Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

The Jane Austen Book Club (12A)

The multiplex might as well put up a sign in the foyer: blokes this way for American Gangster, ladies that way for The Jane Austen Book Club.

This gals-together flick, based on the bestselling book, at least has the good taste to see that Austen and her six novels are worthy of discussion. But did writer-director Robin Swicord have to turn them into such soppy, Californian-therapy mush?



The assembly of the club involves grindingly obvious box-ticking: there's the single woman (Maria Bello), the recently separated one (Amy Brenneman), the lesbian one (Maggie Grace), the unhappily married one (Emily Blunt), the multiply divorced one (Kathy Baker), plus an obligatory beefcake (Hugh Dancy).



The mishaps of the plot echo those from the Austen novels, which the group seem bent on reading less for their literary interest than for their potential as life lessons. The contrivance is horrible, the schmaltz unpardonable.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Latest Entertainment News

Latest Music News

Latest Film & TV News

Latest Eating Out News

Horoscopes

Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant

Virgo:

Coming to a loved one's rescue fills you with pride. You have good instincts about how to help people. Although a partner's ways can be irritating, it does give you pleasure to make order from their chaotic life. Are you single? You could meet someone special through a mutual friend. It's not easy for you to let down your defences with casual acquaintances. A compassionate person will make you feel less self conscious. You may find yourselves chatting as if you've known each other for years.More