Saturday, February 16, 2008
The Jane Austen Book Club **1/2
Director: Robin Swicord
Cast: Maria Bello, Amy Brenneman, Emily Blunt, Kathy Baker, Hugh Dancy
A group of women begin a book club to get one of their friends out of depression.
They realize that what they all have in common is an unmeasurable love for the books of Jane Austen.
Soon they have formed a club in which each month they will discuss one book and there is a lot that can happen in six months (they skip "Lady Susan" which is rather odd).
As one of the characters says "reading Jane Austen is like walking through a minefield".
Before the film, and the books are over, they have gone through divorces, deaths and newfound loves.
While the film is an exemplary "chick flick" its bases go beyond the cliché of female bonds, since Austen proves an intellectual output for this women to prove they too can be the sort fo heroines she wrote of.
But more often than not the film tries too hard to draw parallels between the Austen characters and the women in the plot, so while the Emma in Maria Bello is both sexy and hilarious, the Margaret Dashwood in Amy Brenneman is far from compelling.
Also, for people who don't share the passion for Austen this film might result as bewildering as the very first time when Elizabeth Bennet goes to Pemberley...