My 2 Cents… The Jane Austen Book Club

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JaneTitle: The Jane Austen Book Club (2007) 
Director: Robin Swicord 
Writers: Robin Swicord (screenplay) and Karen Joy Fowler (book) 
Stars: Maria Bello (Jocelyn), Emily Blunt (Prudie), Kathy Baker (Bernadette), Amy Brenneman (Sylvia), Maggie Grace (Allegra), and Hugh Dancy (Grigg)
Genre(s): Comedy/Drama/Romance

Writing: ★★★★
Cinematography: ★★★★
Story: ★★★★
Acting: ★★★★
Overall: ★★★★ (4)

Buy it HERE

Six Californians start a club to discuss the works of Jane Austen, only to find their relationships – both old and new – begin to resemble 21st century version of her novels.

The Jane Austen Book Club explores Austen’s adage that general incivility is at love’s essence. Sylvia’s husband dumps her for another woman, so Bernadette and Jocelyn organize a book club to distract her. They recruit Sylvia’s daughter Allegra; Prudie, a young teacher whose marriage may be on the rocks; and Grigg, a sci-fi fan who joins solely out of his attraction to Jocelyn. The six book club members read and discuss one Austen novel per month. While Jocelyn attempts to peak Grigg’s interest in Sylvia, she fails to see her own interest in him rising. Allegra falls in love with a woman she meets skydiving. Then, after unexpected heartache she is able to mend her heart through a new relationship. Prudie contemplates an affair with one of her students and may take things a little to far. Sylvia’s ex-husband keeps popping back into her life and eventually tells her he still loves her. By the end of the movie, the truth about each of our characters is revealed.

I’m not going to lie, this is a chick-flick. I love a good romantic comedy chick-flick every now and then, but they are not my typical go-to movie. With that said, as an author and an avid reader, I LOVED THIS FILM!

The cast is amazing… In fact, I really can’t image a better cast. With Emily Blunt, Maria Bello, Amy Brenneman, and Kathy Baker taking the lead, this movie was destined to be a success. And a story line that manages to infuse the characters’ lives with pieces of Jane Austen’s fictional world is just plain fun.

Like most chick-flicks, this film isn’t about wowing the viewers with amazing cinematography and extraordinary special effects. This film relies solely on the dialogue and the actors’ abilities to communicate their emotions to the audience. The character development within each relationship as well as individually gives the viewer so much to watch, explore, and relate to. Of course, not everyone will be able to relate to every character… but that is the beauty, there is a character for everyone.

I believe that if Austin were alive today, she would be proud of the way this film utilized her themes and wove them into the lives of the characters beautifully.

Watching the film, you get a sense that Karen Joy Fowler, author of the book ‘The Jane Austin Book Club, truly has a passion for and understands Austin’s books. Although I have not yet read ‘The Jane Austin Book Club’ I do intent to add it to my ‘To Read’ list. I think that anyone who admires Austin’s books will enjoy this film.

If you have watched this movie (or read the book) please comment below and let me know what you thought of it. If you haven’t seen the movie, but are intrigued enough to watch it, then I challenge you to watching and then come back and let me know what you thought.

“Let us never underestimate the power of a well-written letter.” ~ Bernadette

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You can watch the official trailer here:

My 2 Cents… Confessions of a Shopaholic



Movie/Book: Confessions of a Shopaholic
Director: P.J. Hogan
Screenplay Writer(s): Tracey Jackson, Tim Firth, and Kayla Alpert
Book By: Sophie Kinsella
Stars: Isla Fisher, Hugh Dancy, and Krysten Ritter

A college grad lands a job as a financial journalist in New York City to support where she nurtures her shopping addiction and falls for a wealthy entrepreneur.

Struggling with her debilitating obsession with shopping and the sudden collapse of her income source, Rebecca Bloomwood unintentionally lands a job writing for a financial magazine after a drunken letter-mailing mix-up. Ironically writing about the very consumer caution of which she herself has not abided, Rebecca’s innovative comparisons and unconventional metaphors for economics grants her critical acclaim, public success, and the admiration of her supportive boss Luke. But as she draws closer to her ultimate goal of writing for renowned fashion magazine Alette, she questions her true ambitions and must determine if overcoming her “shopaholic” condition will bring her real happiness.

Book Blurb:
Becky Bloomwood has a fabulous flat in London’s trendiest neighborhood, a troupe of glamorous socialite friends, and a closet brimming with the season’s must-haves. The only trouble is, she can’t actually afford it—not any of it. Her job writing at Successful Saving magazine not only bores her to tears, it doesn’t pay much at all. And lately Becky’s been chased by dismal letters from the bank—letters with large red sums she can’t bear to read. She tries cutting back. But none of her efforts succeeds. Her only consolation is to buy herself something. . . just a little something.

Finally a story arises that Becky actually cares about, and her front-page article catalyzes a chain of events that will transform her life—and the lives of those around her—forever.

By your copy of Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella HERE!

The Books:
• The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic (2000) also published as Confessions of a Shopaholic (2001)
• Shopaholic Abroad (2001) also published as Shopaholic Takes Manhattan (2002)
• Shopaholic Ties the Knot (2002)
• Shopaholic & Sister (2004)
• Shopaholic & Baby (2007)
• Mini Shopaholic (2010)
• Shopaholic to the Stars (2015)
• Shopaholic to the Rescue (2016)

Writing: ★★★
Story: ★★★
Acting: ★★★★
Overall: ★★★ (3.33)

My 2 Cents:
I read the book, Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella, years ago. I can’t really say I remember too much about it, but I do remember enjoying it. In fact, I enjoyed it enough to run out and by the next two books in the series as soon as I finished. I think that was where I stopped. The rest of the series hadn’t come out at the time.

The movie is based on the first two books in the series, Confessions of a Shopaholic and Shopaholic Abroad. Lucky for me, as I watched I slowly started to remember bits and pieces of the books. I absolutely love Isla Fisher, but would never have cast her in the role of Rebecca Bloomwood and although Hugh Dancy didn’t quiet look like the image I had of Luke Brandon in my head, they both delivered solid performances.

Let me first clarify… I love Isla Fisher. She is charming, funny, goofy, and very talented. I have enjoyed her in just about everything I have seen her in. However, she didn’t fit the image of the young girl living way beyond her means in London that Sophie Kinsella portrayed in her book. Maybe that is because the movie jumps right in with her living in New York city and skips the back story of London all together… I missed that aspect of the story and honesty, I think with it missing, the movie just didn’t meet my expectations.

This was another case where the book was way better than the movie. Sure, the performances were fun, the story was enjoyable, and the movie was watchable, but it still lands with an average 3.33 rating from me.

You can watch the official trailers here: