In a book club devoted to the author's works, several people (Maria Bello, Amy Brenneman, Emily Blunt) discover that their own lives closely parallel themes found in Austen's prose.
" Austen devotees are sure to lap up the central premise that her notions of love and friendship are as relevant today as ever. "
" Despite its flaws, Book Club leaves viewers with that best result of Austen films: a wonderful ache to fall in love. It didn't pierce my soul, but it definitely lifted my spirits. "
" Everyone is given their due and dignity in this funny, sexy, humanist film that, if it is a chick flick, gives the genre a good name. "
" Just fine in a sentimental, mainstream kind of way. Although by constantly referencing Austen's sharp wit and characterisation, this can only ever come up short in comparison. "
" Leave it to the Godmother of Chick Lit to inspire the best chick picture in many an age. "
" The acting ensemble is as colorful, and thorny, as a garden of Austen archetypes. "
" The cast alone makes The Jane Austen Book Club good -- though not great -- entertainment for at least the bookish moviegoers among us. "
" The episodes roll by in smooth progression, and the talkiness has the round, impassioned tones of readers ignited by fiction. "
" The film has an undeniable, easygoing charm. Real life is seldom so pleasingly plotted, but then real life is what people go to movies like this to get away from. "
" The Jane Austen Book Club could be the start of a genre. "
" The script might have slipped into caricature, as often the adaptations of Austen's novels have, but Swicord opts for characters in whom we might see ourselves. "
" There isn't an actress here who isn't perfect. "
" This marvelously intelligent romantic comedy will captivate even those who don't know or care much about Austen, although there's undeniably an extra layer of pure delight to be found if you do. "
" Unlike so many chick flicks that celebrate female solidarity as a concept without ever making us feel it, The Jane Austen Book Club is convincingly feminist in a nonpolitical way. "
" Worth attending. "
" ...Things never rise above the competent chick-flick level. "
" The real disappointment is the paint-by-numbers flatness of the contemporary stories and characters; it's hard to care much about Sylvia and Prudie with Elizabeth Bennett and Emma Woodhouse hovering in the wings. "
This ensemble piece by Robin Swicord (Memoirs of a Geisha, Little Women) follows the stories of six Sacramento friends (Kathy Baker, Amy Brenneman, Maggie Grace, Emily Blunt, Maria Bello, and Hugh Dancy) who are part of an all-Jane-Austen-all-the-time book club. It is also a surprisingly successful, un-Hallmark-ified take on the traditional chick flick. Swicord, who, in addition to directing, adapted the script from the novel treated this story with the dignity that few others would have--and pulls it off. Using the framework of one book/month/member formula, just enough time is devoted to each storyline to keep the story moving along at an interesting clip. It may not haunt your dreams with import after it's over, but fans of the chick flick oeuvre will find The Jane Austen Book Club quite rewarding.
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