The Jane Austen Book Club was a cute diversion of a film, worth an occasional viewing but not a real favorite, the best thing about it was Hugh Dancy and his character Grigg Harris.
Grigg is the man whom all women readers of Jane Austen would love to have at their book club. Gorgeous, slightly geeky in a sweet way, uber intelligent in an attractive way, a man who loves and understands women (having grown up with sisters), and who is romantic and charming. And a man who will actually pick up a Jane Austen book without a look of terror in his eyes.
OK, the fact that this man does not actually exist in the real world is beside the point. That is what makes him so fascinating to watch in this unabashed chick flick. He is mesmerizing because we have never seen his like before. Not only does he throw himself into the world of Austen with an open mind and no fear, he outdoes the Austen lovers in enthusiasm when he not only reads Northanger Abbey, but he reads The Mysteries of Udolpho referenced therein. I mean only the absolute hard core Janite or lover of all things gothic has done this. And not only that, but when he hosts the book club meeting about Northanger Abbey, he decorates his house in true Hallowe'en haunted house style to add to the atmosphere. How do you find a guy with that kind of child-like enthusiasm for life? The only man I have ever seen who even approaches him was my hunky, fabulous Grade 5 teacher Mr. Shea who helped us turn our classroom into a haunted house and was an amazing teacher to boot. But I digress...
In any case, this is my little tribute to the talented Hugh Dancy and a bit of happy anticipation for the JASNA AGM in Portland later this month which I will be attending with my sister and which has a gothic, Northanger Abbey theme this year.
So Happy Hallowe'en in advance and I think I have to go out now and try to buy a copy of The Mysteries of Udolpho. Mrs. Radcliffe here I come.