Austenland in Salt Lake

Austenland at the Broadway Theatre downtown on Saturday . . . was crowded.
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The 7:00 show was sold out. The 8:00 show was sold out. The 9:10 had a few tickets. We bought the 9:10 and waited in line 45 minutes before the show. Unfortunately, there is no reserved seating and no online Fandango options.

It was totally fun to wait in line though because we were standing behind true Jane Austen fans.

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My husband (who obviously let me plan this date night) wants a pair of those boots.

Just before the movie started, we had a surprise visit from the Austenland novel and screenplay author Shannon Hale.

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In her pre-show question and answer, I learned that Keri Russell is nothing but kind and actually six months pregnant during the movie. I learned that movie executives who picked up Austenland from the Sundance Film Festival thought it was strange to include Salt Lake City in Austenland’s limited theatre release. (Salt Lake is way off the New York and L.A. scene.) Hale said, “Really, I promise you it will do well in Salt Lake.” I also learned to stay for the credits, because there is a hilarious sequence at the end you don’t want to miss.

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have been wanting to see Austenland ever since I heard about it’s Sundance premiere. Even though my husband is a great sport, I was a little nervous about bringing him with me. But honest–he loved it. Jennifer Coolidge as Miss Elizabeth Chattam is hilarious.  (Remember her as Hilary Duff’s step mom in Cinderella Story?) In Austenland, I worried she would start to annoy me, but instead she was endearing–and very funny. Keri Russell, who I remember from August Rush, plays the lead role as Jane Hayes with a sincerity that serious Pride and Prejudice fans understand. My favorite scene is at the end in the airport where she . . . never mind. You should just go see it. Trust me–it’s clever, quirky, fresh and good enough to see again.

In fact, all my girls are in school right now. I’ll bet the 11:00 a.m. line is really short.