Running Time: 1 hour 37 minutes
Thirty-something Jane Hayes is obsessed with Jane Austen. Her fixation is so extreme that she can’t help but compare all men to Colin Firth’s portrayal of Mr. Darcy from the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice. After breaking up with her boyfriend, Jane decides to cash in her savings and head to England for a Jane Austen themed vacation. Jane is hoping that the fantasy of 19th century England will live up to her imagination.
I was initiated into the 1995 BBC version of Pride and Prejudice when I was in college, and although I enjoyed the series I was stunned at the rabid fans my friends became about the show—especially with Colin Firth. My association with the earlier movie made Austenland all the more fun for me.
I was laughing almost the entire way through the movie. Yes, the movie is ridiculous in a cheeky kind of a way, but it also had enough heart and romance to make it feel like the romantic comedies of the late 1990’s (ala While You Were Sleeping). Keri Russell plays Jane Hayes, and gives her just enough self-awareness to realize that this vacation is a tad ridiculous, but she still can’t help but loving that she is living her dream. Russell is having a great year, especially after her turn as a under-cover Soviet spy in the FX series The Americans. The most laughs come from Jennifer Coolidge who plays Elizabeth Charming, Coolidge is brassy, irreverent and ludicrous in all the right ways.
Austenland was the first movie this year that I wanted to go out and purchase another ticket to see it again as soon as it was over. Most men probably won't enjoy this movie, but if you have ever enjoyed a Jane Austen book or movie I think you will love this. A