1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Sweet & Unpretentious,
This review is from: The Jane Austen Book Club [DVD]   (DVD)
This is a gorgeous little film. It is, as I have heard described, meant to be how several Jane Austen novels would play out if they were modernised. Some of the characters have several Jane Austen characters or plotlines that they have an affinity with, others it's harder to spot. Immediately the obvious one for me is seeing the similarities between Jocelyn & 'Emma', & as Jocelyn's character herself reflects upon the story line as `the humbling of the pretty know-it-all girl', though to that mixture I would also add rich girl. Prudie & Sylvia both have elements of `Persuasion' & `Mansfield Park' in their marriages & family lives. With Bernadette, she claims to `have had every marriage in this book' when talking about Pride & Prejudice, so you can see how cheekily & cleverly the storylines have been updated to fit the modern relationship.
If you have read some Jane Austen, it will make you want to read more. If you have read no Jane Austen it will make you want to read some. If you have already read all the Jane Austen's it will make you want to re-read them all, or track down the unfinished manuscripts & biographies, or even start a book club of your own. It's a film where feeling is contagious, & if you don't want to spring in to some kind of action at the end of it I'll be amazed.
There are no big budget sets here. No big 'A-Lister' stars to steal the show. They have involved an excellent mix of actors who you will recognise perhaps 2/3 of, but mostly their involvement is down to loving the original book, loving Jane Austen's books, & getting involved because of the great cast or the chance to play a really different & unusual character.
From watching the 'Extras' at the end there's this lovely feeling of really getting inside the film & the cast. The casting process is discussed & they describe how it was really down to the connections between actors, they wanted real chemistry to show through. Prudie's character [Emily Blunt] was key in this as they needed to cast a younger man as Trey who could be the kind of boy who would make you blush, & Marc Blucas was cast as her husband after they watched him do a scene with her & the director was so blown away with the connection she took about 30 seconds do decided to cast him & chased him down the street to tell him.
Overall it is a lovely understated film that is overlooked & not talked about enough. It's definitely one to invest in or take a chance on.