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The Jane Austen Book Club

2008-03-18 13:53
What it's about:

A group of women and a man meet regularly to discuss the works of the acclaimed Jane Austen, and soon realise that their lives resonate with the author's fictional worlds. The members of the club include Sylvia (Amy Brenneman), a recent divorcee, Bernadette (Kathy Baker) who's making peace with her advancing age, Jocelyn (Maria Bello), an unmarried and lonely woman who distracts herself by breeding dogs and the peculiar Grigg (Hugh Dancy).

What we thought of it:

Those unfamiliar with Jane Austen yawn at just the mention of her name, remembering boring English classes in high-school that just didn't do Ms Austen's books any justice. Even if you've enjoyed all her books, watched all the film adaptations and quasi bio-pics like the recent Becoming Jane, don't write this one off just yet. Leave your expectations and assumptions at the door because this is one delightful slice of life imitating art.

Based on the novel by Karen Jay Fowler, The Jane Austen Book Club is a modern-day chick flick. Emily Blunt stands out playing a married French teacher Prudie, who’s tempted to have an affair with a young student. She tells Bernadette (Kathy Baker), who's been married several times, that "he looks at me as though he's the spoon and I'm the dish of ice cream". Six people, six novels and drama galore, the main thing they have in common are issues surrounding that good old feeling: love. Divorce, marriage, homosexuality, heartbreak, loneliness, temptation and second chances are what it's all about.

This is a treat for Austen fans as well as for those who think she is the capital of a "State in America". If there's one thing you'll definitely take away from this movie, it's the urge to read the books or re-read them. It celebrates Jane Austen's work in all its splendor.

- Gugu Mkhabela
This quirky and delightful film celebrates Jane Austen's magnificent and significant work with simplicity and delight.

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