The Jane Austen Book Club

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Every character walks onstage at just the right moment. Everyone has a well-defined role to play. Every plot line is destined for a happy ending without a flicker of concern about how real life works. This is art imitating art. In the end, Austen controls things much too much. The modern world is much different than Regency England, a point made during the opening credits that portray modern life as nerve-racking and mean-spirited.

The film needs to take into account those differences.

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Kirk Honeycutt. Although by constantly referencing Austen's sharp wit and characterisation, this can only ever come up short in comparison. Anna Smith. Stella Papamichael. Richard Roeper. The real disappointment is the paint-by-numbers flatness of the contemporary stories and characters; it's hard to care much about Sylvia and Prudie with Elizabeth Bennett and Emma Woodhouse hovering in the wings. Tom Beer. Steve Biodrowski. A surprisingly successful, un-Hallmark-ified take on the traditional chick flick.

Heather Huntington. Austen wrote six novels and The Jane Austen Book Club is about six people who meet to discuss them over the course of six months. I think not.

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Walter Chaw. The Jane Austen Book Club is both a testament to Austen's continued relevance and a fine example of classroom particulars converted into entertaining banter without losing any oomph. Brandon Fibbs. If you're prepared to sit through a lot of mediocrity in search of a few worthwhile moments and a couple of actors who rise above the material, then you might be satisfied. Brian Webster.

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As five women and one enigmatic man meet to discuss the works of Jane Austen, they find their love lives playing out in a 21st century version of her novels. Sylvia, is shocked when her husband Daniel, leaves her after 20 plus years and three children. Jocelyn, her unmarried best friend, distracts herself from her unacknowledged loneliness by breeding dogs.

Prudie is a young French teacher, in possession of a worthy husband yet distracted by persistent fantasies about sex with another man. The many times married Bernadette develops a yearning for one more chance at happiness. Beautiful, risk-taking Allegra, Sylvia and Daniel's lesbian daughter, has quit talking to her lover. And Grigg, a young science fiction fan and computer whiz, seems horribly both out of place and obliviously at ease as the only man to be invited into the book circle.

PG for mature thematic material, sexual content, brief strong language and some drug use. Comedy , Drama , Romance. Robin Swicord. Feb 5, Sony Pictures Classics. Kathy Baker as Bernadette. Maria Bello as Jocelyn. Emily Blunt as Prudie. Amy Brenneman as Sylvia.

Jane Austen Book Club

Hugh Dancy as Grigg. Maggie Grace as Allegra. Lynn Redgrave as Mama Sky. Jimmy Smits as Daniel. Marc Blucas as Dean. Kevin Zegers as Trey.

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Parisa Fitz-Henley as Corinne. Gwendoline Yeo as Dr. Samantha Yep.