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Austenland is a romantic comedy about 30-something, single Jane Hayes, a seemingly normal young woman with a secret: her obsession with Mr. Darcy-as played by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice-is ruining her love life; no real man can compare. But when she decides to spend her life savings on a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-crazed women, Jane's fantasies of meeting the perfect Regency-era gentleman suddenly become more real than she ever could have imagined. Written by
The good and bad of a Jane Austen theme park with clever romance and cute comedy
Austenland is a Jane Austen theme park designed for Jane Austen fans to live the life of their favourite heroines. I was really hoping that this was a real place or at least could have been a real place. But for the sake of the delusional fans, it's probably best that this is not real. Jane (Keri Russell) is obsessed with Pride and Prejudice, and in doing something about it, she spends her life savings on a trip to England to Austenland.
What I didn't like about the film was the "theme park" itself. The first part was just a room decorated in tacky figurines with people insulting their customers if they didn't perfectly fit in the 1800s. Others in the theatre laughed, so I suppose that was supposed to be funny. The whole thing just seemed to be designed to make fun of people that were big fans but not "perfect" fans of Jane Austen. Our heroine, who wasn't perfect enough nor rich enough, finally got to experience part of this theme park.
They eventually get to go to an 1800s-styled mansion on a large country lot, exactly as Jane Austen's heroines lived. The theme park experience involves falling in love with a Jane Austen-styled hero actors hired to play the part. This part works because it was all very funny. Watching Jane try to live the life but being treated like a servant, but no matter what she was determined to make the most of her stay here.
"Austenland" is of course a romantic comedy with Mr. Darcy-type characters all around ready to sweep her off her feet. It was also cleverly done since we know her love story is written for her as part of the theme park experience, Jane knows this but could easily forget it, but we (and Jane) also don't know what exactly was written and what exactly she's creating for herself. For fans of romantic comedies, it's not too hard to guess. But we still enjoy the humour and the romance that takes us there.
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