Ask and ye shall receive zainabshykh. Here is the (spoiler free) comparison of Austenland!
Overall, I enjoyed both the movie and the book even though the movie definitely took liberties. I understand why they had to but I do think it took a bit of the fun and quirkiness out of the whole thing. Anyway, let’s get to it.
You can see my full review of Austenland here, but a quick summary of what I like and didn’t like about the book will follow if you don’t feel like reading it.
I definitely enjoyed the book. It was basically well written Jane Austen fanfiction and I will always love a good fanfiction. I do think aspects of it were completely unbelievable but they lended to the quirkiness and fanfiction-y feel of the book. Jane was relatable albeit a little silly and the other characters added nicely to the quirky, fun feel. It was enjoyable and light and just what I needed at the moment.
The movie didn’t quite hang on to the cute, quirkiness the book had. It was there sometimes but other times it definitely fell flat. That isn’t to say that I didn’t enjoy the movie, I definitely did, but I do think it could have stood by sticking to the novel a little more closely.
My least favorite aspect change was how they completely changed Lady Amelia Heartwright’s character. She was definitely not nearly as annoying in the book. I preferred the version where Jane was cautious but eventually they became “friends” as much as anyone can in that environment. It also made the small twist at the end much more enjoyable. I knew it was coming while watching the movie but I know I would have more satisfaction from it if the relationship between Jane and Amelia wasn’t turned into a typical Hollywood girl relationship of competition.
One thing they absolutely got right was the casting for Miss Elizabeth Charming. I hadn’t mentally casted anyone for that role but as soon as I saw Jennifer Coolidge I died laughing and also knew it was absolutely perfect. She’s so good at being ridiculous and she definitely brought Miss Charming to life.
I also wish there was more obvious development between Jane and her love interests. I feel like they didn’t focus enough on it. I also didn’t like how they changed the ending. I definitely think the ending of the novel is much more convincing.
I think it’s safe to say, that for me at least, I definitely preferred the novel to the movie. I don’t think this should surprise anyone since it’s incredibly hard to convert a book to a movie. You just can’t get all the details the book does and it generally leaves the viewer feeling like something is missing if they’ve read the book.
Either way, I still thoroughly enjoyed the movie. It was a good adaption for sure and I understand why there are differences. I just wish the changes didn’t make it have less impact. But that could just be me.
What are your thoughts? They might be different if you watched the movie first or haven’t read both. I’d love to hear what you thought.