The group who get together for the book club all have their own problems but they slowly start to find help and comfort from each other. Sylvia’s (Amy Brenneman) husband has just left her so her daughter Allegra (Maggie Grace) has moved in with her, Prudie (Emily Blunt) is a teacher who fancies one of her students, Jocelyn (Maria Bello) has never been in a long-term relationship, Grigg (Hugh Dancy) is the lover of sci-fi and a Jane Austen-virgin, while Bernadette (Kathy Baker) is the most put together out of the whole group. Some of the book group have known each other for years while others are new found friends. It’s the quips and debates between them and the other people in their lives that makes The Jane Austen Book Club enjoyable and funny.
The thing that would probably add another layer of enjoyment to The Jane Austen Book Club is if you have read the six books by Jane Austen that are studied and talked about in the film. Not only would you have your own opinions on what the characters interpret from the books, but you’d probably be able to see how the six protagonist’s relationships mirror the novels a lot more easily. I have only read Pride & Prejudice so while I did enjoy The Jane Austen Book Club, and feel I didn’t miss that much from the overall story, if I’d known the Austen novels there might be some in-jokes and references I would’ve gotten.
The Jane Austen Book Club is a sweet, easy-watch kind of film with some good character dynamics and it’s definitely worth watching if you’re a Jane Austen fan. 3/5.