“What separates the casual Jane Austen fan from the aficionado?”
That’s the question posed at the opening of the very first trailer for Sony Classics’ “Austenland,” and the answer appears to be “a whole lot” – at least judging from the behavior of Keri Russell’s Austen obsessive, who not only makes a habit of kissing a Mr. Darcy standee in her apartment but uses all her money to book a trip to the titular resort as a means of finding the “perfect gentleman.” Along for the ride is an older woman portrayed by the always-reliable Jennifer Coolidge, playing another variation on the “lovable airhead” role she does so well.
All in all it’s a fun first trailer for the Jerusha Hess-directed Sundance favorite, which spins the film’s quirky premise (it was adapted from the novel by Shannon Hale) in a direction that should appeal to a wider female demo. It also looks to be a perfect vehicle for Russell, so effortlessly charming in the 2007 indie hit “Waitress” directed by the late Adrienne Shelly. If “Austenland” can catch on the same way that film did, Sony Classics should have a tidy little hit on their hands.
My grade for the trailer: A. After watching it below, rate it for yourself at top left.
“Austenland’s” release date has yet to be announced. You can read Gregory Ellwood’s Sundance review here.