The Jane Austen Book Club

Directed by Robin Swicord
Screenplay by Robin Swicord
Based upon the book by Karen Joy Fowler (Info here)
Viewed July 9th 2009 Everything Austen Challenge #8(on my list)

The-Jane-Austen-Book-ClubI just found out that my ATT Cable On Demand has, The Jane Austen Book Club, Sense and Sensibility, Emma, and Becoming Jane all available right now. I had totally forgotten about Becoming Jane. I saw a movie poster for it AGES ago and then forgot all about it. Now all I have to do is find copies of Pride and Prejudice (both versions), Emma (the novel since I lent mine out and it is MIA), and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Yes I am really going to read it.)

So, The Jane Austen Book Clubcame up first. I’m not sure if I am a little premature with this, but I was excited! The entry deadline is July 15th…but I’m ancy!!

I didn’t even know this book existed until, at 11pm, I searched “austen” on my DVR search.  I ended up watching it with my mom this afternoon because she was interested as well.  I’ve been reading Austenland by Shannon Hale, but set it aside to watch the movie.  I suppose I will have two July “Austen” posts.

This movie was different. It was a romantic/comedy/drama.  Definitely a chick-flick.  I enjoyed it, but I wouldn’t call it a “must see”.  I would be interested to read the book…

The biggest thing that excited me about this book was that it takes place in the Sacramento area WOO HOO.  Nothing ever happens here.  One of the girls hurts herself in Vacaville and I actually got excited because I know where ol’ cow town is.  Yes, I know, I am sad and pathetic!

The basic premise of the book is this; Several women form a bookclub dedicated to Jane Austen.  The theory is that each will be responsible for the group while they read an Austen novel.  Joceyln (Maria Bello)and Bernadette (Kathy Baker)decide to form a Jane Austen book club to keep their friend Sylvia (Amy Brennemen) occupied.  Sylvia’s husband recently left her for another woman and her life has been turned upside down.  They recruit her daughter, Allegra (Maggie Grace), who begrudgingly joins.  At this point I said, “Hrm….exactly what I would want….my husband has left me…let’s go read Jane Austen.”  I guess the point is they are all there together with her through the tough times.

Prudie (Emily Blunt)was supposed to go to Paris with her husband who leaves her hanging.  She’s a HS french teacher and annoyed me from the beginning of the story.  She apparently annoys everyone in the club as well because they make fun of her “holier-than-thou” attitude.  She is relentlessly pursued by a younger man throughout the story who is actually a student at her school.  To be honest I was sending out fund-raising requests at the same time as I was watching the movie and I didn’t catch how she ties into the other women.

Grigg (Hugh Dancy)the solo male to the club and a Jane Austen virgin met Joceyln by chance, and is normally a sci fi fan.  Jocelyn and Bernadette are pushing him towards Sylvia, but Grigg thinks they are pushing him towards Allegra, who is actually gay.  Grigg is falling for Jocelyn the whole time.  Oooooooh the love entanglement HAHAHA.

They start with Emma in February.  Move on to Mansfield Park in March.  April is set aside for Northanger Abbey, which is also where we start to see some of Jocelyn becoming jealous of the friendship between Sylvia and Grigg.  In May they read Pride and Prejudice and ask the question I always asked, “What happened after the wedding?!?!”  June they read Sense and Sensibility.  Finally in July they read Persuasion.

As they read through the novels, they begin to see modern day parallels with their own lives and situations.  Oddly, Jane Austen helps them get through some low points in their lives.  See, I always knew she was a genius.

One of my favorite parts of the movie is when Prudie is at a crosswalk and has to make a choice to walk across the street to the younger man she desires, or stay away from him.  At first the sign flashes the normal, ” DON’T WALK” but then for a split second it turns to, “What would Jane do?”  It cracked me up.

So I am down one for my goal.  Woo Hoo!  Thank you ATT U-Verse for having movies on demand.  Now if they will just get the other two I want to watch on there and I will be good!
So here is my current list.  I’ve taken the liberty of not reading/watching in order because it’ my list and I can do what I want to 😛  With my added movies, it looks as follows: (Highlighted movies/books completed)

1. Austenland by Shannon Hale -Reading now. I’ve wanted to read this for a long time and along comes a perfect challenge!
2. Pride and Prejudice BBC Miniseries -I’ve seen this a few times, but I don’t remember it fully. It’s always worth another viewing.
3. Pride and Prejudice 2005 Movie Adaptation -I thought it would be interesting to compare and contrast the two movie versions of the novel. I was going to reread the novel, but I’m not sure how much Pride and Prejudice I can take!
4. Emma by Jane Austen -Of all the Austen novels, I remember this one the least, so I picked it to re-read.
5. Emma Movie Adaptation -I’ve started, but never finished this movie. Again, I thought to compare and contrast would be interesting.
6. Pride and Prejudice and Zombiesby Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith -I have nothing to say other than…curiosity has finally got the best of me. My biggest problem is the comment from the back; “…transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you’d actually want to read.” To which I say “Hey!!!” A little cheeky considering Jane Austen is still listed as an author…
7. Sense and SensibilityMovie Adaptation -Yay for free movies. I have NEVER seen this so it will all be new to me!
8. The Jane Austen Book Club Movie -Again a free movie on my TV. I hadn’t even heard of this but I read the description and it sounds good!
9. Becoming JaneMovie -YAY! I wanted to go see this in the movies but my husband flat out refused. Now it is FREE!!!!! Of all of the movies I am most excited about this one.

I’m not committing to 12 just yet….but I will keep Mr. Darcy Vampyre in mind. We will see.

For more information on the challenge, visit Stephanie’s Written Word.

Movie Info (according to IMDB):

Release Date: 5 October 2007

Rated: PG-13

Length: 106 minutes

2008 Nominated for a GLAAD Media Award

2008 Nominated for Artios Award



~ by jennifermorrill on July 9, 2009.

4 Responses to “The Jane Austen Book Club”

  1. I h ave heard about Austenland and put it on my tbr. I look forward to your thoughts.
    Currently watching the BBC version of P&P and loving it…as usual. Wanted to read the book first, but I got my hands on the movie first.
    A friend of mine read this Jane Austen Book club book, but having never read Austen she was a bit confused. I never read but if the movie was ok, I’m sure the book must be alright too. Thanks and glad you are joining the challenge.

  2. […] The Jane Austen Book Club Movie -Click for my review.  A fun movie relating to Jane Austen without being an adapation of one […]

  3. […] The Jane Austen Book Club Movie ~completed~ […]

  4. […] The Jane Austen Book Club Movie ~completed~ […]

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