There is a scene in “The Jane Austen Book Club” where one of the characters is waiting for the light to change so she can cross the street to go to the hotel where her just graduated high school student is waiting to commence their affair.
Disappointed with her marriage, does Prudie (Emily Blunt) seek solace with the boy who she likens to a spoon that looks at her as if she were ice cream, or does she take a step back and evaluate who she is ans why is she so unhappy with her husband?
Her epiphany comes when the blinking sign flashes “What Would Jane Do?”
She is a part of the six-member book club that celebrates the timeless Jane Austen. Each month they get together and discuss one of her novels, while finding out how their lives correlate with books that were written over 200 years prior.
The club is started by the “married six times and thinking of taking a seventh husband” Bernadette (Kathy Baker) after her friend Sylvia (Amy Brenneman) finds out her husband is leaving her for a co-worker that is around her same age, much to her surprise.
Included in the group are Allegra (Columbus’s own Maggie Grace), the lesbian daughter to Sylvia who always finds herself in the hospital after trying new adventures; Jocelyn (Maria Bello) who mourns over her dog and spends most of her time in relationships with them rather than the opposite sex, and then there’s Grigg, the only male in the group. He was originally asked to be there by Jocelyn, who wants him to get together with her friend Sylvia.
Each member of the club has their own issues to sort out and cope with, but all find a common place of comfort curling up with the world and the words of Jane Austen.
Robin Swicord, who also co-wrote the screenplay with “The Jane Austen Book Club” author Karen Joy Fowler, directs a charming movie that celebrates not only the joy of reading books, but it also shows thinking about your actions before you jump headfirst into situations.
The acting in the movie is all around fantastic, but English actor Hugh Dancy, who plays Grigg, steals the show with his boyish and quirky presence.
Yes, I am sure most would classify this movie as a “chick-flick” and while I normally stay away from that genre, the “Jane Austen Book Club” is my exception. It makes me wish it were already out on DVD so during those winter months I could curl into a blanket, drink hot cocoa and watch it before snuggling up with my unfinished Jane Austen novels.
I gave this film a B+
Dedra Cordle is a Messenger staff writer.