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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Movie Review: The Jane Austen Book Club

*** The Story, In Its Simplest ***

Five women and one man form a book club to discuss Jane Austen's six novels. Each person is in the club for a different reason. Four of the women have known each other for many years, but the fifth woman and the man are strangers to everyone. As they read and discuss each book, they get to know each other - and themselves - a bit better.

Here's a preview for you:



*** My Story ***

I found this book in a thrift store a few years ago and picked it up, having heard nothing about it before. It was quite enjoyable as I recall. I tried to get the girls in my book club to read it (not as a book club book, just on their own time) but they didn't go for it.

Anyway, I saw that the movie was on this week so I decided to watch it.

*** What I Think ***

The movie was really good! It seemed to follow the book, or at least what I remember of the book. Actually, I think I like the movie MORE than the book ... and that's unusual. I don't remember the book being quite so funny (I was laughing out loud watching this movie, even though I was home alone).

*** Some Specifics ***

I'll try to keep this spoiler free ...
  • The token male in the club, Grigg, was hysterical (yes, it IS Grigg, not Gregg). Again, I don't remember him being so funny in the book. Of course, it didn't hurt that he was played by the very adorable Hugh Dancy.
  • Prudy's character was horrible in the movie, at least during book club. I don't remember disliking her so much when I read the book. It WORKED though - she was supposed to be that way. It was quite well done.
  • On the other hand, I think she has one of the best lines in any movie I've seen recently: "He looks at me like he's the spoon and I'm the dish of ice cream." Which sounds cheesy, until you know the context ... and then it is completely naughty.
  • I love the way the romance blossoms between Grigg and ... (no I'm not going to spoil it for those who don't know what happens).
  • One of the gals in the movie/book breeds Rhodesian Ridgebacks. I've wanted one of those dogs for years! Did you know that they were originally bred to fight off lions?! Now THAT is one cool dog. Have you ever seen one? They have this ridge of hair down their spine that goes in the wrong direction. Again, I say that is one.cool.dog.
  • In the end, this is a movie (mostly) about the friendship between women, and it does a great job portraying the good parts.

*** Your Thoughts? ***

Have you read this book? Seen the movie? What did you think? If not, would you want to now? Tell me, Tell Me, TELL ME!

18 comments:

valentina said...

no way that's Riley from Buffy! ahah...
Don't think I will read the book but I wanna see the movie now! it seems fun,and I like Emily Blunt.

Aunt J-ha said...

I read the book a few months before I saw the movie and Honestly, I liked the movie more than the book. First time in history I'll say that and probably the last. And I did like the book. The Characters were human and likable, and their stories were compelling. My only complaint was the ending was very abrupt. I would have liked to follow the ladies longer, even though they had finished all the novels. I thought the movie illustrated their thoughts and motivations perfectly, while adding to the characters of Prudy and Sophia. It was funny at times and had a great soundtrack. I ws surprised by the casting, They were all quite a bit younger in the movie than in the book, but that's hollywood and it worked.

Glad to hear you enjoyed both!

Michelle said...

I read the book awhile ago and liked it but didn't love it. Then I watched the movie and like you, I liked the movie a lot better than the book. I think it was to do with the dreary feeling I got while reading the book.

Erika Robuck said...

I'm putting that right in my netflix list. Thanks so much. I enjoyed the book a few years ago when I read it, but I didn't know there was a movie.

Heather J. said...

valentina - ah, well, I guess if I'd ever watched Buffy I'd have known that ... oops!

Aunt J-ha - I think I remember thinking the same thing about the end of the book, that it was too sudden. As for the movie, now that you mention it, the actresses WERE much older, but it DID work well - I agree!

Michelle - unusual to like the movie better, but this one was very well done

Erika - oh you'll LOVE it! I only wish I'd have watched it with some girlfriends - that would have made it just a bit more enjoyable.

Florinda said...

I was kind of "meh" about the book, so I really wasn't interested in seeing the movie, but I enjoyed your review!

My mother-in-law used to have a Rhodesian Ridgeback. I never met him - he passed away before I met my husband - but according to her, Ridge was the Greatest Dog Ever.

chartroose said...

Yeah, I guess I'll see the movie even though I'm not a big Austen fan.

I've seen quite a few Ridgebacks out and about with their owners in Denver. They must be trendy here. They are definitely cool, and they seem to be pretty smart too. You should get one!

chartroose said...

Yeah, I guess I'll see the movie even though I'm not a big Austen fan.

I've seen quite a few Ridgebacks out and about with their owners in Denver. They must be trendy here. They are definitely cool, and they seem to be pretty smart too. You should get one!

Ruth @ Bookish Ruth said...

My mother and I both LOVED this film. Made me wish I had an awesome book club like that! (I loved Grigg's hosting of Northanger Abbey -- so awesome.)

Serena said...

maybe I should have watched the movie rather than read the book. I did not enjoy the book that much.

momofonefornow said...

I liked the book and the movie. I do think I liked the movie better. Didn't Emily Watson play Prudie? O really like her.

Stephanie said...

I read the book a few years ago and enjoyed it. I had no idea there was a movie of it until now! :)

Rebecca Reid said...

I have not read the book, but it *sounds* rather like a chic flick. Those kinds of stories always seem to work better in movies, rather than books.

Like I said, I haven't read it, so I'm totally judging here. But it does sound like a great movie! I may go add it to my Netflix queue.

Amy said...

Haven't read the book, but thought the movie was cute. :)

Nicole said...

I read the books a few years ago not expecting, much and ended up really enjoying it. I don't remember all the particulars of the book, so it would probably be easy for me to see the movie now that I am hearing that it is good. Thanks for the review.

Anna said...

Glad you enjoyed the movie. I noticed it was on tv, but I've been hesitant to watch it since I wasn't too thrilled with the book. None of the characters really grabbed me.

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

Rebecca said...

I haven't read the book, but I did see the movie and I liked it very much! I especially like the token guy who defies all stereotypes.

Stephanie said...

I didn't care for the book, but thought it translated to film quite well.

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