The Jane Austen Book Club (2007)

If ever there was a film that could be designated as a "chick flick" it has gotta be The Jane Austen Book Club. I've never read a Jane Austen novel, but what the heck?

Kathy Baker plays Bernadette, the senior woman of the group. She decides to start a book club devoted to the six novels of Jane Austen. The plan is to meet once a month, and each member will lead a discussion of the next Jane Austen book, whose novels focus on "
the dependence of women on marriage to secure social standing and economic security."

Anyway, the other members are all female, save one. Before the first meeting, a chance encounter with Jocelyn (Maria Bello) ends up with Grigg (Hugh Dancy) being the lone member possessing a Y chromosome. While at first he is like a fifth wheel on a four wheel drive car, he integrates in before too long. It's interesting to see how the group becomes a surrogate family as the film progresses, and their relationships deepen. There are also plenty of references to the Jane Austen novels, and I would had an even deeper understanding for the film had I read this author's works.

Still, I shouldn't have to read six novels just to watch a film. Even for the Jane Austen
naivetè, there was much to enjoy. This was hardly a simple and zany romantic comedy, and could also fit into the drama comedy at many points. While The Jane Austen Book Club is stuck in the "chick flick" mode for much of the film, it is still a flick worth watching.

Overall Grade: B+

Reviewed by Jonas


Missy said...

How carefully did you watch this movie? ;-) Trey isn't in the book club. The lone male in the group is Grigg, played by Hugh Dancy.

Missy http://missyisms.typepad.com

digitaldoc said...

Not carefully enough! Thanks for the correction. With 4 movies this week, it can be a little confusing at times.