Hi everyone! Continuing with the Jane Austen cineforum, guys, and today I have to say it will be … oh, yeah! AUSTENLAND!!!!!!!!!! I mean, have you ever seen this movie?? I once read a list featuring The top movies list to see when you’re stoned. First place, Pippi Longstockings (no arguing with that AT. ALL!!!), but I believe that THIS ONE totally deserved a place too!!! (I don’t do drugs, embrace it, so I will switch to… Top movies list to see when you’ve eaten a 14 courses meal, preferably in the evening, ok??) That being said… uhm, I WILL do a post about that! Austenland. AUSTENLAND!!!
Inspired by the book by Shannon Hale, this 2013 movie deserves a place of its own! On the dvd shelf, in the cinema history, in your mind, in your dreams, you name it! It has a cast of interesting names, beginning with JJ Feild (who was chosen because of his GRRRREAT performance in the movie I’ve just written about, Northanger Abbey), Keri Russell, Jane Seymour (the hostess and owner of Austenland), James Callis (Gaius Baltar in Battlestar Galactica) and… ooohhh, Stifler’s mum!! Jennifer Coolidge!!! (aka Sophie Kaczynski in 2 Broke Girls!) I must buy the book because after seeing the movie I NEED to read the real thing. Basically, the story is about this nowadays girl Jane, who is completely, hopelessly obsessed with Jane Austen and decides to spend all her savings on a vacation at … Austenland! A theme park, a mansion, a palace surrounded by meadows and romantic spots, all in Regency style! Everyone dresses appropriately and talks and behaves in the fashion of Jane Austen’s times and novels. A dream come true? Definitely not! Because… Well, now it gets tricky. Because the idea was great, but then I lost myself and it all becomes so strange, weird, funny and… if you’re expecting a romantic comedy or even a historical movie.. no no, you have to watch this with tons of friends and tons of pizza! I will try to write it down! Are you familiar with those lists that people do such as “My 100 thoughts during Spiderman 4”, well, here it comes! 🙂 Takes dvd out, watches the cover, (oh God, oh God) opens it and… play!
- Well, I like the red screen with the nice golden opening credits and the classical music
- Jane Seymour is holding a stuffed lamb! (note: there will be stuffed animals ALL OVER Austenland!! Why?? To convey a sense of countryland? Of nature? Why not real animals? How much is a real living lamb? Or is it ironic?? I must read the book. Will I find my answers there?)
- Flashback of Keri Russell at highschool. Why? Couldn’t they put a highschool girl? Mgh…
- She and her friend look at each other awkwardly. What’s going on?
- Flashback finished. Nowadays. Ok, that was helpful. …Cut!
- She and her boyfriend are watching BBC’ Pride and Prejudice and he punches mister Darcy’s cardboard that she keeps in the living room. 🙂 I like that!
- I like how her best friend is telling her that going to Austenland is crazy. Thank you, dear friend. SHUT UP!
- If a 30 year old girl is really having all that crazy Austen stuuf in her house… no, I can’t believe it, and that’s coming from a cinema memorabilia lover too. That’s simply too much, come on!
- Of course her friend gives her a goodbye gift: a dress that should be Jane Austen-y, while it seems a carnival red costume, all wrong and … I don’t know. Is it ironic? If not: “Thank you, dear friend, you really made an effort. …” I must read the book.
- Some film shots of London. Ehm… I…I don… I… Really?? A woman with a fuchsia hat in a red telephone booth?? In 2013?? Come on!
- Jennifer Coolidge yay!!!!!!
- Jane is wearing THE carnival costume WITH … SNEAKERS. Why???
- Oh yeah, they have to wait for the guy who’s picking them up at the airport and be dressed in Regency style. So why the sneakers??? I must read the book.
- The guy who picks them up… using a…carriage? Nope. A car. A vintage car. Why? WHY?? I am missing something. Are they being deliberately non accurate? Why? Why????? WHAT???
- She apologizes with the driver guy because she is dressed with a costume. Isn’t that the whole point of the vacation? If she loves it so much why is she apologizing? It’s the guy’s job to see hundreds of people dressed like that? Why the apology? What, jane, what?? What is your problem??
- They arrive at the first house before getting to the grand mansion. And here you have the first clue that the driver thinks this whole thing is idiotic. And he kinda begins to get flirty with Jane, in the way: “This is all stupid, but I get along to keep the job. Let’s hate it together, shall we?” And she… she LOVE THIS. WHY?????????????? You already hate it here too, Jane? Why????
- Jane Seymour, aka mrs Wattlesbrook, shows an unexplicable hatred towards Jane. At first sight. Why??? And she treats her from the very beginning as rubbish because, get this: the Park offers different kinds of experiences, the gold, silver, copper vacations. That being, the more you spend, the better we’ll treat you. Even as a person. So, because Jane bought the “cheap” packet, they intend to treat her as a poor, humble, silly girl. What? Why? I would take my luggage and leave. At once. No. She will endure that. THE HELL WHY?? What’s your game, Austenland??? I must read the book.
- The driver’s flirting. I hate that.
- Mrs Wattlesbrook explains the rules. No nowadays/modern objects are to be used. And every guest will be guaranteed a love story with a Jane Austen’s type guy. … er. … that… sounds… normal. Ehm. What do you mean by “love story”? … Uhm… ergh… Moving on.
- The dress up scene where they get prepared. How cute! Finally some dress… aaaaaaand she hides a phone in her cleavage. Right. Perfect. WHY??????????? WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT??? If I went on a historical themed vacation I wouldn’t…for the world….aaaaarrrgghghh!!!!!!!!!! I hope they’ll bust her in a minute, GOD!!!!
- Thank you very much for the upbeat music. That… just… yes. Great. *Tunz tunz tunz tunz!!!!*
- They get a carriage to go at Pembroke Park, and another carriage is going away. Sitting in it is a girl in Les Miserables style, looking like a greek tragedy, kinda like she’s been kicked out of the house, after being punched in the face. Is… this… a horror movie??
- Jennifer Coolidge aka Stifler’s mum aka miss Charming takes a look at the servants’… ehm… well… at their… erm… WHAT KIND OF A MOVIE IS THIS ANYWAY???
- And mrs Wattlesbrook goes “Tut tut tut!” like “No no no, not yet!” ….WHAAAAAAAAA????
- The butlers and the maids are all lined up in front of the house. They are… like… 30. Aaaaanddd… as the two women get inside, we are revealed how many guests there are at the famous Austenland Park!!!
- Like 3
- As in. Three guests. Jane, miss Charming and another girl. three. 3 girls. And 30 butlers. Oooookkkk. Who’s paying the all thing? I don’t know, frankly. Beats me.
- They take them to their rooms and, since miss Charming is Paying and I mean PAYING a lot, guess what: SHE HAS A FLAT SCREEN IN HER SUITE ROYALE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A FLAT SCREEN AS BIG AS A HORSE!!!!! WHAT. THE. HELL!!!!!!!
- Oh, yeah, right. Jane will sleep in the gutter. I mean, she payed just, what? 300.000 dollars? Copper treatment, copper treatment, boooooooooo!!!!!!!!
- Now let’s meet the actors who will entertain the girls during the vacation! The husband of mrs Wattlesbrook. Useless drunken man. Colonel Andrews, lady Amelia (the other guest) and the Darcy like type, a mister Nobley, who seems in the part. The others are just… I don’t …know…
- Oh look. All the girls are wearing shiny make up. So Regency. Is it ironic? I’m getting tired…
- Mister Nobley getting molested by the loud miss Charming Stifler’s mum is good! 🙂 He is great! That is believable! Why the movie isn’t all like this??
- So the wonderful Austenland experience is about seven people in a mansion as big as… I don’t know, Switzerland? I thought there would have been lots and lots and lots of guests and people dressed in lovely clothes and… no. They all fit on two sofas. Grrrreat.
- But, hey, it seems there’s some nice chemistry between Jane and mister Nobley, uuhhhhh…wwwait, no, the driver again. Yes, Jane goes for a walk and meets the driver/gardener: flirt flirt flirt. Jane expresses her first doubts about Austenland. That seems… legit. After all, it’s her first day!!!!!!!!!!! “Yes, I am already done with all this!” …….
- Okay this is a must. “We are going a’-hunting!!!” Yes, the hunt scene. And: the servants put DEAD PHEASANTS on wood branches sticking out of the earth. They have pheasants with branches up their … Oh wait no. Thos are not branches. Those are those things you use to throw things in the air after screaming “PULL!!!” and then you shoot. So basically they are shooting dead stuffed animals flying across the sky. With guns. The three ladies are shooting. Very Regency.
- Oh, yes, Amelia, the third guest, is wearing a black top hat.
- And the gardener is wearing a pirate hat. … A pirate hat. A PIRATE HAT. YOU READ THAT?????? PIRATE. HATTT!!!!!!!
- Uuuuuh, she gets caught in the rain and mister Nobley arrives on a white horse to rescue her!! This is sooo rom… No. Yeah. Great. Britney Spears music. No, I know it’s not B. Spears, but the feeling is the same. So Regency.
- Jane wandering in the evening around Austenland reminds me of a Dirty dancing’s Baby, when she walks alone looking around. But more depressing. … Shouldn’t she want to be where the action is?? With her six friends?? At home? No. Wander around, Jane, no one to find anywhere, anyway, just so you know…
- And just like Baby, she finds the hut (yes, the HUT), where the flirty gardener lives. And he is singing AND playing the saxophone. Ok… Stress release, I get that. … … And when he invites her into the hut, we see how this is working as a true home: like, he has hay bales, those singing salmons hanging on the wall, a lantern, postcards, cds, yeah… I’ll live there for months. … …God.
- Oh, look, he gets into a fake crybaby act about: “It’s all so FAKE in here, I can barely stand it…” And she is all: “Yes, I hear you, they all seem crazy to me. It’s nice to take a break from them!” LIKE. ARE YOU KIDDIN’ ME???
- A noise! What’s that? A female horse nearby is giving birth! … (really? NOW?) And the guy becomes the hero helping her! So romantic. I… I think I’ll skip to Pippi Longstockings…
- Normal Austen moment: the three girls read together some novels in the living room. Great! No. No. Nooo, she GETS TIRED and goes outside looking for THE GARDENER. STOOOP!!! ENOUGH!!!!!!!!
- I said enough? Well! My friends, now there is a true TOP MOMENT because a new actor arrives!!! Mrs Wattlesbrook calls a new actor to entertain the girls and a handsome, sexy hot pirate guy enters!!! Now this guy is gonna spend all the time bare chested, dressed in gold trousers, with no shirt and golden earrings, tellin’ tales from the sea. I… don’t… get it. Ironic? But why? Why should mrs W be calling for this sexy man who is the least Regency guy in da world??? When Austenland has all these stricht rules about being in-character????
- The pirate guy kisses Jane and the gardener gets angry. Mister Nobley gets offended. Jane is just enjoying all the craziness.
- Top scene: we discover that the poor actors in Austenland park need a … weird, modern place to relax and just recharge. So they spend their free time among barbecues, a big blue pool, pink plastic flamingoes, tons of little televisions, drinking cocktails and playing videogames. …Wearing white wigs, sunbathing in sunglasses and Regency shirts and… all but mister Nobley, who stays in character all time and never gets undressed in public. But. It seems like all the other actors… they all HATE pretending being regency Jane Austen actors. WHY???? Why did you take that job then? I must read the book.
- In the living room they all beg Jane to play the piano. I like that, very Regency, perfect 🙂 Aren’t you happy, Jane? That’s the kinda experience you wa… No. She sits down and starts singing: “I’m gonna take my clothes off!” … Ok. Stop. Stop right there. WHY?? Why does she wants to ruin everything for everyone? Do you hate mrs Wattlesbrook? Then, react in a Jane Austen way, HUH??? You hate Austenland?? LEAVE!!! You… I… I must read the book.
- Mister Nobley acts all kind and gentle. Surprise! She hates it! …Ok. Jane. JANE!!! You were kissing a CARDBOARD of Colin Firth, now you have mister Darcy RIGHT HERE, although equally fictional, and … well, that’s what you wanted, right?? SO: what is your problem????????
- I love mister Nobley.
- Jane has a super idea! She will take control of her own character and no longer be treated as a poor humble girl, but she will try to be funny and flirty and the queen of the prom! That would be a great idea, Jane! Although… all she does is: steal some clothes of the third girl and – during a slow motion scene (…) – kisses every possible man on the cheek, touches every possible man’s shoulder in a seducing way (….!!!!!!!!) and other delighting things that a proper girl during those times WOULD HAVE NEVER DONE!!!!!!!! Jane: you claim that you read Pride and Prejudice a thousand times by the time you were.. five? And that’s how much you know that world??? And those girls??? AAAAAuuughhg!!!
- Croquet game: the captain plays bare chested wearing just a striped vest. DEAR GOD!
- The girls decorate bonnets and hats! Cute 🙂 …With hot glue guns. RAUUURRGGHHGG!!!!
- Stuffed peacock on a column in the garden
- Mrs Wattlesbrook writes a comedy script so that the guests can perform on stage a little romantic play. And the audience? The servants on garden chairs. And get that: they even “boo!” and “Go home!” the girls!!! …
- The way Jane talks about this suspension of reality in Austenland, WITH the actors, and how she laughs at it, opposed to how she persist on breaking the rules AND yet she tries in some moments to follow the rules. I don’t know. I don’t understand it. What… why, Jane? What’s in that mind of yours, Jane? I cannot fathom it… I just can’t.
- The great ball scene. AAaaand: hundreds of people. WHAAAA???? HOW? WHERE? WHY?? The gardener explains it all. Mrs Wattlesbrook has called everyone she knows, neighbors, maidens, butlers, gardeners, the TAXIDERMIST!!!!! But… how… wh… I mean… why don’t they act as normal Jane Austen people ALL THE TIME!!! So that this house and the whole experience can look REALISTIC AND PLAUSIBLE??????
- And NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ok, spoilert alert. I cannot ruin the finale, I can’t. Please, please watch the movie!!!!
…. …. This is Austenland. I haven’t yet figured it out. I know, you will say: “Well, read the book and understand it!” Yes. I know, I get that. But as for the movie. To me, it is so incomprehensible and weird and crazy that… I LOVE IT!!! It has become one of my most treasured films and I cannot tell how many glorious nights I’ve spent with all my friends laughing and enjoying it in the most complete way!!!!!! SO! My conclusion is: kudos to the director, to the actors, to the writer for this little gem!!! I am so happy to put this movie in my Jane Austen dvds session and I will treasure it forever and WATCH IT, GUYS, definitely watch it and appreciate it!!! You will not regret it! Super funny, super performances, great actors and totally hilarious!!!! A real good time, feel good movie!!! Please consider my list as a silly way to introduce you an EXTRA FUNNY film!!! And now, first AMAZON.COM to get the book, and then…
Miss Charming: “l am Aphrodite, the goddess. Often fickle in my large arse!”
Mrs wattlesbrook: “Largesse!”
Miss Charming: “… Largesse!!!”
Yes. That’s correct. GO WATCH THIS MOVIE NOW!!!!!!!!!!!! 😀 😀 😀