Ever wonder just how many movie versions of Jane Austin’s six novels there could be? Not me! I say "Keep ‘em coming!"
The novel The Jane Austen Book Club was written by Karen Fowler. Technically, it isn’t really about one of Jane Austen’s novels – its about all of them. It was adapted into a screenplay and directed by Robin Swicord. Swicord has written the screenplays for some of my favorite book-to-movie films: Memoirs of a Geisha, The Perez Family and the 1994 version of Little Women, so I couldn’t resist this one.
The Jane Austen Book Club is the story of four old friends, two new friends and their book club. Hmmm.. six people and six Jane Austen books.. how convenient.
Sylvia’s (Amy Brenneman) husband has just left her for another woman and Jocelyn (Maria Bello) has just lost a favorite pet. Their friend Bernadette (Kathy Baker) decide that a book club might help both Sylvia and Jocelyn perk up. They invite Sylvia’s daughter Allegra (Maggie Grace) to join too.
Bernadette comes up with their "all Jane Austen, all the time" theme one afternoon in line to see a Jane Austen movie. She also meets another Austen fan, Prudie (Emily Blunt) and invites her to join the book club. Turns out Prudie’s life is not all that great either. Meanwhile Jocelyn invites a cute guy she just met, Grigg (Hugh Dancy), to join the group as a potential love interest for her sister Sylvia. But Grigg joins because he’s attracted to Jocelyn. Sound like the beginning of a modern day Jane Austen plot?
If you’re an Austen fan, chances are you’ve already read The Jane Austen Book Club. But have you seen the movie? The movie is good. And if you’ve read Austen’s six novels you’re going to have fun picking out some of her plot lines and characters as come to life again on the screen.
If you haven’t read much (or any) Jane Austen, you’ll still like this movie. And maybe you’ll be intrigued enough by some of the discussions to pick up one of Jane’s books and read it for yourself.
But either way, you’ll probably end up wanting to watch this more than once just for the fun of it.