Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Austenland Movie Poster Image
Frothy, teen-friendly romcom skims surface but is still fun.
  • PG-13
  • 2013
  • 96 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive messages

Love -- and life -- doesn't follow the trajectory of books (or movies, for that matter). Women don't need rescuing; neither do men. All you can do is be true to yourself, and if something, and someone, is meant to be, so be it.

Positive role models & representations

Jane is really appealing as a heroine. She's relatable, understandable, and vulnerable, yet she stands up for herself and is open to a world full of possibilities, romance, and friendship. She doesn't lose hope.


Two men get into a fight at an airport; a man forces himself on a woman, but she trips him up and stops him.


Couples kiss, sometimes passionately, often tenderly; some sexual innuendo/suggestive dialogue.


"Crap" is about the extent of it.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

One character is lecherous and seems drunk all the time.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Austenland (based on the novel by Shannon Hale) is a fun romantic comedy, despite the fact that it falls back on some of the typical romcom cliches, making it seem like women need to be rescued from a life of loneliness by romance. Still, it does try to question those predictable assumptions somewhat and is buoyed by strong performances. Jane Austen fans will particularly enjoy the inside jokes and references to her work. There's not much language (except for "crap") and no drinking (though one character acts drunk), but you can expect some kissing and heavy flirting (as befits a movie with an Austen theme).

User Reviews

Educator Written byOptimisticMom February 15, 2014


There was WAY more than sexual innuendo and wow the amount of cleavage. I guess that my family is more conservative than I thought. There is a 5 second scene t... Continue reading
Adult Written byhoffmans71 February 14, 2014

Romance Doesn't Equal Hire a Stud

What good this movie had got way too lost in the first 15 minutes for me with what I guess Common Sense Media referred to as heavy flirting. The one character... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bylogical_nonsense September 23, 2013

Not sure...

I have to say that I watched the trailer, and I thought that it seemed a little more dirty than what I had been hoping for. I read the book and was excited for... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byTweeterhead March 2, 2014

Austenland: Review

I've seen the six hour Pride and Predjudice, the regular Pride and Predjudice, and the North and the South ect. This is not what you think it is. It is not... Continue reading

What's the story?

Jane (Keri Russell) is a huge Jane Austen fan. Her entire apartment is filled with Austen-abilia, including a life-sized cardboard cutout of the actor Colin Firth playing Mr. Darcy. Life, for Jane, is drab and dreary, her job going nowhere fast, the men misogynistic and opportunistic. So when she discovers that there's a theme park in England for Austen-philes like her, where she can live out the fantasy of being an Austen heroine headed for a happily ever after, off across the pond she goes. There she meets the money-minded proprietor of Austenland, Mrs. Wattlesbrook (Jane Seymour); a friendly, ditzy American who goes by her Austen moniker, Ms. Charming (Jennifer Coolidge); and Ms. Wattlesbrook's nephew, the brooding Mr. Nobley (JJ Feild). But it's the stable hand/groundskeeper, Martin (Bret McKenzie), who's Jane's true lure. But is he Mr. Right?

Is it any good?

It won't be a classic like the books written by Jane Austen, who's revered here. But AUSTENLAND (itself based on the novel by Shannon Hale) is worth the investment, anyway, if only to see Russell conduct a master class in naturalistic acting. As silly as her character may sometimes be, she's authentic and relatable, which elevates this fairly formulaic movie. That and the delicious Coolidge, who often trades in wacky, frothy roles like Ms. Charming but nonetheless still makes them seem fresh and funny.

Alas, Austenland lacks a mesmerizing Darcy, or any compelling male love interest, for that matter. They pale in comparison to Russell, their characters drawn thinner than onion skin. (It's also lacking in the brilliant banter that made Austen's work so appealing.) The movie sometimes tiptoes into substantive territory when it has Jane straining against the circumscribed roles that women in Austen's times were assigned. But in the end, it's a trifle -- albeit an amusing, somewhat satisfying one.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Jane's obsession with her namesake. What is it about Jane Austen's fictional world that appeals to the character Jane? Why is it unhealthy for her? Do you have to be an Austen fan yourself to appreciate this movie?

  • Do some books (and movies) set up unrealistic expectations about romance and love? If so, how so?

  • Does Austenland question the stereotypes of the romcom genre or uphold them?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love classic books and romance

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