Based on a book by Karen Joy Fowler, the film is a charming story which follows a mixed group of 6 Californians, some in their twenties, some middle aged, who decide to start a book club, where they will read the books of Jane Austen. Along the way, they get to know each other, and become friends. The club members find themselves dealing with life experiences that parallel the themes of the books they’re reading. If you don’t like one subplot, then you’ll like another. The characters are easy to sympathize with, even though it’s not that realistic.
Kind of a girly romantic movie, admittedly. To get the most out of it, it helps that you know your Jane Austen (which I don’t apart from watching the Keira Knightley version of Pride & Prejudice) If you don’t know much about Austen, then you won’t get all the literary references, but doesn’t really matter, still enjoyable regardless of this.
A warm, feel-good film with an ensemble cast about how Jane Austen characters might behave, if they lived in the 21st century. I think the key audience are women with some life experience, although don’t let that put you off!
You rarely see a movie focus so much on a book club, I’ve seen it done for a scene or two in for example Little Children (2006). Probably the filmmakers are discreetly hinting to the audience to consider starting their own books clubs, and not to forget that reading can be rewarding as a shared experience. And who knows, perhaps the movie will inspire you to get into the Jane Austen novels?
I read in another review, that the film is a testament to Austen’s continued relevance. Had some cracking dialogue, which for me lifts it above some of the romantic stuff we see every year, and makes this particular film different. I wish there were more independent films being made with the atmosphere of The Jane Austen book club. Has some smart things to say about human nature and relationships. Below is my favourite scene as screen shots:
Readers, any thoughts on The Jane Austen Book Club ?