Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 22 July 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

Cancer:

Your career has been undergoing some dramatic changes. At long last, you'll have a chance to slow down and catch your breath. Getting used to a new set of responsibilities will take time and patience. Try not to be hard on yourself when you struggle with unfamiliar concepts. Nobody expects perfection, especially at this stage of the game. The more gentle you are with yourself, the easier it will be to master this role. If you're out of work, take this opportunity to rest and reflect on future possibilities.More