Director: Jerusha Hess
Screenwriter: Jerusha Hess and Shannon Hale
U.S. Released: August 2013
Author: Shannon Hale
Published: May 29, 2007
I came across this book at my university library when I was looking for audiobooks to listen to while caring for my newborn son. As my sleep-deprived memory recalls, the book was funny, sweet, romantic, and very British even though the main character is not British. Given all of this, I had high expectations for this movie.
Keri Russell was a wonderful choice for Jane Hayes, the romantic American obsessed with Mr. Darcy, and JJ Field as Henry Nobley was divine. Unfortunately, most of the other choices were less notable and frankly seemed rather odd to me if one is judging on how much the characters reflected those found in the book. On the other hand, as characters in a movie, I am always drawn to actress Jennifer Coolidge who played Elizabeth Charming.
The film is about an Austen (Mr. Darcy) obsessed mid twenties woman who decides to spend her entire life savings to go on vacation at an Austen theme park. Before you dismiss this destination as ludicrous you should know that even official historical landmarks directly related to Austen's life regularly stage "reenactments" for fans to participate in. Upon arriving, Jane is immediately thrown together with a supporting cast member but finds herself drawn to Mr. Nobley. What then develops is the typical love triangle with an atypical story line. Having read the book I knew what to expect but I thought the screenwriter and director did a great job making sure the audience understood Jane's dilemma: does she embrace a possible real love or does she continue to embrace her idealized Mr. Darcy. I thought the last scene in Jane's apartment was by far the most true to Austen's own stories and would have loved a few more scenes between Jane and her chosen love.
Posted By: Sheri