Romantic Comedy Total Chickflick
Aimed for people who can take their Jane Austen tongue in cheek
Summary & Review: First, it was a girls night out movie. Second, I was worried because the “Critics” reviews were so-so (though it had done well at Sundance) and was feeling responsible for the $9.50 and 2 hour investment they were making. The ages of our group were 14 to 49 (and holding). We all enjoyed it. We all laughed. Some where familiar with Jane Austen books and movies, others were not. Still each enjoyed it. Keri Russell plays Jane, a thirty-something who has been obsessed with Jane Austen’s works since her childhood, who takes her life’s savings to go to Austenland where she is promised a full Austen experience from period costumes to the proposal at the end of the week. The storyline is fun and engaging. However it is the mix of characters really make it. Jennifer Coolidge is essential to the ensemble making it complete in her over the top (yet sincere) portal of Miss Charming, while providing consistent LOL moments. (I LOL’ed a lot. The fourteen-year-old was glad I am not her mom!) Very little language laced with innuendo. I recommend this movie and will be purchasing it to enjoy again and again. If you were to see one Jane Austen movie before seeing Austenland, watch Kera Knightly’s Pride and Prejudice, it will make the male characters and some of the dialogue a bit richer. Austenland is now showing at the art house theaters, but I suspect it will make bigger theaters in the next few weeks. An aside: I think Keri Russell was pregnant during the filming. The empire waist dresses where forgiving along with a well place hat or book in scenes helping disguise it… And by all means STAY for the credits !
If you like Austenland, I suggest: Bride and Prejudice, a Bollywood version of P&P with singing and dancing. I find it a hoot and enjoyed more and more each time I watch it. Jane Austen Book Club is good, too. (Liked the movie better than the book, rare but true this time.) Of course there are the classic Jane Austen movies: Emma (BTW Clueless is a “modern” version), Pride & Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility. etc. BBC has done several that stay truer to the written work than a 2 hour movie can.