I’m a Jane Austen fan, although I admit, I enjoy the movies more than I do the books. I think that still counts, doesn’t it? When I heard a movie had been made about a book club devoted only to the works of Jane Austen, I was intrigued. When I started hearing movie reviews both of a favorable and unfavorable nature, I was even more intrigued. I decided to see the film for myself and create my own opinion. And because I’m very opinionated, that’s exactly what I did.
We begin the movie with four women who are good friends. There’s Bernadette, kind of the mother hen of the group, married six times and looking for number seven. Jocelyn has never been in a close romantic relationship and doesn’t think such things really exist. Sylvia believes herself to be happily married, until her husband drops the bomb—he’s seeing a woman at work and he wants a divorce. Their daughter, Allegra, is a free spirit who is still trying to find her wings.
When Sylvia’s friends learn of her divorce, they decide to call upon one of their common bonds and start a Jane Austen book club to take her mind off the direction her life has taken. By chance, Bernadette meets Prudie, a self-absorbed high school French teacher, and invites her to join. Jocelyn meets Grigg, a young man who enjoys science fiction and has never read Jane Austen, but is willing to give it a try. These six come together and use the lessons in the novels to help them overcome problems in their own lives, all the while using the lens of each other’s perceptions to help see themselves more clearly.
That said, it should have been a very good movie.
However, there were other elements in the film that kept me from enjoying it fully. Allegra is lesbian, and while we don’t see any complete bed scenes between her and her partners, there was just enough to make me uncomfortable. Prudie is strongly tempted to have an affair with one of her students, although, to her credit, she walks away and recommits to making her marriage stronger.
Do I recommend this film? If you own a ClearPlay, or if you have a friend who’s already seen it and will hold the remote to blip you through the questionable scenes, then yes, I would recommend it. The parts I enjoyed, I really enjoyed. The parts I didn’t enjoy, I can’t recommend. And there you have it.
This film was rated PG-13.
Join me back here on Friday as we continue our love fest with old classic movies.
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