definitely not thorough with six characters and six books being covered.  It does, however, capture a certain essence about Jane Austen lit, maybe about the dangers and resumptions of love, and the idea that somehow it all turns out well in the end.

About sixty percent of the movie is ho-hum standard romance for me (and ten percent I can't stand), but there is about thirty percent of the movie that I absolutely love and that's why I own a copy.

First, I absolutely love the May-December relationship between Jocelyn and Grigg.  Jocelyn is an older woman who is a very successful dog breeder (and thus is related to the book Emma.  Get it, she likes pairing things up?).  Grigg is a well-off computer geek and sci-fi fan, and smitten with Jocelyn since their first meeting, not that she's noticed.  If only he would stop being such a gentleman and make a move ;)  Their courtship is sweet, hilarious, and of course, riddled with misunderstandings. 

But really, the force which drives this movie for me is Prudie, played by Emily Blunt.  At first cold and stern, we watch as she spirals out of control and her marriage falls apart.  Considering how horribly unlikeable Prudie starts off as it is amazing how easy it is to come to care for her. She is by far the most interesting of the characters and I think Emily Blunt is an amazing actress.

On those two factors alone I think the film is worth seeing once.

It ends a bit like a Jane Austen book, which is perhaps why the acting takes a turn for the worse at the end.  With everything so neatly tied up in little bows their isn't much to work with.  Every couple is neatly paired off, ecstatically happy and dialog is reduced to a mush of sappy cliches.  I suppose if the movie meant to imitate Austen, a true advocate of the happily ever after, they did it well.


  1. This is one movie that I actually liked better than the book. I'm not sure's been too long! lol

  2. I didn't even know this was a book! I can see why it wouldn't work as well though- they're is just too much going on. Thanks for stoping by :)