Austenland has a great premise that there is place where one can go immerse oneself in the Regency period that filled the novels of Jane Austen by dressing, eating and living as a character from that time period. If such a place doesn’t already exist, I think it would be a sure money-maker.
Unfortunately, this movie won't be a great money-maker. Writer/Director Jerusha Hess with Co-Writer Shannon Hale have not made a film that meets the potential of this premise. It’s like an old car that sputters and goes, then sputters and goes.
It’s definitely in the writing and directing where the fault lies because the acting, except in one notable instance, does hit the mark. Keri Russell is admirable as the wall-flower Jane Hayes, who is obsessed with Pride & Prejudice’s Mr. Darcy and all things Austen, but, at times, she is given out-of-character lines and actions that belie who she has been set up to be.Jennifer Coolidge…forever, aka, Stifler’s Mom…shows her acting chops by keeping the brightness going despite the weakness of the script. And, Georgia King makes the most of what she was given to work with to add to the fun. Only Jane Seymour could not overcome the frightening look and weakly constructed role given her.
Yet, Austen fans will enjoy the film, nonetheless. I give Austenland a 3 out of 5.