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The Jane Austen Book Club

Jane would find another movie
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  September 19, 2007
2.0 2.0 Stars
inside_the-jane-austen-book
THE JANE AUSTEN BOOK CLUB: Unilluminated by Austen's novels, the club's discussions are sophmoric at best.

Based loosely on Karen Joy Fowler’s superficial 2004 novel, Robin Swicord’s film posits a book club of six Californians meeting once a month to discuss Jane Austen’s novels. Bernadette (Kathy Baker) has been married umpteen times; Jocelyn (Maria Bello) loves Rhodesian ridgebacks; Jocelyn’s best friend, Sylvia (Amy Brenneman), has just been dumped by her husband (Jimmy Smits); Sylvia’s daughter, Allegra (Maggie Grace), is a lesbian; French teacher Prudie (Emily Blunt) is falling for one of her students; and Grigg (Hugh Dancy), the only guy, is a sci-fi loving techie whom Jocelyn met in an elevator. Put them together and you have a serviceable Lifetime TV movie unilluminated by Austen’s novels. The Austen discussions are sophomoric; everybody looks 10 years younger than in Fowler and acts younger still. Bello and Dancy fashion a fetching older-woman/younger-man romance, and there’s a light moment when Prudie, about to cheat on husband Dean (Marc Blucas), is stopped by a WALK traffic signal that instead reads, WHAT WOULD JANE DO. But my guess is that Jane would find another movie.
  Topics: Reviews , Media, Books, Jane Austen,  More more >
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