Movie Review: Austenland
Jane is obsessed with Mr. Darcy. All her life she has grown so attached to the world of Jane Austen and the Pride & Prejudice movie with Colin Firth to the point of having a life size cut out in her home. Her life is lonely and her best friend wants her to change and get out of the fantasy. Jane decides to spend her entire life savings on a one of a kind trip to Austenland. A Jane Austen themed vacation where you get your happily ever after.
Once Jane (Keri Russell) arrives in the UK, she meets a follow American who is also going on this trip going by the pseudonym Miss Elizabeth Charming (Jennifer Coolidge). As she and Jane are polar opposites, Jane is in it for the authentic experience while Elizabeth wants the Englishman who will woo her. Upon arrival in Austenland they meet Mrs. Wattlebrook (Jane Seymour) who explains how the resort works and all over details. After being dressed in period-themed clothing and meet the other “guests” in the big house. Jane starts to realize her dream is not going to match this fancy reality.
Austenland plays up the laughs. The hired male staff are looked at as objects, The main male characters Mr. Nobley (JJ Fields) who plays Mrs. Wattlebrook’s nephew, Colonel Andrews (James Callis) a loud brash gentleman who brags about his safari hunting, and Lady Amelia (Georgia King). While this seems to be a bad pairing of 3 women to 2 men but the introduction of a 3rd man later sparks Jane’s transformation. Jane is also quietly wooed by one of the Manor’s grounds keeper Martin (Bret McKenzie). As Jane tries to figure out if she should push aside the trappings of the vacation for normalcy with Martin.
I don’t really care for Rom-coms. Most don’t need to be watched more than one as the jokes are small and its a bigger focus on the love story. I don’t actually remember reading Pride & Prejudice to the end in school I gave up as I was bored. Austenland on the other hand remembered the golden rule of comedies; Jennifer Coolidge always brings her A-game. I was pleasantly entertained the whole time. There were comedy moments I did not see coming. It a good ride and something I definitely will rent and see again for the funny parts. Stay through to the credits for a great music video. You will not want to miss that.
My Rating: Matinee
Director: Jerusha Hess
Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
Run time: 97 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG-13