Austenland, Book vs. Film


Austenland is a place where women who fantasizes the world of Jane Austen, specifically Pride & Prejudice.   It is a place for women to escape their modern day lives, flirt with handsome men and emerse themselves in the Regency Era.   Jane is the central character both in the movie and in the book, she is in her 30’s and has no success in finding her one true love.  But how can she when she compares every single one of her past, present and future boyfriends to Mr. Darcy?  No present day man can compare to Jane Austen’s mysterious Mr. Darcy.  She travels to England, where Austenland is located and lives her fantasy for a week.  For a week she portrays penniless, orphan Miss Jane Erstwhile who wears simple attire and is admired by many of the gentlemen.  As the week goes on she finds herself no closer to finding love and ending her week in true Jane Austen fashion.  She decides to take matters into her own hands, but find herself disappointed in the outcome.  After flirting with Martin the gardener and Mr. Nobley she finds out that Martin was also a hired actor whose job was to flirt with her.  Originally she plans to stay and visit England for a few more weeks with Martin but instead decides to go home straight away with greater disappointment in Austenland’s cast and guests.  In both the film and book she finds love with Mr. Nobley a history teacher who was opposed to Austenland’s cast, goals and above all, its guests.

Yes the book is very comically but my sister and I felt that their were a few scenes in the film that poked fun at the book.  Example of this is the character of Miss Elizabeth Charming, yes she was a bit of an airhead in the book but in the end of book #2 she made Austenland into a resort where both single men and women could emerse themselves in the Regency Era to find love.  In the end of the film, Miss Elizabeth Charming makes Austenland into a regular theme park like Disney World.  There is a sadness in Miss Elizabeth Charming character in the book that was not portrayed in the film.  She is in the middle of getting a divorced to her wealthy husband who leaves her for a younger woman.  Thats when she decides to take over Austenland with the money she gains from her divorce settlement.

There are a few other characters in Austenland that do reappear in Midnight in Austenland that were not portray as well in the film. I highly recommend you to read the books first, before seeing the movie.