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The Jane Austen Book Club (2007)

tomatometer

65

Average Rating: 6.1/10
Reviews Counted: 115
Fresh: 75 | Rotten: 40

Though at times formulaic and sentimental, Jane Austen Book Club succeeds on the strength of its likable ensemble cast. Even those not familiar with Jane Austen's work may find much to enjoy this lighthearted romance.

74

Average Rating: 6.3/10
Critic Reviews: 34
Fresh: 25 | Rotten: 9

Though at times formulaic and sentimental, Jane Austen Book Club succeeds on the strength of its likable ensemble cast. Even those not familiar with Jane Austen's work may find much to enjoy this lighthearted romance.

audience

67

liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 26,708

My Rating

Movie Info

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

PG-13,

Drama, Romance, Comedy

Robin Swicord

Feb 5, 2008

$3.3M

Sony Pictures Classics - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (119) | Top Critics (36) | Fresh (75) | Rotten (40) | DVD (9)

Just fine in a sentimental, mainstream kind of way. Although by constantly referencing Austen's sharp wit and characterisation, this can only ever come up short in comparison.

November 14, 2007 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Worth attending.

October 8, 2007
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

October 6, 2007 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This marvelously intelligent romantic comedy will captivate even those who don't know or care much about Austen, although there's undeniably an extra layer of pure delight to be found if you do.

October 5, 2007
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Unlike so many chick flicks that celebrate female solidarity as a concept without ever making us feel it, The Jane Austen Book Club is convincingly feminist in a nonpolitical way.

October 5, 2007 Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film has an undeniable, easygoing charm. Real life is seldom so pleasingly plotted, but then real life is what people go to movies like this to get away from.

October 4, 2007 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

...not a genre film but...deserves mention for portraying a character who is a fan of science-fiction but is not characterized as a hopeless geek...

March 10, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinefantastique
Cinefantastique

A surprisingly successful, un-Hallmark-ified take on the traditional chick flick.

August 27, 2008 Full Review Source: ReelzChannel.com

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. 666. Coincidence? I think not.

April 16, 2008 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central | Comments (3)
Film Freak Central

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.

February 28, 2008 Full Review Source: Colorado Springs Gazette
Colorado Springs Gazette

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.

February 20, 2008 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

Breaking up, jealousies, match making and a bid for second chances are the themes of this vibrant and uplifting film that explores life, love and desire.

January 24, 2008 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Charming, funny and romantic.

January 16, 2008 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

These ladies have too much time on their hands if the only thing they worry about is finishing their reading assignment in time for their next bout of well-heeled lusting.

November 16, 2007 Full Review Source: thelondonpaper
thelondonpaper

The contrivance is horrible, the schmaltz unpardonable.

November 16, 2007 Full Review Source: Independent
Independent

THIS beautifully acted story is, underneath it all, a fairly formulaic chick flick.

November 16, 2007 Full Review Source: Sun Online
Sun Online

Positively marinated in oestrogen, this is aimed at middle-aged females - the more unhappily married the better - with the cardiganed cast spending much of the running time drinking tea on verandas and moaning about men over their knitting.

November 16, 2007 Full Review Source: Daily Mirror [UK]
Daily Mirror [UK]

The Jane Austen Book Club, based on Karen Joy Fowler's bestseller, offers a distinctive vision of hell - a plane of being where there are only six novels that matter, and they're consulted like all-purpose agony aunts.

November 16, 2007 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

This is a rom-com that tries to be sassy and true but ends up ridiculously unlike any kind of reality at all.

November 15, 2007 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

A twittering soap opera about five Californian women using Jane as an agony aunt for their love problems.

November 15, 2007 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

Comfortable if unchallenging, watching this gentle, female-oriented film is a bit like curling up in bed with a book whose ending you already know. No alarms and no surprises.

November 15, 2007 Full Review Source: Film4

The women are so seemingly at ease in their roles that the movie drifts towards its happy-ever-after finale without a missed beat.

November 15, 2007 Full Review Source: Times [UK]
Times [UK]

Average romantic drama that stays watchable thanks to its excellent cast, though it's neither as emotionally engaging nor as clever as it thinks it is.

November 15, 2007 Full Review Source: ViewLondon
ViewLondon

Quite a nice little relationship comedy-drama, but essentially for an audience of what the French charmingly call 'women of a certain age'. Totally not the Superbad set, then.

November 14, 2007 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

A drippy chick-flick about six Sacramentans who find their lives mirroring the English novelist's fictions.

November 14, 2007 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Audience Reviews for The Jane Austen Book Club

Interesting how six members of the book club's lives play out over six months - one month for each of Jane Austen's books. I had two problems - 1) the movie was too predictable and 2) I would probably have rated it one more star if I had actually read Austen's books. I've only read one (P&P), and it hardly had a role in the movie at all.
May 19, 2012
Redlats

Super Reviewer

Much like an actual Austen novel, a group of women are changed by their relationships, defined by their sex, and smart as whips. Good for any Austen aficionado, or at least someone who's seen one of the adapted films.
December 9, 2010
FrizzDrop

Super Reviewer

I found this film so dumb. I found that the acting was not the best.
September 8, 2010
erika250
erika bruhns

Super Reviewer

This is a film filled with really well fleshed out characters but with a story that is a little bare. There is no real beginning and end to it but just a look into these peoples lives as they begin relationships that may last a life time.
All the actresses do great jobs with the roles they have been given and Dancy holds his own against all these powerful women.
I haven't read any of the books of Jane Austen and this movie didn't make me want to either. But it was nice seeing them do it.
June 14, 2009
superclerk25

Super Reviewer

    1. Jocelyn: What would Jane do?
    – Submitted by Pam A (2 years ago)
View all quotes (1)

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