If you love Austenland, like I did, then you need to see JJ Field in this 2007 adaption of Northanger Abbey. Yay JJ Field! He plays Henry, one of the only funny Jane Austen heroes, and does it marvelously. I thought this was a great adaption of Northanger Abbey and it was a lot of fun to watch.
There’s something about watching Jane Austen’s stories come to life that just highlights the sarcasm and wit that she has. I always like seeing how directors take ideas and themes in books and make them visual. I really liked the scenes where Catherine’s imagination ran wild.
The movie made John Thorpe seem more obviously devious and I’m not sure I was a fan of him planting the weed of something being wrong with Henry’s mother’s death. I liked Catherine coming up with that insane theory in the book for no reason whatsoever.
Jane Austen totally info-dumps about Catherine’s childhood and I’m always amazed at how she can pull that off without being boring. I liked that this movie adaption went into her childhood and showed a few scenes from it.
There were a few things I missed from the book that weren’t in the movie like Henry telling the story about the chest and the Mrs. Thorpe/Mrs. Allen interactions of talking AT each other instead of TO each other. They also skipped the dinner where Henry was extra kind to Catherine because he knew he’d hurt her feelings. I thought that scene was so sweet. But some things always have to go and I understood why they left those things out. I also like it when they make intentional changes that ARE different but highlight the same story like when they had her travel at night instead of during the day like in the book because it showed how rude and hurried her leaving was.
The resolution in the movie was very similar to that of the book. I always feel like Jane Austen’s novels just kind of end. She always thinks of witty ways to start a book with amazing first sentences. People always talk about the great first sentences of her novels but no one seems to talk about or even remember the last sentences of her novel.
Overall, this was a great adaption of a delightful Jane Austen novel that I think you should see.