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The Jane Austen Book Club (Bilingual)

Maria Bello , Hugh Dancy , Robin Swicord    DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 9.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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The Jane Austen Book Club (Bilingual) + Becoming Jane + Sense and Sensibility
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The Jane Austen Book Club

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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Chick flick for Jane Austen fans June 18 2012
By G. Larouche TOP 500 REVIEWER
This is a cute little chick flick about a group of people, each with their own relationship issues, getting together to read Jane Austen's books, and watching the influence of the books unfold in their lives. Hugh Dancy and Emily Blunt's characters are the ones that really stuck with me. The plot is slightly predictable, but the ensemble cast and the good-natured humor of the story make this a lovely feel-good movie.

If you are a Jane Austen newbie, you may find this boring, as there are tons of references to the books and to the author's life. But someone who knows Austen's work well will find this a light-hearted and enjoyable flick.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars need background on Jane to fully get the ideas Dec 16 2010
By Brian Maitland TOP 500 REVIEWER
Quick tip. Before you start to watch the movie, go to the Special Features and watch the background history on Jane Austen. It'll help a lot in understanding the movie.

If you want, although it'll spoil some of the story, check out the feature on each character in the movie and who they are a representative of in the world of Jane Austen novels.

If you know Jane Austen in and out, you'll get way more out of this than the average person.

Having said that and this being a chick flick, I found two of the male roles the most interesting. Hugh Dancy as a lovable but bumbling sort of male dropped into this book club world of women is very good. Jimmy Smits (Cane!) is also surprisingly good as a husband who is lost and then finds his way (hopefully I haven't given too much away by saying that here).

Yes, the female roles are good but I only found Kathy Baker and Emily Blunt to be intriguing. The other three I just found to be OK (and I won't say anything more on that).

P.S. One bizarre thing is director Robin Swicord who appears on the extras looks uncanningly like an older Hayley Wickenheiser (Canadian women's hockey star).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Nice Ensemble Piece Aug. 9 2010
If you are looking for some nice acting, a little snappy patter, great soundtrack, and a very pleasant way to spend an hour or so, get the DVD.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars jane austins book club June 7 2009
By K. ditz
As a fan of Jane Austins,I liked the idea of people in a book club, that got together to discuss each book and what they thought was happening and their different debates and opinions.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  160 reviews
53 of 53 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Warm, Witty, and Wise! March 2 2008
By Benjamin J Burgraff - Published on Amazon.com
You don't have to be a fan of Jane Austen's novels to enjoy Robin Swicord's "The Jane Austen Book Club", but after spending 106 delightful minutes with some of the most likable people you'll ever meet, you may want to grab "Pride and Prejudice", and start a club of your own!

This IS another film where the women are all beautiful, and the men, hot, but, to Swicord's credit (working from Karen Joy Fowler's terrific novel), she establishes each character with a humanity that transcends appearance. Working mom, Syl (Amy Brenneman), has it all, with a great job as a librarian, a radiant, if klutzy, lesbian daughter (Maggie Grace), and a devoted husband (Jimmy Smits)...until he announces he was cheating on her, and asks for a divorce. Oft-married, ever-optimistic Bernadette (Kathy Baker) decides to create an Austen club to provide emotional support for both Syl and their best friend, ever-single dog trainer/matchmaker Jocelyn (Maria Bello), who is grieving over the loss of a beloved dog. Bernadette meets young, uptight French teacher/Austen devotee Prudie (Emily Blunt), who has her own baggage, with an inattentive husband (Marc Blucas), an ex-hippie mom (Lynn Redgrave), and a sexy student (Kevin Zegers), whose attentions are sparking her barely-repressed lust. The older woman quickly railroads Prudie into her plan, finalizing a book club that will be "all-women, all-Austen", focusing on a different Austen novel, each month. Ah, but then Jocelyn meets handsome young computer geek, Grigg (Hugh Dancy), and decides to pair Syl with him, using the club...so a male member joins in the mix, and the fun really begins...

With each major character a 21st century variation of an Austen one, the story unfolds around the monthly meeting/book discussions, allowing the entire cast opportunities to shine. Will Syl recover from her failed marriage? Will Prudie give in, and have her forbidden tryst? Will Jocelyn ever figure out Grigg loves HER? Swicord succeeds in making every subplot both involving, and entertaining!

Great bonus features make "The Jane Austen Book Club" even better. The Austen prototypes of each character are explained, there is a terrific biography of the writer (far better than the one offered in "Becoming Jane"), and an affectionate behind-the-scenes look at the production all truly expand the enjoyment of the film.

Is this a 'chick flick'? Certainly! But with it's well-written male roles, I prefer to think of this as an ideal 'date' movie, and an experience guys can enjoy, too!

"All Austen, all the time" never sounded better!
46 of 53 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Jane Austen Book Club Oct. 19 2007
By Michael Zuffa - Published on Amazon.com
Five women and one man decide to start a book club, reading the works of Jane Austen. Bernadette (Baker), the organizer of the club, is a woman looking to add one more to her many marriages. Jocelyn (Bello) is single and happy with her dogs. Sylvia (Brenneman) is in a failing marriage to Daniel (Smits). Allegra (Grace) is their lesbian daughter. Prudie (Blunt) is unhappily married, and attracted to one of her students. Lastly, there is Grigg (Dancy), a science fiction fan who is in the club because he is interested in Jocelyn. Their lives all contain elements that echo Jane Austen's stories, so their choice of reading is appropriate.

"The Jane Austen Book Club" is a female bonding movie that will also appeal to fans of Jane Austen. The acting is capable, but nothing outstanding. There is a little of everything relationship-wise here, and all the stories are handled pretty well. Jocelyn and Grigg's story is probably the most appealing though. To the story's credit, knowledge of Jane Austen isn't necessary, but it helps. In all fairness, the title of the film is going to draw in the appropriate audience, and they will probably enjoy it.
33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "No Rules, No Fear ~ Reading Jane Austen Is A Freaking Minefield" Feb. 10 2008
By Brian E. Erland - Published on Amazon.com
Warning: This is a major "Chick Flick", no testosterone required.

Chick flick or not, the '07 release `The Jane Austen Book Club' is a delightful film exploring the possible application of the six books comprising the "Jane Austen Bible" into the everyday lives and loves of five contemporary women. What was supposed to serve as a carefree diversion from the constant angst of male female relationships becomes the epicenter of their emotional venting and the Gospel of Jane the rule by which all relationships are judged.

The cast displays an infectious chemistry, the storyline solid and consistent from beginning to end and the dialogue is believable, containing a number of quotable lines that will stay with you. `The Jane Austen Book Club' is a terrific film for the females audience. As far as the guys are concerned, come on and give it a try, you know you have to give in once in a while. This one is not as painful as most within this genre.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Should be a crowd pleaser on DVD! Feb. 5 2008
By L. Quido - Published on Amazon.com
"The Jane Austen Book Club" (TJABC) was a 2004 novel by author Karen Joy Fowler. I acquired the novel last spring and relished the thought of reading a contemporary version of Austen's romances, with each character and each chapter tying into one of Austen's novels. A clever premise, some interesting characters....but I found the overall effort to be a tad on the lackluster side and kept picking the book up, and putting it down before eventually managing to end it all.

Robin Swicord tackled the job of getting this book to film; and it opened to very little fanfare last summer. As the members of the book club, the cast is a director's dream. It's always a joy to see Amy Brenneman (Of the TV Show, "Judging Amy", on the screen, and we've had too little of her in the world of film. Brenneman is devastated and devastating as an unwilling divorcee, Sylvia, who was married to Daniel (Jimmy Smits in an unfamiliar role) who has fallen in love with the other woman. Maggie Grace (Shannon from the TV Show, "Lost") is suitably cast as Allegra, Sylvia and Daniel's grown daughter. Much of Fowler's book centered on the oddities of Allegra...thankfully, the movie only touches on them.

Kathy Baker plays flamboyant, much-divorced Bernadette and does so with a satirical air. Maria Bello is Jocelyn, a dog breeder who is afraid of commitment. Bello is no surprise; she's done a credible job with every one of her big screen roles -- here we are caught up in her draw towards Grigg, the only male member of the club, although initially she attempts clumsily to "matchmake him" to Sylvia.

The outstanding turns belong to Hugh Dancy, as Grigg. He's a science fiction fan who accidentally meets Joceyln and accepts her invitation to join a book club reading a genre he has no idea about. He's subtly charming and has a way of 21st century hero about him; he and Bello are drawn like moths to flame. Also a stand out is Emily Blunt, so good in whatever she brings to the screen, as Prudie. Prudie's character is audacious -- an obsessive French teacher married to the wrong man, she's eager to find romance in any way she can.

Tying in Austen's novels and characters to the ensemble is easy, and a little tedious, but by film's end, you're glad you made the attempt. TJABC is kind of a "little film that could"...not excellent by any stretch of the imagination, but still a worthy contemporary treatise on Austen's themes.

Set in Sacramento, the surroundings are lovely and bracing, and the DVD has a full complement of extras like deleted scenes, the casting dilemma, and a lively conversation about the filming between Swicord, the producers, Maggie Grace and Hugh Dancy.

For once, a film that improves upon the material it was derived from. Worth a viewing!
34 of 43 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars what would jane think? Sept. 25 2007
By Daniel B. Clendenin - Published on Amazon.com
When a single guy and five women of very different ages and stages form a book club to discuss Jane Austen's six novels, their messy lives begin to imitate the art they're reading. The movie has six segments, each one named after one of the novels. With each turn of the kaleidoscope this film takes on the character of a soap opera--everyone has problems with love and marriage, too many sagas are treated too superficially, and little more than snappy verbal jousting moves the picture forward. And like a soap opera, neither real life nor Austen's novels enjoy the syrupy resolution of this film. My hunch is that a woman who has married six times is not a candidate for bliss on the seventh try, that a young teacher who hits on her high school student will not rebound so quickly, or that a twenty year marriage that ends in acrimony will probably not u-turn into one of affection after the husband (!) reads an Austen novel. If that's too critical, then enjoy this fluffy film as a fun romantic comedy that includes a reminder about the real problems that we all have with the game of love.
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