Monday, October 15, 2007

The Jane Austen Book Club

Tonight I saw Jane Austen Book Club, starring Maria Bello and Kathy Baker.

This is one of those I don't want to like, but I sort of can't help myself.

There are all the typical components of a shameless chick flick:

• Cheating husband
• Scorned wife
• Token lesbian
• Convenient free spirit
• Bitter spinster
• Obligatory nice guy

All of that, plus Starbucks, wine and literature, and I still lasted through the credits.

The buried delight of this film is that they are taking feasible situations and treating them in a more charming than realistic way, which actually makes it more digestible. Sort of like cough syrup chased with Coca-Cola or a caramel macchiato.

And what's more, the cute guy is truly very cute.

My main problems with the film were that men (with the exception of Mr. Very Cute) were portrayed as clueless oafs and women were only a superior emotionally unstable improvement.

And metaphorically, all of the characters' lives mirrored those of the books they were reading, but the interpretation was so literal, it was much less clever than it could have been.

But in the spirit of Austen, who really did tie everything up in a nice pretty bow at the end, the movie makes a decent attempt.

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