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Jane Hayes’s (Keri Russell) adoration of all things Jane Austen is complicating her love life. Determined to be the heroine of her own story, Jane spends her life savings on a trip to Austenland, an eccentric resort where guests experience complete immersion in the Regency era. Armed with her bonnet, corset and needlepoint, Jane strives to avoid spinsterhood … but has a difficult time determining where fantasy ends and real life—and maybe even love—begins. Jennifer Coolidge (Legally Blonde) and Jane Seymour (Wedding Crashers) also star in this charming romantic comedy.
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Update: Movie vs Book.
Okay, I had not realized that this movie was based on a book. So I promptly read the book, it's a quick read and I have to say my review as written stands. Although the book was very nice, the basic story is the same and honestly, if they followed the book too closely, I think the movie would have been a little boring. Often, when you love a book, you are a little disappointed in the movie version, I believe mostly that has to do with the inability to fit in all the details a book can within 90 - 120 minutes. This movie was a great balance and I think a better story,
For fans of Jane Austen books and movies based on them, this is a fun break with more heart than similar modern world-meets-Austen stories (like "Lost in Austen"). In this movie, a hardcore Jane Austen fan (also called "Jane") spends her savings on an immersive Austen vacation, where she plays a role in her own love story complete with English countryside mansion, regency costumes, and actors cast as archetypal Austen mancandy. But since this immersive experience is just as much about wish fulfillment as it is about accuracy, the Captain Wentworth stand-in is played by Ricky Whittle and will take off his shirt with very little provocation. I'm pretty sure none of Austen's heroes ever displayed their six-packs in the original books, but then again, I also don't remember the part in Pride and Prejudice where Darcy went for a swim then ran into Elizabeth while he was still soaking wet. In Austen's time, even seeing a gentleman in his shirt-sleeves would have been scandalous, and yet every Austen movie somehow manages to throw that scene in. Go figure.
Keri Russell is cute and nerdy, while JJ Fields looks great in period garb as ever. The soundtrack takes a leaf out of Sofia Coppola's book and pairs 80s tunes with candy-colored regency vignettes in a way that works oddly well. However, the show is absolutely stolen by Georgia King as Lady Amelia. She goes hilariously overboard with her english-rose character, poking loving fun at how ridiculous courtly manners would actually be to modern sensibilities.
Keri Russell plays a Jane Austen addict who compares her love life to that of Austen's famous couples, most notably Elizabeth and Darcy. This has resulted in a lonely life with only a cardboard cut out of Colin Firth. Enter her friend who agrees she should go to Austenland, an expensive resort designed to immerse it's guests in a true Austen experience in hoping it will eventually detox her from her obsession.
I will say the book the film is based on is slightly more believable, although not quite as adorable. Russell is able to humanize the main character who might otherwise cross into an unlikeable character.
Anyone who doesn't like it is someone who doesn't "get" that this was supposed to be a fun movie that didn't take itself seriously. It is meant to be funny, dry, sarcastic, and over the top all at once.
I loved the humor and the fact that there are no sex/nude scenes. There is some innuendo, but it was done well. I could watch it with my mother and not be completely embarrassed!
I have watched this 4 times since I bought it a month ago.
The book is a good read as well, and while they did change a lot in the movie, I felt that it didn't take away anything at all. I was able to enjoy both, which is not something I can say very often of movie adaptations.
From a guys perspective, my wife has made me sit through the "classics" like the BBC and A&E versions of Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Emma, and others. Those bore me to tears. I was not really excited to see another Austen related movie, but went with her since she was SO excited. In fact after I got there I was the only male in the theater.
After watching the movie I quite enjoyed it; more so than I was expecting. There are some laugh out loud moments and though some of it was a bit silly, it was something that I appreciated. I was never bored by this movie and since I had never read the book I didn't know how it would end.
After seeing it, I knew I had to get it for my wife for Christmas which is just what I am going to do. I would recommend this movie even if you aren't a huge Austen fan, just make sure you are watching it with someone who is!