When I returned the Emma audiobook, I did a search to see what other Jane Austen audiobooks popped up and when I spotted Austenland. I decided to give it a listen.
I have already done a lengthy review on the book, but as I have said before I like giving the audiobooks a listen as well as sometimes you hear something new, or you make a connection you hadn’t before.
For those who haven’t read the story, Austenland follows Jane Hayes; secret Jane Austen fan who is unlucky in love (a lot of her own doing). After her last disastrous relationship she has decided to give up on men altogether. When her rich aunt dies, one of the few who knows about her affection for Colin Firth/Mr. Darcy, it turns out she has left Jane a dream trip to England and the resort Austenland. As it is non-refundable and non-transferable Jane takes the trip, although it’s not exactly what she dreamed of, as she connects more to the gardener than the gentlemen. Will Jane finally get her storybook romance, or will this vacation turn into a nightmare?
I really enjoyed the audiobook as Kellgren did a great job switching between the American and British accents; along with giving a unique voice to everyone. Martin was especially smarmy and slimy.
The only thing I didn’t enjoy with the audiobook are the things I didn’t like in the book itself. Such as Jane’s strange embarrassment of Jane Austen. I also don’t understand why she dislikes her vacation so much, it’s a free trip abroad and it sounds awesome. And why is she embarrassed to love Jane Austen? Jane Austen is awesome.
If you like the book you’ll like this audiobook, especially Mr. Nobely.
Last year I decided to review the movie Austenland twice, one as an individual review and the second time with my niece. While I discussed a lot about it from acting, to costumes, to the script, etc.
The one thing I didn’t really write about was the soundtrack, and that’s because I wanted to do individual song posts. Everyone knows that music is extremely important when scoring a movie, I’m sure you all have seen videos where they change out the song the film has and put something different in, it changing the mood and tone of the scene.
The soundtrack for Austenland was extremely well curated as it included original songs written for the film; along with classics everyone knows and would enjoy. I plan to only review the songs that were written specifically for the film.
And I am starting off with the first song we hear when we are introduced to the film and our main character: L.O.V.E. D.A.R.C.Y. byEmmy the Great
Emmy the Great AKA Emma Lee-Moss is a musician who first began recording in 2006. She has released multiple albums and collaborated with many artists.
How did she become involved with Austenland? Is she a Janiete? I couldn’t find anything saying she was, but I also couldn’t find anything saying she wasn’t.
According to an interview I found by Vice at the time, she decided to write the songs after seeing that Jerusha Hess, was directing (who directed one of Emmy’s favorite films),and that it was being produced by Stephanie Meyer (yes TwilightMeyer). After seeing the rest of the cast and looking over the script Emmy readily agreed.
I think what makes a lot of the songs she wrote so powerful and wonderful is that Emmy really understood the character of Jane Hayes and it clearly shows in L.O.V.E. D.A.R.C.Y.
Jane Hayes is supposed be an average woman who is also a Janeite/Austenite that loves Pride and Prejudice with a passion from a young age. She is sweet, quirky, longs to be like Elizabeth, and doesn’t always seem to fit in our modern world.
This is the story of a girl And it begins like any other Since she was very young She knew that he would come And now she’s waiting for her dream dream lover
You try to catch her eye But she doesn’t want to see She’s got a picture of a man by her bed She’s got an oversize tshirt down to her knees
She’s singing My boy loves me My boy loves me My boy loves me
She looks into the mirror She’s making a face She’s trying to picture the day that they meet She knows exactly what she’s gonna say
How tall will he be? He’s like six foot two Will he be good to me Yeah he’ll be good to you
Will he treat me right He’s gonna treat you right I hope I meet him soon I hope he comes tonight
This is the story of a girl This is the story of a girl She’s writes his name she writes her name L. O. V. E. D. A. R. C. Y.
She’s singing My boy loves me My boy loves me My boy loves me My boy loves
I know I know I know
First of all I love the pop tune and love the beat with the thrum of the guitar. It is immediately catchy and sucks you in. The song starts off describing our heroine who “Since she was very young she knew that he would come. And now she’s waiting for her dream dream lover”.
This fits perfect with Jane Hayes who started reading Jane Austen in her teens and connects with all Jane Austen fans who also started reading Austen young and wish for their own Austen-type romance.
I feel like the best and most telling lyric is the following one: “Will he be good to me? Yeah he’ll be good to you. Will he treat me right? He’s gonna treat you right.” Because that is what Jane Hayes is looking for in her love of Jane Austen; a man who will love her unconditionally, who will do all he can to protect her, who will respect her, takes criticism well and tries to better herself; etc. She doesn’t want a man from the 1800s, she wants a man with all the good traits of the Austen men, especially Mr. Darcy. And isn’t that what we, all who are single, want?
This went perfectly with the opening scene of the film when we see Jane from teen with a teacup when she goes out, to her college days of studying Jane Austen, to her terrible dating life, etc.
I grew up watching Beetlejuice secretly as my mother hated the titular character. I did watch the TV show, as she didn’t mind that as much but I haven’t seen the actual film in a very long time.
So I was thinking, what better way to start off Horrorfest than to cross off a “Tim Burton” film off my list of things to review with Beetlejuice (1988).
We start off the film with Adam Maitland (Alec Baldwin) releasing a giant spider outside. How is he not freaked out? It’s GIANT! So weird .
Anyways, Barbara (Geena Davis) and Adam Maitland are a couple happy to spend their vacation fixing up their country house (to each their own). Barbara’s cousin Jane comes to visit and is trying to sell their home as she has had some really great offers from a city couple but Barb and Adam say no. Really Jane?
If Jane was my cousin we would no longer be on speaking terms. I can’t believe she’s actually sending photos of her cousin’s house to people to try and sell it; that’s right selling a home she doesn’t even OWN! Then she gives a mean dig about Barbara’s miscarriages. RUDE!
As I was watching this, I started thinking cousin Jane reminds me of someone…but who? Then it hit me! Cousin Jane is so much like Mrs. Elton from Emma. I mean think about it: believe she knows everything, makes little dogs to others, writing to find Jane Fairfax a position when she was asked not to! Cousin Jane is Mrs. Elton!
Later the Maitlands go out driving to pick up more supplies for their model town. As cousin Jane clunkly inferred, the Maitlands have tried to have a child to no success and Adam has made the model town his “baby”. When they are driving home they swerve to miss a dog that runs into the road and find themselves dead.
They two don’t realize they are dead at first, until Adam tries to leave the house and they discover that if he does they will be killed by sand worms. They then discover some other odd things like the fact that they no longer have a reflection and a copy of The Handbook for the Recently Deceased. At first they choose to ignore it and try to continue their lives but the house has been sold to a new family, the Deetz Family. Charles Deetz (Jeffrey Jones) is a former real estate developer; his wife Delia (Catherine O’ Hara) is a sculptor; and Lydia (Winona Ryder), daughter from his first marriage, is a goth and an aspiring photographer.
The Maitlands try to scare them out as ghosts do, but Charles and Delia don’t even blink and eye. The Deetz family has their own issues. Charlies recently suffered from a nervous breakdown, his anxiety is off the charts; Delia and Lydia snipe at each other at every turn, and no one seems happy.
The Maitlands hang out in the only space that the Deetz can’t get to, their attic. But after Jane stops by to drop off a skeleton key, that’s the first place Lydia wants to head to. She tries to get in, but they keep pushing her out.
The actor who plays Charles, Jeffrey Jones, usually plays terrible characters, but this is the first one I can think of that I actually liked and connected to. He wants to relax, wishes everyone would give him peace, tries to birdwatch but stops as birds are terrible (I don’t like birds), and instead starts looking at everyone’s houses and using his real estate agent eye to inspect them.
Meanwhile, the Maitlands having finally started reading their Handbook for the Recently Deceased, (which contains an ad for Betelgeuse) have crossed over to the afterlife and find it to be a DMV of a horror waiting room. I love all the different “deaths” of the characters waiting. It’s like a mini A Thousand Ways to Die with every “death” you can imagine. The special effects, prosthetics, costumes, etc. are amazing. They really deserved winning that award.
In the afterlife all their who are the DMV-esque caseworkers are those who die by suicide (as seen the Miss Argentina who slit her wrists, the guy who stepped into traffic, and the man hanging). The Maitlands discover that they must haunt the house for 125 years, or else, and return home to try and remove the Deetzs. The Maitlands want to try and hire Beetlejuice, but their caseworker Juno warns against him as he’s a troublemaker and tells them to study their book. She also warns them he is hanging out in their town’s model cemetery and saying his name three times will summon him.
The Maitlands try to do the work and scare the Deetz family but are not at all successful as Charles just thinks Lydia is messing around, Delia is knocked out on Valium so it doesn’t even register to her, and Lydia thinks the “haunting” is her dad and stepmom trying to roam the house in sheets as some kind of weird sex.
When Lydia does realize they are real ghosts she isn’t scared at all, as a goth girl she has seen a ton of horror films and is not easily frightened. Instead she charges full speed ahead at this supernatural spooky phenomenon, remind you of anyone? (Like Catherine Morland from Northanger Abbey?)
Adam: Well, how is it you see us and nobody else can?
Lydia: Well, I’ve read through that handbook for the recently deceased. It says: ‘live people ignore the strange and unusual”. I myself am strange and unusual.
But seriously, Lydia and Catherine Morland are so similar. They both love gothic and spooky things, their parents don’t understand them, they are both a bit naive, and they like trying to investigate (Catherine Mrs. Tilney’s room and Lydia the attic).
I love how nerdy and not scary the Maitlands are. Like when Alec Baldwin calls the two “ghoulish creatures” it is so hard to not laugh at him. Ghoulish? Really?
The Maitlands decide to “cheat” and try to hire the bio-exorcist to remove the humans, Betelgeuse (Michael Keaton). They say his name three times and find themselves transported to the model town Adam built and dig Betelgeuse up. It’s pretty amazing how they take someone as handsome and charming as Michael Keaton and make him so perverted and oafish. To me Betelgeuse is the equivalent of having to spend your time with Mr. Wattlesbrook from Austenland.
Keaton originally didn’t want the role as he didn’t understand what exactly was asked of him. He only agreed after Tim Burton took him to see Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. I imagine he said he wanted a crude and pervy Pee-Wee. (Ironic as how a couple of years after this film pervert would be used to describe Pee-Wee).
Betelgeuse is extremely gross in his behavior. He also looks very odd as if he is a man out of time. Apprantly Michael Keaton came up with not only 90% of the dialogue but much of the character’s look himself; he told the makeup department he wanted a moldy face, electric shocked hair, and clothes from all different time periods.
Like I mentioned before Betelgeuse is an extremely gross individual, basically a human fart and Barbara does NOT want to have him in their house or around Lydia. Barbara decides to send him back home and comes up with her own idea to get rid of the Deetz family. The two possess a Deetz dinner party and force them and their guests to sing and dance to “Day-O” by Harry Belefonte. It is a truly strange and fantastical scene. At the end their plate of shrimps reach out as arms and and grab everyone’s faces.
Tim Burton thought this scene wouldn’t go over well, but turned out to be wrong as it is one of the most remembered scenes from the entire film.
Instead of scaring the away the Deetz family, all this does is make Charles want to turn the house and town into a supernatural tourist trap. In fact all at the dinner party enjoyed it and see it as entrainment not fright.
The Maitlands are at their wit’s end and decide they need help and bring Betelgeuse into play. He decides to step up the scaring and we have one of the creepiest scenes in the whole film, Betelgeuse becomes a snake. It is truly terrifying, those eyes! This scene had been filmed before Michael Keaton was cast as Betelgeuse, so some additional film was shot for the scene using a layer to make it look more like him.
Lydia gets mad at the Maitlands as she saw them as friends and them hiring Betelgeuse has broken her trust in them.
The Maitlands are angry as they don’t want Betelgeuse to hurt the Deetzs, they just want him to scare them away. They say his name three times again and send him back to the model town that Adam built in the attic. Betelgeuse is really upset with their criticism, but decides to party and heads to a strip club in town. I do not remember that scene at all and Adam doesn’t even remember making it.
The Maitlands get called to the DMV and Juno reads them the riot act. They have seriously screwed up as ghosts; befriending Lydia, being photographed, losing their handbook, letting out Betelgeuse, etc. Their caseworker made the strip club to distract Betelgeuse until everything can be straightened out. Juno won’t let them return home until they show her their creepy plan, this scene was always the one stamped in my brain. Terrifying!
Back at the house, Charles starts second guessing his decision to move there and even his plans for the tourist town. Lydia is really depressed and contemplates suicide. Before she takes her life, Lydia goes up to the attic to talk to the Maitlands and finds Betelgeuse who tries to convince her to free him by saying his name three times. I remember my friends and I would do this all the time and we were always disappointed when nothing would happen. Lydia is stopped from freeing him by the return of the Maitlands who dissuade her from trying to commit suicide. They also have decided to give up scaring the Deetzs and try to live in harmony.
Charles tries to pitch his idea of a horror town, but his boss is not impressed. But even without “real ghosts”, I’m with Charles! This is a money maker idea! There are so many that would love to go to a Horrortown. I know I would.
Charles’ boss demands proof and they have Otto (the interior designer) perform a seance, but unfortunately he actually starts exorcising them instead. As they are fading away, dying forever this time, Lydia is heartbroken to see the only people who really “get her” “dying” and begs Betelgeuse for help. He agrees, but only if Lydia marries him.
Now why would a centuries old ghost want to get married to a 14-year old? Its not because she is a little girl, but because he wants to be tethered to the mortal world. If he married a mortal, then he will not have to go back to the afterlife but can remain above ground forever. Seeing it as the only way to save her friends, Lydia agrees.
So this next scene wben Betelgeuse comes with the Carousel head and the arms that stretch I’m pretty sure one of my friends had that toy. Like it was crazy how much merchandise there was after this film came out. I think the TV show helped with it, but it was literally everywhere.
To be fair even though Betelgeuse is totally rotten, at least he honors his business contract. He saves the Maitlands and gets rid of all the interlopers. He also changes to a snazzy red suit, gets Lydia a gown, ties up her parents (but brings them to the wedding), and brings in a monster minister.
Keaton is just a phenomenal actor in this, with exaggerated lines and true comedic timing, just perfect.
All try to stop the wedding, but Betelgeuse stops them. But no matter what, Barbara keeps trying. Like he zips her mouth shut, she opens it. When Betelgeuse bolts it, she tries to remove the bolt. When Betelgeuse sends her away, Barbara comes riding in on a sandworm that consumes Betelgeuse and sends him back to the afterlife. Barb is the real MVP.
Time passes and the Deetz family and the Maitlands live in harmony; Lydia loving her new extended family, the Maitlands love having a child to parent, and Charles finally gets the peace he’s been after.
Betelgeuse having “died” again must wait his DMV turn, getting his head shrunk when he tries to cut in line. Oh that Betelgeuse!
So after watching this post Jane Austen I have concluded cousin Jane is totally Mrs. Elton, Lydia is Catherine Morland, and Beetlejuice is Mr. Wattlesbrook. Agree? Disagree? Comment below!
Also with the Austen connection, I guess this should go on my Non-Austen Films for AustenFans and Catherine Morland’s Viewing List? What day you? Yay or nay?
I looked at reviews and other info on it, and of course as it usually goes, when you search up one thing you end up receiving all kinds of ads promoting that thing, in my case the Bridgerton Experience. For once I was really happy to see the ads as I discovered they would be holding more balls and that they had expanded it to San Francisco.
San Francisco is much closer to me than LA and after some more investigating I found that they gave you a great rate for groups of 6 and more. Now that I was armed with dates, times, and prices; it just came down to finding people to join me.
First things first I posted on my Facebook page to try and get as many friends notified (and possibly willing to join); along with reaching out to friends I knew who would want to go (or be willing to do me the favor of attending). I checked back in a week and had no takers from Facebook, and could only get three friends interested, as the others felt it wasn’t right for them as they had no clue what Bridgerton was about.
A group of four is better than one, and after looking at all the prices and times we settled on Sunday August 14th at 2:30. 2:30 was cheaper than the evening and we all felt the price was the most fitting for what we would be getting in the “experience”. (Although by the way, I just checked the calendar and prices for the 5:30 are now cheaper than 2:30. I’m not sure why it changed as before they were the same price as the 2:30 show). You have the option to purchase VIP tickets, but from the reviews VIP only seemed to get a place to sit, a free glass of champagne, and to go into the experience a few minutes before the rest of the crowd. As you weren’t really getting that much of an advantage over the regular priced guests, we all felt that it wasn’t worth the higher cost of the ticket, (unless we had been able to get that great group rate). Instead we all bought the regular tickets.
According to the research I did the ball included: multiple photo areas, a” paint your portrait” photo area, merchandise available for purchase, costumes from the show being on display, a scavenger hunt, guests being presented to the Queen, a ballet performance with aerials, being taught to dance, and a ball. Plus one lucky person will be chosen as the “diamond” (that is the Belle of the season). I was so excited and hoped that it would be me!
After tickets were purchased the next thing we was needed to figure out of course was what to wear? Luckily I had that all taken care of. As you might recall, last year I held a Jane Austen birthday party and MadsenCreations designed and made my regency gown. The gown is blue and was inspired by the one Daphne wears in Bridgerton and the dress Lydia wears in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
Since this was a ball and men would be present, (unlike my party) I needed gloves! I tried to find some opera full length gloves as I wanted them to go all the way up to my bicep, but I was unable to find any online that would arrive in time (and of course the Halloween store in my town was opening the day of the ball). I ended up wearing elbow length gloves, which turned out to not be the best idea. As I wanted to take a lot of pictures and my phone is a touch screen, I had to keep taking one of my gloves on and off. MadsenCreations wore small gloves which was a much better idea.
After that the only thing left to plan was my hair. Which you all know can be the most difficult.
I cut my hair in May so I was unable to do the hairstyle I did last year for my party. I wanted to try and do the look Jennifer Ehle has in Pride and Prejudice (1995) but it didn’t come out right. Instead I did a very high bun on the back of my head vis-a-vie Miss Jane Erstwhile in Austenland, but only had a couple tendrils down on the sides of my face, copying the look of Miss Kate Sharma on the book cover of The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgerton #2).
Everything was falling into place. We drove down the night before and stayed with my Tia, spending all Sunday getting ready! As we didn’t want to have to worry about finding parking we hired a lovely carriage to bring us to the ball, a Honda Accord.
The confirmation email told you to arrive 30 minutes before the event and we arrived a few minutes after 2. We were able to take our “yours truly” photo right away (no line) and see all the dresses in the waiting area. My friend and her roommate joined us a little later and we took another pic in the “Yours Truly” area. They also had gloves, tiaras, jewelry, and more available for purchase. My friend forgot her gloves and was able to purchase them at the little shop.
After that we waited around a bit looking at everyone’s outfits before they allowed us in. I noticed two things right away; 1) there were no single men, each guy was with a girl or group of girls. And 2) no man that I could see was dressed in a Regency costume. This was a complete bummer as I really, really wanted to get a pic with a Regency man. All I could do was hope I would be able to snag an actor or perhaps someone would come late?
When the experience begins you have the choice to shop, walk around, order drinks, and take photos. They have a wisteria arch, “paint your portrait”, the queen’s throne, and lots of other decorated areas. It was absolutely beautiful in there.
Xandraleigh had warned me to wait on the wisteria walkway as it gets incredibly crowded with people. Instead we went right to the portrait line as there was hardly anybody there. The portrait was fun and the picture came out well, although I do wish we had been given more instructions as we weren’t quite sure what exactly to do at first, but eventually figured it out.
After taking our portraits we were at a loss of what to do next. We didn’t want to take a picture on the Queen’s chair as the line was super long and instead walked around a bit looking at the Bridgerton shop and trying to see what else the experience had to offer.
There wasn’t much else but photo areas and a few more clothes from the show. I liked looking at the costumes, but there weren’t as many costumes as I thought there would be.
While we were taking photos we heard an announcement and quickly ran back to the Queen’s chair area to see what was happening. The Queen had arrived, and we tried to see her although it was really hard with all the people. She sat at her throne and Lady Whistledown, became our narrator for the events. She told us that we were to be presented to the queen and to try our best to impress her so that we will be in the running for the “diamond”. We were also told that as Whistledown couldn’t be there herself she sent another in her place, and challenged us to try and discover which of the guests she was. This woman, who’s name I forget, gave commentary on every curtesy, being quite sassy. I was excited for this, but the directions weren’t quite clear. They told everyone to move to the front by the Queen but I wasn’t sure if we were supposed to line up, go to the right or left, etc. We all kind of moved in a group together like a giant herd of cattle and the actors picked people to be presented.
I had five people in front of me and then all of a sudden they were saying I was next in line and urging me forward. When I stepped up the Queen wasn’t paying attention but talking to an attendant. I wasn’t sure what to do and stopped there, like a deer in headlights, and then curtseyed. Suffice to say, my curtesy did not get rave reviews and I did not impress the Queen.
The rest of my party did very well and one of us was even given a note saying that they had impressed the Queen and were in the running to be the “diamond”.
After that we decided to try to take a picture in the archway as we didn’t have anything else to do and weren’t sure how long the presenting would take. Here is where I wish had a program to guide us, or had opened up the ballroom so we could dance while waiting for the next “performance”.
As I said we headed to the archway as the line had gone down, although it still took a while for us to get our photo, even though we were only behind three couples. The problem was everyone wanted to take a ton of photos and videos. I’m all for people doing their thing but I do wish they would be a little more considerate of the time and others. There is only 90 minutes and a lot of people in line; you don’t need to take 5 photos together, 5 individual shots (each), and 5 videos.
When it was finally our turn, we heard another announcement, quickly snapped a couple group shots, and went hurrying back to see that they had opened the ballroom.
Here is where you need to be assertive and try to get as close to the floor as possible as they choose guests to open up the dance floor and dance with the actors. I was too nice and unable to get up there, so I was not chosen.
But seriously, it was still fun to watch. I do wish they had a bigger ballroom or less people as it was a little hard to see everything. I was in the back on a little stage area, so I was able to kind of look over people. But as I’m short It was hard at times to get a good look into everything. They then began the first part of the ballet that I thought told the story of Daphne and Simon, but others have said they think it is supposed to represent Kate and Anthony. Either way it was beautiful.
After the first dance, they brought out a woman dressed in burlesque type outfit and she was really out of place. She taught us a pseudo-regency dance and it was fun; although hard to follow along as you couldn’t hear what she was saying and there were a lot of people crowded around the dance floor. She does a lot of hand movements and when doing it with all the people attempting to follow, you might hit someone or have someone hit you.
Then our dancers returned and performed beautifully! I loved the dancing with the silks. My favorite part was when they danced with the chandelier. It was so stunning and worth it.
After the second dance the two split to either side of the room and taught us a regency-esque dance. This was a lot of fun and as I came to this ball to dance I was not going fo let an opportunity slip through my fingers. I’m not ashamed fo say I pushed my way forward so that I could be in the dance, I was going after my dream! I was hoping for my own Pride and Prejudice or Northanger Abbey moment, however, as mentioned before there were no men who came alone so I ended up dancing with a very nice woman who was an excellent dancer.
After we were taught the dance and danced away a bit, they moved us off the dance floor and the dancers finished their performance with the violinist even getting into it. It was fantastic! The violinist was amazing!
Afterwards, the Queen came out and the two characters were married. The stand in for Lady Whistledown was also revealed (in a modern dress, I never would have guessed that was her) and they chose the “diamond”. In everything I’d seen online the diamond always had a stunning Regnecy outfit. This woman they picked wore a black Victorian dress which, not to be rude, made me think of a widow (as women in that time period only wore all black if they were a widow.) I hadn’t seen her before but she must have impressed the queen to be picked. I would have liked to see her curtesy and learn a few tips.
The queen then left and they played 2010s party music and allowed you to dance the last 15 minutes of the program. We enjoyed it, but were all a little disappointed that there wasn’t more dancing.
As we were exiting the ballroom I did manage to find one man (not an actor) dressed in Regency clothes and convinced him to take a picture with me! Since I didn’t ask his permission to post the photo and he’s not wearing a mask, I won’t share it here, but I am very grateful that he decided to dress up.
The only thing that was promised that I didn’t see was the scavenger hunt. I saw on multiple reviews that they had clues you were to solve to get to the next one, but I couldn’t find any clues or information on it.
Afterwards, we decided to get food as we all had forgotten to eat when we were all getting ready for the ball. We also needed time to share and discuss the ball. We tried to find a resturant nearby, but a lot were closed on Sunday. We eventually settled on Chez Maman(Hayes Valley) on 401 Gough St. We walked down there as trying to find a parking spot in San Francisco is near impossible. As we were walking people commented on our outfits and complimented us.
Chez Maman was packed but they were able to sit us outside and even though things took some time, understandable as almost every table was full, it was the best service I have had even pre-Covid and everything was absolutely delicious. I would definitely recommend stopping there after the ball.
So was it worth it? Well this was what I was hoping to get out of the experience:
Have fun with my friends
Dance with a handsome stranger
Get my picture taken with a man dressed in Regency clothes
Dance at the ball
See the lovely clothes from the show
Take a nice picture
Enjoy the ballet!
So would I recommend this experience? I definitely would. We had a lot of fun and everything was absolutely beautiful.
If you do attend my advice is:
To be aware of time (you only have 90 minutes).
Group photos are definitely the way to go if you want to be able to do everything.
Don’t be afraid to assert yourself in order to be a part of the action. If you want the best experience, you are going to need to be front and center.
If you are planning on taking lots of photos wear short gloves or no gloves at all
Don’t wear anything too long as with all the people you will get stepped on.
Don’t wear too many layers. The ballroom gets packed and there is no air conditioning going, so it gets hot in there.
10 years of celebrating Jane Austen (and a few other things!)
10 Years! I can’t believe it. I wasn’t even sure if I’d still be blogging all these years later when I started; but here I am.
I want to say thank you to all of you who have been a part of my blogging journey these past 10 years! I also want to say a special thank you to some of the people who have been big supporters!
A.M.B, ashwillbiologist, Audra’s Book Blogging, Belle, Bibliophile89, caite92lovelythoughts, Christina Boyd, Christina Morland, Countess Parure, Elaine Howlin, Elsie Wells, JASNA EWANID, Jessica Ware, Karen M. Cox, Joy Thompson, lenoremarie34, Lost Opinions, MadsenCreations, Melody Faris, Middle Hyrule, Modesto Jane Con, Ms. Austen is My Homegirl, Northanger Soapworks, Ophelia, the Pretty Poems, ps_hansen_writes, P. S. I Love Rom Coms Podcast, SewMelissaWrites, Sophia Rose, Susan Joy Clark, Tom Austin, What the Austen, and everyone else who has read, liked, or commented!
And to celebrate, as usual, I decided to watch + review Austenland (2013) with my 14 year old niece.
I’m still not sure if this is helping to convert her to liking Jane Austen, but I’m still hoping!
This year I had planned to watch and review Pride and Prejudice (2005) but we only had a few weeks with her and even then we ran out of time. It was the night before she had to leave to return home and I needed a shorter Jane Austen film to watch. I ran through the minutes of the different Jane Austen adaptions and the shortest one is Mansfield Park (2007), but if we watched
that then I might turn her off from Austen altogether.
So I quickly cast a wider net, and discovered that Austenland is only 97 minutes. Not only does it work best time-wise but it is one of my favorites.
Jane Hayes is a giant Jane Austen fan and decides to get out of the grayness of her life (and love life) and go to Austenland- a Regency inspired getaway where you can pretend to be in an Austen novel, go to a ball, and find you own Mr. Darcy ending. Things however, do not go as planned. She ends up having the cheaper package and getting the fuzzy end of the lollipop. She starts to fall for Martin, one of the handymen at the resort, but he ends up dumping her because she is enjoying “their world” too much. (Seriously dude? I’m paying for this vacation-of course I’m going to enjoy it.) Anyways…she decides she is going to take charge of her own story and be the best Austen heroine she can be! Will she get her Mr. Darcy? Will she have the vacation of her dreams? Or will she decide she needs to stop her Jane Austen fascination?
This won’t be a full review as I reviewed it last Sunday, but you can read the full review by clicking here. Instead this will just my niece and mine’s thoughts while watching it. For this I refer to my niece as “G“.
Okay so here we go…
In the beginning of the film we are introduced to our main character, Jane Hayes (Keri Russell). She loves Jane Austen, even wanting to watch Pride and Prejudice (1995) when her boyfriend is trying to get close to her.
G: (Boyfriend tries to kiss Jane) Hahaha. Denied.
Yup, nothing gets between a girl and her Darcy.
Present life isn’t going so well at the moment as her ex-boyfriend hits on her and harasses her.
G: (Ex-boyfriend slaps Jane’s butt) OMG! That loser
Me: I know, right!
Jane decides to take the plunge and go to Austenland.
G: Austenland seems like fun. We should go. Is it real?
Me: No. I wish though. I would have my bags packed in a moment.
Jane makes it to Austenland but finds a few surprises. She does not get be vacation of her dreams
G: Miss Erstwhile? (Makes scrunched “ew” face)…Oooh she has the basic package. Omg! Look at her hair!
Me: I know it is so severe.
We met Elizabeth Charming on the way to Austenland but as we spend more and more time with her she quickly become my niece’s favorite. And how could she not with lines like this
MissElizabeth Charming: I sure would like you to turn me upside down in the garden
Miss Elizabeth Charming: Is there something in my eye? (Shoves Mr. Nobley into her breasts)
G: She’s my favorite character.
She also likes Mr. Nobley!!!! Yay!!!
G: [Looking at Mr. Nobley] Isn’t he the guy from that other movie we watched?
Me: Yes, he was Mr. Tilney in Northanger Abbey.
G: He’s cute!
Me: He is indeed!
As things get worse for Jane she gets lonely and starts to get close to Martin.
G: Uuuuhh! No!
And when they kiss…
G: No!!! What about Mr. Nobley!! Get with Mr. Nobley!!!!
But Martin and Jane are not destined to stay together and a new guy comes in to town, Captain East.
G: He [Captain East] looks like the guy in Criminal Minds.
Me: Shermer Moore?
G: If that’s the guy who plays Derek. Then yeah.
Jane is to be sent home for bringing a cell phone but is saved by Miss Amelia Heartwright, another lady at Austenland (and a platinum patron) who takes the fall for her. In return Amelia asks Jane to help her to get with Captain East. Amelia tries to be covert, but just looks silly.
G: [Laughing at Amelia] She runs so funny!
They decide to hold a theatrical and Jane picks Mr. Nobley so that Amelia and East can be together. She and Mr. Nobely have a moment.
Jane Hayes: You’re the resident Mr. Darcy. C’mon you’re every girl’s fantasy.
Mr. Nobley: So I’m your fantasy?
They do the play and it is terrible. Elizabeth Charming shoots Amelia in the eye, they all “die” terribly, and it is just laughable.
G: [Laughing] Why is Captain East taking off his shirt?!
Jane and Nobely have a romantic moment and she promises him the first dance at the ball. The next night they go to the ball and Nobley confesses his love to her, but she rejects him for Martin.
G: No this can’t be the end! She chose him [Martin] over Nobley?!! The country stable boy and granny hopper?!!
The next day Jane is going to go home when she is stopped at the airport by Martin and Mr. Nobley. She declines both of them and returns home. While back in her apartment she receives a visitor, Mr. Nobley, who traveled all the way from England to bring her, her sketchbook.
My niece’s final conclusion? She loved it!!!! In fact she was a lot less vocal about this movie than the others as she was so engrossed. I definitely recommend this film for anyone to watch as it is so well done, but it’s also great for people you are trying to introduce to Jane Austen.
The 10th anniversary is tin, aluminum, or diamonds. As usual I look through the past years and try to find some posts that fit that theme. They aren’t my favorite posts, but the first ones I could find that fit the theme.
So thank you all for the past 10 years of awesomeness, and here’s to many more!
And a very special thank you to all who follow, comment, like, subscribe, etc. I wish I could mention you all by name, but even though I can’t, as it would be a really long list, just know I appreciate you all!!