Quick Fire Review : Austenland

austenland

Here’s The Trailer

Who is in it?

Keri (Felicity) Russell, Jennifer (Stiffler’s Mom) Coolidge, (Dr) Jane Seymour (Medicine Woman), JJ (No that’s not Tom Hiddleston) Feild, Bret (is that accent supposed to be British?) McKenzie.

What is it about?

A woman who spends her savings on a trip to live the experience of being in a Jane Austen novel.

Why did I want to watch it?

I’m a pretty serious Austen fan. And Keri Russell is an underrated actress (watch The Americans and Waitress if you don’t believe me)

Did I like it?

The characters are all very off piste. When Jennifer Coolidge is one of your more restrained performances you know that this is not a subtle film.

It starts off with the standard annoying montage portraying the kind of Nerd Girl who only really exists on film.  Our heroine apparently can only get a loser boyfriend in spite of being sweet and pretty and is grown woman so obsessed with a fictional character that she spends all her money in order to be treated like a regency era peasant.  But then…

I really really enjoyed myself – it was very silly but did not take itself seriously for a single second, so it essentially charms you. I’d had a really bad day before and this was the perfect antidote.  Because Jane is in equal parts fascinated by and rebellious towards the experience she doesn’t come accross as a total dolt and you can respect all of her romantic choices.

Also the actors are clearly having fun with the premise, especially James Callis and Georgia King  – a brit playing a fake brit no less! Die hard 1995/Colin Firth fans also get a bonus casting gag in the form of Mr Wattlesbrook.

Should you watch it?

To be fair I don’t think it’s for everyone. Definitely Austen fans who will get the lovely nods to the novels, especially Pride and Prejudice and whilst I am usually gender blind, even on romcoms, this is NOT a film to take a heterosexual man to. That said, if you know a lady who enjoyed Ricky Whittle on Strictly Come Dancing, they are in for a treat.  And if you go to the cinema – stay for the credits – they are marvellous.

Other films it reminds me of:

Moliere, Shakespeare In Love and Quills – period romps with a sense of humour. Not quite in the same league but enjoyable all the same.

Watch this instead/as well/before/after:

Clearly Becoming Jane.  Or any Jane Austen Adaptation (like you don’t have the box sets).

Also if you’re really obsessed – the TV Series Lost In Austen or web series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.

ELC

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