Austenland

Metascore
42

Mixed or average reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 32
  2. Negative: 8 out of 32

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Alan Scherstuhl
    Aug 13, 2013
    80
    The ending is a bit of an audience-pleasing cop-out, a retreat into formula after 80 minutes or so of upending it. But those upendings are memorable, the cast dishy fun, and Jerusha Hess and Shannon Hale's breeze of a script (based on Hale's novel) is smart about the allure of fictional romances.
  2. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Apr 9, 2013
    70
    Hess gets her romance just grounded enough to handle the comic extremes supplied by the supporting cast.
  3. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Aug 15, 2013
    67
    Austenland is kind of a one-joke movie, and the film's rhythm is a bit flaccid, but the joke, at least, has a twinge of wit.
  4. Reviewed by: Mary Houlihan
    Aug 22, 2013
    63
    It’s a romantic comedy with all sorts of possibilities that instead relies on heavy-handed sight gags and over-the-top performances.
  5. Reviewed by: Susan Wloszczyna
    Aug 16, 2013
    63
    All this sounds eminently promising. But it would need a wordsmith as witty and wise as Emma Thompson, who won an Oscar for adapting the big-screen version of 1995's "Sense and Sensibility," to pull it off and do Austen herself justice.
  6. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Aug 15, 2013
    63
    A humorous chick flick for well-read audiences, Austenland is a novel concept.
  7. Reviewed by: Tim Robey
    Oct 4, 2013
    60
    For a while, the film gets by on silliness alone. But in the end, it all amounts to no more than a sniggery guilty pleasure.
  8. Reviewed by: Ian Freer
    Sep 23, 2013
    60
    Fondly conceived but short of that razor-sharp Jane Austen wit.
  9. Reviewed by: Silvija Ozols
    Aug 13, 2013
    60
    The Napoleon Dynamite cowriter-turned-director should have applied her editorial eye more consistently; Coolidge and King especially are allowed to wander into mugging far too often and for far too long.
  10. Reviewed by: Damon Wise
    Apr 9, 2013
    60
    It is smart and surprisingly literate, its only downfall being in that, in riffing on the work of a very talented writer on the subject of men and women, its screenplay could have used a little more of Jane Austen's immaculate sense of storytelling.
  11. Reviewed by: Amanda May Meyncke
    Apr 9, 2013
    60
    Austenland is as light and airy as a cream puff, and as entirely unfulfilling. Fans of the book may find it amusing, but those looking for heartier romantic comedy fare would do well to look elsewhere.
  12. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Sep 11, 2013
    58
    Russell remains one of our most adorable, underused actors, although this role lacks the emotional and comedic breadth of her turn in 2007's "Waitress."
  13. 50
    Austenland is as frustrating as a blind date with Almost Mr. Right. It’s impossible not to fixate on how close this was to being a lot of fun.
  14. Reviewed by: Jamie S. Rich
    Aug 29, 2013
    50
    The Austen cosplay is too exaggerated, as are the other guests.
  15. Reviewed by: Connie Ogle
    Aug 29, 2013
    50
    There are a few flashes of wit in the romantic comedy Austenland, but for the most part, the humor lands not with Dear Jane’s grace and style but with all the subtlety of a cholera outbreak.
  16. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Aug 22, 2013
    50
    The pleasures are intermittent but can be located: Jennifer Coolidge, as Jane's travel companion, is funny even when the script isn't, and Feild is a nice stand-in for Colin Firth in the Austen hero department.
  17. Reviewed by: Sara Stewart
    Aug 15, 2013
    50
    Twi-hards, Beliebers and Whovians have nothing on the cult of Jane Austen, whose beribboned ranks are ripe for satire. Unfortunately, this scattershot comedy only occasionally hits the mark.
  18. Reviewed by: Tasha Robinson
    Aug 15, 2013
    50
    Austenland embraces convention, and the result is a romantic comedy in which the ending seems not just foreordained, but promised via contract from the first moment of the film.
  19. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    Apr 9, 2013
    50
    Austenland doesn’t really satirize Austen’s world (or fans) so much as use them as a pretext for a mixture of middling burlesque and routine romantic comedy.
  20. Reviewed by: Cory Everett
    Apr 9, 2013
    50
    There's no doubt Austen fans will find things to admire, but like the protagonist, you can’t help but leave Austenland feeling a bit unfulfilled.
  21. Reviewed by: Emma Johnston
    Sep 26, 2013
    40
    Too witless to be a decent comedy, too charmless to call itself a parody, this messy adap of Shannon Hale’s novel groans under the weight of a predictable plot and explosive overacting, although Bret McKenzie wrestling awful dialogue at least brings a touch of adorability as the resort’s elfin stable lad.
  22. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    Sep 4, 2013
    40
    For such a deft wit, Jane Austen sure has inspired some nitwitted entertainments. Actually, the Austen influence here is negligible.
  23. Reviewed by: Barbara VanDenburgh
    Aug 22, 2013
    40
    Austenland plays out like an overly elaborate excuse to have people act silly in corsets and bloomers.
  24. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    Aug 16, 2013
    40
    Austenland, a clunky broadside aimed at the cult of Jane Austen, is worth seeing primarily for its end credits, a mix of pop oil and water so joyfully dippy it might have produced a stifled giggle even in Herself.
  25. 38
    It’s never more than a theme park that isn’t worth the price of admission.
  26. Reviewed by: Stephanie Merry
    Aug 22, 2013
    37
    The movie has an Austen-like plot about an Austen obsessive. And while Hess laboriously checks off so many familiar scenarios...the film doesn’t have so much of what makes Austen transcendent.
  27. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    Aug 15, 2013
    30
    Advancing without a single original idea or surprising moment, Austenland seems torn between poking fun at the British and lampooning Austen’s many American fanatics — a riskier enterprise, considering that they’ll be needed to fill theater seats.
  28. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Sep 19, 2013
    25
    Somewhere in literary afterlife, dear reader, Jane Austen has just rolled over and reached for her musket.
  29. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Aug 29, 2013
    25
    Hess has made a classic rookie director mistake: Any spoof has to be at least as smart as the thing it’s spoofing, and this one’s twice as dumb.
  30. Reviewed by: A.A. Dowd
    Aug 14, 2013
    25
    In Austenland, her directorial debut, Hess adapts a 2007 beach book into another broad comedy of caricature. It’s a truly half-assed satire, one whose senseless sensibility seems less informed by the best of English literature than the worst of Saturday Night Live.
  31. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Aug 16, 2013
    20
    The missed opportunities in Austenland are more numerous than dowry-less sourpusses at a ball in a Jane Austen novel.
  32. The New Yorker
    Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    Aug 31, 2013
    10
    So lazy is the characterization, so hamstrung the plot, and so chronically broad the overacting that the main interest lies in deciding which to block first, your eyes or your ears. [2 Sept. 2013, p.81]
User Score
5.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 15 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 3 out of 6
  1. Sep 27, 2015
    3
    Jane Austen, the famous pre-Romantic English novelist, author of the evergreen Pride and Prejudice, is a difficult subject for a film in 2013.Jane Austen, the famous pre-Romantic English novelist, author of the evergreen Pride and Prejudice, is a difficult subject for a film in 2013. Especially so after the explosive comeback in popularity of sci-fi, in a cinematic landscape dominated by morbid thrillers, zombies, giant robots vs. aliens, precocious teenagers, 3D concert films on One Direction... I could go on forever. My point is: if you want the so-called “general public” to take an interest in a 19th century writer who died aged 41, whose main topics were modesty and moral values, you need the greatest and most compelling idea ever.
    “Austenland”'s concept appears unique and promisingly original, but unfortunately fades into a very mediocre, uninspired feature. The story: Jane (Keri Russell) is an American girl obsessed with Jane (what a combination!) Austen, and particularly with BBC's drama “Pride and Prejudice”, starring Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy. Her obsession has turned her into a social outcast and a total nutcase, messing up her life for ever. But Jane is more than happy to live in her own world, so much that she decides to spend all her savings on a trip to Austenland, a Regency-era themed resort in England. Cut to an aircraft’s undercarriage that touches the ground, a panoramic shot of Westminster, and the Union Jack: welcome to the United Kingdom. At the resort, Jane meets Mrs. Wattlesbrook (Jane Seymour), the inflexible owner who dictates the rules of the Austen-themed Nazi camp. No mobile phones, no activities that stray from Austenland’s 19th century atmosphere, and most of all, no excessive physical contact with the male guests (insert winks and giggles here). Joining in the costume parade, apart from a group of freaky women with perpetual hormone disorders, there’s a bunch of unbearably creepy men. Bar one exception, of course. Two, in fact, because there’s no film without conflict, and there’s no conflict without the most bland and predictable of love triangles, permanent feature of every sappy romantic comedy in the world. While Jane lives her dream, who will her choice fall on? When her fantasies crumble and everything seems lost, which of her suitors will selflessly beg for her love, in the least practical and credible way? Will it be the handsome handyman (Bret McKenzie), or the fascinating but gloomy Mr. Nobley (JJ Feild)?
    Even more unacceptable than the silly plot and pretentious sentimentalities, are the narrative devices that torture the viewer from start to end: by-the-book stolen kisses and girly rivalries come in succession, in an ordeal towards the inevitable finale. The characters are mere vehicles for irrelevant gags that fail to crack half a smile. The fat woman with big breasts (Jennifer Coolidge) is funny because she craves for a man, the blonde girl (Georgia King) is stupid and hits on the Indian macho man (Ricky Whittle), the guy with the moustache (James Callis) is gay, and Mr. Wattlesbrook (Rupert Vansittart) is an alcoholic who harasses women. How hilarious.
    Joylessly directed by newcomer Jerusha Hess, and produced by the author of the Twilight Saga, “Austenland” is a lousy film that degenerates into an insult to the viewer’s intelligence. It’s difficult to understand who might actually like it: Austen’s true fans will turn up their noses in disgust, as there’s no real reference to the writer, merely an excuse to shoot a costume-drama. Those who are looking for a love story will hopefully leave the room within half an hour of running time. As for me, only one scene really made me laugh: the one where the resort’s guests act in a play. A member of the audience suddenly yells: "You’re rubbish, get off the stage you wanker". I liked that guy.
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  2. Apr 5, 2015
    3
    This movie is just not for me, the humor is okay and the imagery is beautiful and silly. Keri Russell is an obsessed Jane Austen who goes toThis movie is just not for me, the humor is okay and the imagery is beautiful and silly. Keri Russell is an obsessed Jane Austen who goes to this "Austen world". Sorry this film isn't meant for me, the humor stupid, the cast is good and it looks beautiful. Grade C- Full Review »
  3. May 3, 2014
    7
    Based on a novel of the same name which is directed by the first timer. It was not a time traveler fantasy drama like 'Midnight in Paris', butBased on a novel of the same name which is directed by the first timer. It was not a time traveler fantasy drama like 'Midnight in Paris', but it exhibits the lifestyle and cultural difference between two different centuries.

    According to the story the past was brought to the present by restoring with detailed customs that forgotten where modern people can enjoy the true experience. I don't know whether it happens in reality, but good as in a movie.

    A simple idea is good for a novel to write, as a movie, it did not fall back a much which chronicles a middle aged American woman who is obsessed with Jane Austen novels. She travels to Jane Austen theme park in England, looking for a life changing experience with full of romance. Would she get what she was looking is the movie progresses with the intense story till the end.

    Well made movie that a bit different than usual concept. Kinda enjoyed it mainly because of the main role that played by Keri Russell. She was the true fan of 'Pride and Prejudice' story and how her latest visit to Austenland transforms her back to the reality was shown in quite a nice approach. Not a rocket science, easy to predict the scenes. The point is the place where movie sets in and variety of roles with the delightful atmosphere captured throughout helps us to stick.
    Full Review »