Monday, March 10, 2014

Austenland book & movie

I was gifted a copy of the Austenland book for Christmas and got around to reading it this month (I suppose Valentine's Day put me in the spirit for a romance story). The story centers around Jane, a woman in her thirties who has yet to find true love...mostly because she is obsessed with the fantasy that someday she'll find her own Mr. Darcy. A rich aunt guesses Jane's secret fantasy and bequeaths a trip to Austenland to Jane. Austenland is a place where women go to live out their Austen fantasies complete with actors to play out the Austen roles.The premise is pretty ridiculous to me. Who in their right mind would think a fake pseudo-romance with a paid actor could bring happiness. However, the book was a quick easy read so I muddled through (albeit with much eye-rolling). Perhaps someone who is a big fan of Austen would enjoy the book more. I do like Austen, but am not obsessed. The ending was predictable (sort of) but also incredibly unlikely.

Although I was rather disappointed with the book, I decided to give the movie a shot since it has just recently shown up on Amazon Prime (and DVD). Surprisingly, the movie was much better and actually kind of good. The premise is mostly the same with a few details changed. The ending was changed enough to make it (slightly) more believable. I found the actors made the characters come to life a whole lot better than the written word. I had a hard time getting a feel for a lot of the characters in the book, but in the movie, every role makes sense. Jennifer Coolidge is fantastic as is JJ Field who is very Darcy-esque. All of the Austen characters are delightfully over the top. It was a fun way to spend 90 minutes. Skip the book, watch the movie.

Mostly the duo has rekindled my interest in Jane Austen. I've queued up Northanger Abbey on my Kindle to read next.


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