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"THE JANE AUSTEN BOOK CLUB"
(2007) (Maria Bello, Emily Blunt) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Heavy Minor Heavy Minor None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None None None Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy *None Heavy Moderate Minor


QUICK TAKE:
Dramedy: A group of women and one man try to sort through their love lives and other personal issues all while discussing the works of Jane Austen in a book club devoted to her.
PLOT:
Having been divorced six times, Bernadette (KATHY BAKER) empathizes when library employee Sylvia (AMY BRENNEMAN) learns that her husband, Daniel (JIMMY SMITS), has been cheating on her with a coworker. Despite their lesbian daughter, Allegra (MAGGIE GRACE), moving back home to keep her mom company all while starting a new relationship with Corinne (PARISA FITZ-HENLEY), Sylvia is nonetheless depressed. Accordingly, Bernadette suggests that they form a book club where they'll read the works of author Jane Austen.

Giving themselves six months to cover the six novels, they need three more members. Joining them is dog breeder Jocelyn (MARIA BELLO) who likes men but not long-term commitments with them. When she meets Grigg (HUGH DANCY), a young tech support worker with a love of science fiction, she thinks he should join them, and he reluctantly agrees, unaware of her ulterior motive of fixing him up with Sylvia. The last member is Prudie (EMILY BLUNT), an uptight French teacher who's unhappy with her marriage to Dean (MARC BLUCAS), and has found herself drawn to Trey (KEVIN ZEGERS), a student at the school where she teaches.

As they read and discuss Austen's various works, they try to sort through their personal issues, including their love lives.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Older teens may want to, as might fans of anyone in the cast or the works of Jane Austen, but beyond that, it's unlikely for any other kids.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For mature thematic material, sexual content, brief strong language and some drug use.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • MARIA BELLO plays a dog breeder who's reluctant to have a relationship, but likes Grigg, although she's hot and cold with him. She drinks some.
  • EMILY BLUNT plays a serious and uptight high school French teacher in a strained marriage. Accordingly, she finds herself drawn to a student at the high school where she teaches, makes out with him, and nearly has sex with him. She also drinks some.
  • KATHY BAKER plays a woman who's been married six times, is something of the matriarch of the group, assembles the book club, and drinks some.
  • AMY BRENNEMAN plays a library worker whose life is upended when her husband announces he's been cheating on her. She's depressed following their divorce, and drinks some.
  • MAGGIE GRACE plays her lesbian daughter who has several lovers, moves back home with her mom, and briefly uses strong profanity.
  • JIMMY SMITS plays Sylvia's cheating husband who leaves her, but then wants her back when things don't work out with his lover.
  • KEVIN ZEGERS plays a confident high school student who falls for Prudie, wants to have sex with her, and separately makes out with another student.
  • MARC BLUCAS plays Prudie's husband who becomes jealous of her time spent with the club, and is unhappy with their strained marriage. He drinks some.
  • HUGH DANCY plays a wealthy science fiction fan who works as a tech support guy because he enjoys doing so. He joins the book club and likes Jocelyn, but doesn't act on that fully, thus having an on and off association with her. He drinks some.
  • PARISA FITZ-HENLEY plays Allegra's lover who uses the latter's personal history as fodder for stories she tries to sell.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this dramedy that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 1 "f" word (used sexually), while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Other sexually related dialogue is present, while a teacher makes out with a high school student (with an implied resultant erection) and later nearly sleeps with him. Other making out occurs, a lesbian is seen in bed with several lovers (separately), but nothing sexual occurs during those moments, and some women are seen in their bras.

    Various characters drink, and a minor smokes pot several times. Various bad attitudes are present, as is tense family material regarding an affair and resultant divorce, as well as a parental death. Meanwhile, a woman briefly injures herself doing some adventure sports.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, there's a brief partial strobe effect in Grigg's house that's been set up like a fun-house version of a haunted house.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there's camera movement, including bouncy handheld, at various points in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Miscellaneous people drink in a bar where Dean has a beer.
  • Jocelyn has a martini in a bar where a few others drink, including Grigg who orders whiskey.
  • About having Grigg join their book club, Bernadette asks Jocelyn what she was smoking (a drug joke).
  • Sylvia has wine.
  • Various members of the book club have wine.
  • Prudie's mom smokes a joint.
  • Prudie returns home to smoke pouring out of the oven and her mom sitting on the floor in the living room, eating and apparently stoned (we see what looks like a joint by her).
  • Various members of the book club have wine.
  • Grigg and Jocelyn have wine with lunch.
  • The club members drink at Grigg's house.
  • People have drinks and champagne at a wedding.
  • The women and Dean have drinks at a reception.
  • Some of the women have wine.
  • Members of the book club and others have drinks.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Allegra has a small stitched up wound on her head from where she fell from a climbing wall.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • A person takes another person's parking space while the latter waits for it.
  • Daniel tells Sylvia that maybe being with someone else can have a re-energizing effect, and admits to a six-month affair with a coworker. That obviously leads to tension between them, with him saying it's a good thing they're quitting while still ahead, and that he won't give up his new girlfriend.
  • Prudie (who's married) admits to Bernadette that she's in love with Trey (a student, not hers, but nevertheless at her school). She does make out with him, and they nearly have sex, but she then stops herself.
  • Jocelyn is jealous of Grigg seemingly being interested in Sylvia, despite that being Jocelyn's initial intent.
  • Allegra finds a rejection letter addressed to Corinne about her story proposal about a "penis-waving retarded boy" (thus she realizes Corinne has taken her personal stories and tried to sell them).
  • Grigg and Jocelyn snip at each other via discussing a novel, but they're really talking about each other.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Prudie returns home to smoke pouring out of the oven, but she turns that off and then finds her mom sitting on the floor in the living room, eating and apparently stoned (we see what looks like a joint by her).
  • The women enter Grigg's house that's been set up like a fun-house version of a haunted house. The scene is designed to be funny, but could potentially be scary for the youngest of kids.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "I caught him staring at my t*tties," "You look hot," "Penis waving retarded boy," "It's gonna be hell," "This whole thing is warped," "Freaks," "Bitch," "What were you smoking?" "Sexually altered bitch," "God, you're such an Emma," "Get some ass," "You're screwed," "Reading Jane Austen is a frickin' mine field," "Have you lost your mind?" "That's pretty messed up," "I'm giving up that bitch" and "A bone-head move."
  • Some Goth and punk young people enter an elevator with multi-colored hair, various piercings, collars, wild clothes, and one has a Mohawk haircut.
  • Some kids might be inspired to form their own book club.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "f" word (used sexually, as are terms such as "hook up" and "get it on"), 2 slang terms for breasts ("t*tties" and "boobs"), 1 ass, 1 hell, 4 uses of "Oh my God," 2 of "God" and 1 use each of "Jesus" and "Oh God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see lacy bras and such in Prudie's bag when she comes out of a store and the alarm presumably incorrectly goes off, thus forcing an examination of her bag.
  • Daniel says that humans need companionship and sex, prompting Allegra to say that he gets that from her mom, and that Jocelyn got that from her companion. Daniel then gives her a look since that companion was her dog.
  • Daniel mentions something about companionship and sex again.
  • Jocelyn admits never being in love, but having had sexual partners in the past.
  • About Daniel, Sylvia complains that he can sleep with anyone, including a 20-year-old, but that she can't, as that would be pathetic.
  • Bernadette stares at Grigg's crotch in his tight biker pants (seen in close-up).
  • We see Allegra and Corinne in bed together, but nothing sexual occurs.
  • Prudie watches Trey and a girl passionately make out in a library.
  • Jocelyn uses the term "Sexually altered bitch" about one of her dogs.
  • About two characters in an Austen novel, Allegra asks where's the heat and the sex, with Jocelyn replying that Austen's all about keeping it zipped.
  • There's a comment about "get some ass."
  • Trey says the student playing opposite him in a play joined the cast only because she thought they'd "hook up" during the play.
  • Trey suggestively talks of delayed gratification as a double entendre for Prudie regarding holding off reading a book. He then touches her knee as they sit on the floor.
  • Grigg stares at Allegra's chest and the t-shirt that reads "Gay Teen Alliance" (and the shirt shows some cleavage). He then asks if she's a lesbian and a full-time one. She sarcastically replies if he means she ever slips up and sleeps with a man. Later, Allegra tells one of the women that she caught him "starring at my t*tties."
  • Bernadette makes a comment about finding one Austen character "in the sack" with another.
  • Grigg talks of an Austen character who "gets it on" with another.
  • Jocelyn shows a little cleavage.
  • We see Corinne in a bubble bath with her leg out and up on Allegra who sits on the edge of the tub. Allegra then tells her a story from her past about seeing a special needs kid holding his penis.
  • We see Allegra in bed with Corinne, but the former is reading while the latter sleeps.
  • Trey tells Prudie they should get a room, and she replies that he really shouldn't come on to her, but they then passionately kiss. She then says they shouldn't do that (in a parked car), but they then continue. They then stop, she spots her husband approaching and gets out of the car, while Trey puts an open book over his apparent erection in his pants.
  • A person tells another, "You look hot."
  • Sylvia shows a little cleavage.
  • Bernadette jokingly states that she could use a little encounter in the woods with Mr. Darcy right now.
  • Prudie is jealous of Dean talking to her former classmate who shows cleavage. Later, Prudie asks why he didn't just take her back to the car and have sex (and then comments on that woman's "plastic boobs").
  • Jocelyn shows a little cleavage.
  • Allegra tells her mom that maybe her dad will give up the woman he's "f*cking."
  • Bernadette talks about her first husband commenting on her breasts.
  • Prudie admits to Bernadette that she's in love with Trey (a student, not hers, but nevertheless at her school). She then adds that she fantasizes about him constantly.
  • About characters in an Austen novel, Jocelyn states that sex is messy.
  • We briefly see Prudie in her bra and applying lotion to most of her bare leg. After leaving the house (fully dressed), she stops the car and then removes her bra from under her dress (no nudity). She then drives off to meet Trey at a motel, but has a change of heart and doesn't even cross the street to see him where he waits.
  • Bernadette states that reading Austen "sort of makes you want to get it on."
  • We see Allegra playfully running a stethoscope down a lesbian doctor's chest (her top is open and we see her bra and bare belly).
  • Grigg and Jocelyn passionately kiss, and later do the same indoors, where they furiously undress each other, but they have on so many layers that we don't ever see any bare skin.
  • Daniel and Sylvia passionately kiss.
  • Dean and Prudie passionately kiss in bed.
  • SMOKING
  • None, but Grigg talks of his dad who smoked a pipe, and died several years ago of cancer.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We see the funeral for Jocelyn's companion, but then learn that it's her dog.
  • Prudie isn't happy when Dean says that their Paris trip is off due to business calling for him (with that including him attending a basketball game).
  • Daniel tells Sylvia that maybe being with someone else can have a re-energizing effect, and admits to a six-month affair with a coworker. That obviously leads to tension between them, with him saying it's a good thing they're quitting while still ahead, and that he won't give up his new girlfriend.
  • We hear that Bernadette has been married six times (and currently is single).
  • Sylvia sees Daniel with his new girlfriend in a parking lot.
  • We see divorce proceedings between Daniel and Sylvia.
  • Grigg talks of his dad who smoked a pipe, and died several years ago of cancer.
  • Daniel repeatedly tries to get back with Sylvia, but she's mad about that and refuses.
  • Prudie tells a story of being disappointed with her mom in the past regarding her birthday (with the mom saying she had one the year before, etc.)
  • We see Prudie receive news that her mom was killed in a car accident (no audio), and the club members later get the same news.
  • Prudie admits that she never knew her father and that the photo her mother gave her might not have been him (this greatly upsets her).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The works of Jane Austen.
  • The Jane Austen notion that general incivility is the very essence of love.
  • Lesbianism.
  • Affairs.
  • Divorces.
  • We hear that Bernadette has been married six times (and currently is single).
  • Sylvia states it's unfair for women in that men can start anew after a breakup, but women can't, especially with a younger man, compared to men with younger women.
  • Prudie's comment that "high school" is never over.
  • We hear that Jocelyn dated Daniel in school before Sylvia.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Allegra skydives, but lands hard and sprains her wrist.
  • Allegra ends up slipping off a climbing wall, and hits the floor hard when no one is holding her belay rope (we don't see the impact, but see her being rushed off to the hospital, with talk of her having a concussion).



  • Reviewed September 19, 2007 / Posted October 5, 2007

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