Sony Pictures Classics | Release Date: September 21, 2007
6.3
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 29 Ratings
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15
Mixed:
11
Negative:
3
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8
JorgeM.Oct 15, 2007
I did not read the book, but as a guy I enjoyed the film sooo much. Emily Blunt rules!
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9
SteveT.Oct 5, 2007
A classy adaptation of a highly readable novel. High marks to all involved.
0 of 1 users found this helpful
7
DuaneD.Oct 9, 2007
If you're expecting a great movie you'll be disappointed. But the plot is clever, the dialogue is amusing and the acting is better than this film deserves. It's entertaining and usually that's enough.
0 of 1 users found this helpful
7
SpangleJan 8, 2017
The Jane Austen Book Club is a chick flick. With a "girly" writer as the basis of this club, the main draw here is the feel good nature, the relationships, and the tearjerking happiness of it all. As with many chick flicks, it is sappy,The Jane Austen Book Club is a chick flick. With a "girly" writer as the basis of this club, the main draw here is the feel good nature, the relationships, and the tearjerking happiness of it all. As with many chick flicks, it is sappy, unoriginal, predictable, and simplistic. Yet, it is equally irresistible. It is filled with joy, easy to watch, funny, and sweet. With solid characters, fun references to Austen's work, and a largely infectious atmosphere, it is admittedly hard to enjoy this film without having read Jane Austen. That said, I have not read her novels, but have watched some of the films. Close enough?

Starring a large cast including Maria Bello, Emily Blunt, Kathy Baker, Hugh Dancy, Amy Brenneman, Jimmy Smits, Maggie Grace, and Marc Blucas, the film depicts women going through a variety of marital issues. From adultery, to lust, to young love, to no love, to loneliness, The Jane Austen Book Club goes through everything you can think of when it comes to relationships. However, its greatest achievement is its characters. Authentic, real, and well developed for having so many of them, it is the characters that allow the film to be successful and to have a satisfying pay-off at the end. The acting goes hand-in-hand with this with solid performances across the board. In particular, Bello is great. Portraying a woman who has given up on love and accepted that she is meant to be alone, she is very good in bringing to life this woman who has this element of her awoken when she meets a man.

That said, the film is imperfect. Certainly incredibly neat with a cheesy happy ending, The Jane Austen Book Club may create realistic characters, but it avoids realistic relationships in fear that it may become too unhappy. Now, the film uses this bubbly happiness to make solid jokes and parallel the work of Austen and the jokes often work. The film also is decidedly pro-female and anti-male. A man cheats on his wife, an awful act, and he is looked down upon. A woman contemplates sleeping with a high school boy who she teaches and it is her husband's fault for not reading Jane Austen and for not fighting his boss over a business trip. Now, since it is a chick flick, these moments are negligible and to be expected. That said, it did feel particularly egregious here. The film's portrayal of its lesbian characters is also a little awkward, opting for titillating over realistic. That said, the characters are better written than many other lesbians and treated very fairly by other characters in the film. However, the closing shot of them having sex and the camera panning down a woman's body seems to be focusing on making it arousing, rather than simply a regular act.

That said, The Jane Austen Book Club is a pretty inoffensive, safe, and by-the-book chick flick. Fortunately, it feels lively, fun, and is thoroughly enjoyable enough to make the cliches it follows feel fresh. With good performances, authentic characters, and a great blend of the work of Austen in a modern setting, the film should appeal to fans of the legendary author. I imagine that finding references, similar characters, or similar situations, would prove to be a fun exercise for serious fans of Jane Austen. For non-fans, the film is still greatly rewarding. While a palatable chick flick for men, it is also funny, sweet, and incredibly effective at making you smile at the end.
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9
Omid975Sep 21, 2014
Watching The Jane Austen Book Club (2007), it constantly crossed my mind that to start one club of my own with people I know on Skype, but of course about movies! The actors have so greatly played in a story that has been perfectly chapteredWatching The Jane Austen Book Club (2007), it constantly crossed my mind that to start one club of my own with people I know on Skype, but of course about movies! The actors have so greatly played in a story that has been perfectly chaptered and yet of course keeps the continuity of life and love among five couple of people, six of whom have started a club reading the six novels by Jane Austen. I have personally never read her novels, although tempted, just have watched the 1996 version of the movie of her Sense and Sensibility over 20 times perhaps. Jane was never married but somehow she has managed to create a great atmosphere of dramatic love and romance between men and woman maintaining the dignity and pride in the meaning of self-respect in women. In this amazingly cinematographed peaceful work of art, a six-time-married old woman gathers her friends and someone else whom they just let in, to form a club so that they would cheer up their friends who have just lost the love their lives; one loses a dog, the other divorcing from the husband. They don’t know what is yet to come but they passionately read each book in a month. Each title of the novels isn’t so far from what its picker’s going through in his/her personal life and although picking process may sound coincidental for some of them, it still works out for each and every one of them.
I recollect having things read and understood about Jane Austen like she was a self-controlling confident woman with very powerful beliefs that a woman is as strong as man but what for sure is that she was not a lesbian, however, Allegra (Maggie Grace) jokes about a theory that maybe one of her book’s characters was a lesbian. We know that she is one and even though it’s been evoked so nicely by Maggie, it would make it more interesting to see that she also has heterosexual preference.
Feminism is not an issue in this movie, it is rather about feminine life and obviously the relationships in it. However, it’s not merciless about men’s lives! Hugh Dancy as Grigg joins them and portraits a man’s understanding of Jane Austen who likes comic books and used to think of her novels as being girlish and now growing not only to like them also criticizing the characters of them carefully. The Ironies are raised when he wants to prove that the woman she likes is not happy and that she’s just alone like Jane and wants to be in control.
Decisions are taken at the last moment before making a fatal mistake based on Jane’s characters self-control mentioned in her novels. Sense and Sensibility finds its Maryanne modernized, flying in the unlimited vast field of imagination, daring and falling free, only that here it happens for real through skydiving! Betrayal and regret, departure and reunion, and of course hatred and love are all the materials that Jane Austen and her club are perfectly evocating and that’s probably one of the many reasons that this might not be last time I have been watching this movie, perhaps next time may be sooner than I make my own movie club!
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