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
  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. Reviewed by: Gail Pennington
    Sep 6, 2013
    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. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Sep 2, 2013
    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. 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
6.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 7 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 1 out of 3
  1. Jan 21, 2014
    9
    Yes, you should be familiar with Jane Austen works. But what you really need to appreciate in this hilarious movie is an appreciation for deliberately bad acting. In a world where everyone attempts to 'perform' Austen's refined world, the results are awkward, goofy and slaptstick-- hilarious. The novels of Austen's time are labyrinths of subtlety: the tension in the theme park is between modern, real-world directness and our idea of what that refined subtlety was like. Especially hilarious are the lady guests' attempts to entertain themselves without modern distractions like movies and the internet: needlepoint and novel-reading take on new meaning. Keri Russell's character spends the entire movie attempting to navigate this space between the real and the performed, to the point where it becomes impossible to discern what is real, and what is Austenland. Completely hilarious and not to be missed, especially for Austen fans. Full Review »
  2. Sep 16, 2013
    7
    Keri Russell's character is obsessed with Jane Austen, so she spends her savings on an in an immersive experience in the author's world. While playing an Austen heroine, she meets two men (both handsome) and two other participants (Jennifer Coolidge & Georgia King, who are both over the top but still funny). There's a rollicking energy that keeps this film entertaining, despite the fact that most of the comedy isn't that clever. Entirely predictable but fun. Full Review »
  3. Sep 6, 2013
    2
    “It is very seldom I have seen a bad performance by an actor in a film” was what I wrote in a previous review this past week and then today that ‘very seldom’ reared its head in “Austenland” where there are 2, I hope, purposely bad and 3 just plain bad performances. The latter are by actresses who will remain nameless as I don’t think they will put this film on their resume and not many will see them.

    Keri Russell gives a lively performance as Jane who has come to find her Darcy, here called Henry Nobley and played by JJ Feild in an assured performance, in “Austenland”, sort of a full Jane Austen resort. His rival, Martin, (Bret McKenzie) seems to have wandered in from D. H. Lawrence’s “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” as the masculine caretaker. Talk about ‘masculine’, enter Navy very hard body stud Captain George East (Ricky Whittle) who, deservedly, takes off his shirt at any opportunity or just having the camera on him!

    The screenplay by the director Jerusha Hess and Shannon Hale, who also wrote the ‘chick-lit’ bestseller of the same name, is all over the place being neither a homage to Jane Austen, a romance-comedy or even sticking to the fantasyland idea intruding with a modern soundtrack.

    The bottom line is that if you have never read Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”, or one of her other novels, you would be better off reading them or if you have read any of her books reread them and stay away from this movie. It is not a bad movie, even though it has some embarrassing performances, but it does not deliver on the major premise.
    Full Review »