Explores Austen's adage that general incivility is at love's essence. Sylvia's husband dumps her for another woman, so Bernadette and Jocelyn organize a book club to distract her. They recruit Sylvia's daughter Allegra; Prudie, a young teacher whose marriage may be on the rocks; and Grigg, a sci-fi fan who joins out of attraction to Jocelyn. The six read and discuss one Austen novel per month. Jocelyn tries to interest Grigg in Sylvia; Allegra falls in love with a woman she meets skydiving; Prudie contemplates an affair with a student; Sylvia's ex keeps popping up. In the discussions, characters reveal themselves in their comments. By the end, are truths universally acknowledged?Written by
The real volume of the complete works of Jane Austen was more expensive than the production could afford to buy. Instead, a volume of Shakespeare plays with a fake cover was used. Hugh Dancy was reading these and he says in the DVD commentary that he got all the way through the histories and tragedies during the shoot. See more »
When Prudie confronts her flirting husband in the hotel room, his shirt is unbuttoned but closed as he puts his hands on his hips. In a split second, it flies open, exposing full uncovered chest. See more »
One day, I'm like 10 years old, my dad takes me back to the shed and he shows me some magazines that he keeps back there. He says, "This is strictly guy stuff. It's top secret. Very private. Tell no one."
[he shows a sci-fi magazine and laughs]
So from then on... It was like... I don't know... It's like me and my dad and science fiction. These were the first books I fell in love with, and I never got over it.
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The credits are displayed next to behind-the-scenes stills of the cast and crew during the production process. See more »
Pleasant; Characters and Resolution Did Not Convince, Engage or Arouse Feeling
"The Jane Austen Book Club" was a pleasant movie, one I didn't mind watching once but would not want to watch again. There were a couple of very good lines, and the actors are all, without exception, fine. Production values are high.
The characters and resolution didn't convince or engage me, though. I just did not believe, at any point, that these were real people. I especially did not believe the final scene. "He ended up with her? I don't think so," was what I kept thinking. I didn't believe the final couplings, and I did not care.
I had the same problem with this movie that I had with the book on which it was based. Both book and movie felt like writerly exercises to me. I felt as if the writer, Karen Joy Fowler, got this neato schematic idea in her writing class, "Aha! A book club of bourgeois people who read Jane Austen and fall in love!" and went about filling in the pieces of that puzzle without ever investing any of the characters with real human warmth.
One characterization stands out, though. Emily Blunt as a depressive woman with a bad mother, a mediocre marriage, and a temptation to do very bad things, creates a moody air all by herself. It's as if she came in from the set of a daring indy movie. I hope she's given chances in the future to live up to the promise she shows here.
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