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Thank you for visiting Grandma's Briefs, where I write on the good, bad, humorous and heartwarming of being a baby boomer, grandparent, parent to adult children, wife and writer. Peruse the place, leave a comment or two, and feel free to email me any time at

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    Saturday movie review: 'Austenland'

    Movies based on the lives of authors or anything remotely related to authors, though often good, tend to be, well, a tad stuffy and serious. That is so very much not the case with AUSTENLAND. And yes, the "Austen" part of the title does indeed relate to the esteemable Jane Austen, author of such classics as Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Mansfield Park and So. Many. More.


    A comedy about dear Ms. Austen? Well, it's not just a comedy; it's a romantic comedy. It's also a piece of fluff and puff. Nothing serious, nothing remotely deep or edifying. Nothing more than just plain puffy and fluffy fun. And that's exactly what makes it so very much worth watching.

    AUSTENLAND is the story of Jane Hayes (Keri Russell), a plain Jane of a gal who is completely, totally and ridiculously obsessed with all things Jane Austen. It should come as no surprise that the young gal's social and romantic life suffers, so in an effort to find a mate similar to marvelous Mr. Darcy, Jane blows spends her life savings on a visit to... Austenland.

    Fun, fun, fun.

    How could AUSTENLAND be anything but fun, though, when in addition to Keri Russell, the cast features in prominent roles the delightfully funny — sometimes even gasp-worthy funny — Jennifer Coolidge as well as adorable and endlessly amusing Bret McKenzie of Flight of the Conchords fame. (What? You don't know Flight of the Conchords? Get ye to some clips of that show now! Well, after you finish reading this review.)

    AUSTENLAND is based on a book of the same name by Shannon Hale, who helped co-write the screenplay with director Jerusha Hess (NAPOLEON DYNAMITE).

    Yeah, AUSTENLAND is ridiculous, but it's ridiculously fun. And sometimes that's all one wants in a film.

    For more ridiculous fun, enjoy this blooper reel from AUSTENLAND (don't worry... no spoilers here!):

    AUSTENLAND (rated PG-13 for "some suggestive content and innuendo") is available on Blu-Ray, DVD and iTunes. Find out more on the AUSTENLAND website — a fittingly fun romp through the details of the film — as well as on Facebook.

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    Reader Comments (7)

    I can't wait to see this movie, Lisa! All things Jane Austen are fine by me, and now with your review I'll be seeing this movie soon.

    Thanks so much! Glad you finally got to see it.

    March 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCathy

    Sounds like a good one to see, thanks for the review. Like Cathy, Jane Austen has always been an interesting subject for me.

    Glad you got to see it and enjoyed it.

    March 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnn

    Oh how fun! I missed this one somehow. Going to rent with my big girls...they've just finished some of her books...required reading! I know they'll love this. Thanks for a great review!

    March 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJoan Stommen

    Lisa, wish we could have seen this together last summer at the BlogHer screening. Your review reminded me that I want to see this film... Really, how many woman-writer-related films are there? Thanks for the review and the reminder!

    March 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNancy

    After watching the bloopers I think I saw all the best parts! I used to hate Keri Russell but she converted me with The Americans and I love Jennifer Coolidge and Flight of the Concords! SHould be good -- thank you!

    March 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGrandma Kc

    Yay! I'm so glad to hear you all enjoyed the review. I can't wait to hear your thoughts once you've watched AUSTENLAND.

    Grandma Kc: Hate Keri Russell? What?! Happy to know you've come around. :-D (I hope to one day binge watch The Americans. We don't get the channel it's on and hope to view on Amazon Prime or Netflix or something.)

    March 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLisa @ Grandma's Briefs

    I thought I would die laughing when I watched it! great movie. great book.

    April 4, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterkelley
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