Saturday, February 15, 2014


I discovered this movie while waiting in line to use a Redbox machine. The little movie poster on the display caught my eye because it featured Keri Russell and because of its name. I am a huge Keri Russell fan. Austenland is like the Jane Austen Book Club infused with Bridget Jones' quirkiness and then magnified by a dish of lithium laced ice cream. Russell's character Jane Hayes is beyond obsessed with Mr Darcy from Pride and Prejudice and on a whim travels to a Jane Austen themed resort in England. Jennifer Coolidge co-stars as a guest that arrives at the same time as Jane. Her role is thankfully more Legally Blonde endearing and less her annoying appearances on television's 2 Broke Girls. Georgia King from the New Normal is another guest and Jane Seymour is Mrs Wattlesbrook who runs the estate. JJ Feild plays the most Darcy like of the characters and James Callis, who was also one of Bridget Jones' best friends Tom, in the movie adaptations, plays another gentleman at the estate. Bret McKenzie of Flight of the Conchords plays a farm hand and another potential love interest.
The film is based on the 2007 novel of the same name by Shannon Hale. From what I can tell the catalyst that leads Jane Hayes to Austenland in the book is less extreme than in the movie. There is a second book in the Austenland series featuring a new cast of characters. The film was produced by Stephanie Meyer and premiered at Sundance in 2013. There the distribution rights were purchased by Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions and had a limited release in theaters in August 2013. The DVD came out this week and is also available OnDemand and on Amazon Instant View. I am always fascinated when I have not heard of a movie and even more so when it stars one of my favorite actors. The soundtrack is also very good. What a delightful little find.

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