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November 25, 2013

Comments

Ashley

I'm a devoted Austen fan and my husband thinks it's hilarious. This movie was so enjoyable for both of us because we come from both sides. Not that one positive comment will change things, but trust me, there are lots of us Janeites who loved it and can't wait to buy it on DVD! And we could definitely feel the warmth and love for Jane Austen fans. Well done.

JayaLaw

People who make these comments forget that Mel Brooks said that you have to have love for what you're making fun of.

Personally, I'm not an Austen fan, but I have been a dork like Jane has been, so I relate to her, a lot. It seems ridiculous to assume that comedy is meant to insult.

Elentarien

I have to say I'm surprised you'd get reactions like that as well. I mean. . .what? I'm a fan of Jane Austen and didn't feel like it was any sort of attack. Granted, I've never been *that* into her stuff but I've gone overboard into other stuff and gone a little dorky so its not like I can't identify either. And as someone who greatly appreciates 'clean' entertainment, I didn't find Austenland trashy.

I did find it amusing - and I thought there was a good illustration of how 'real life is better than fantasy' in the end. (Although, I'm not entirely sure I'm willing to embrace that point yet. . .I still don't care for real life much.)

On the flip side, I tend to be one of those people who catch a lot of flak and trouble while just 'minding my own business'. So I suppose it should not surprise me when people flip out over something like this that's wide spread. People are just downright weird sometimes! Frankly, I find people like you amazing. That you have gotten up the courage to send your stories out into the world and can endure reactions like this is wonderful. I'm not sure I could deal with it if someone freaked out over *MY* stories like this.

That being said, I can't wait for a chance to see the movie! I enjoyed the book and expect I'll enjoy the movie too. :)

Eliza

I think outsiders are quicker to call out "offensive" things. White US guys watch Nacho Libre and think "Mexican wrestler priest". If you live in Mexico he's simply "wrestler priest". I'm a Utahn and I never thought of Napoleon Dynamite as "rural western". It's Idaho. If I lived in Idaho it would probably be "small town farmboy".
I don't get why people send authors complaint emails. What are you going to do, unpublish the book? Write another Jane Austen book from the opposite viewpoint to balance things out? Put a disclaimer sticker on the cover? Recognize the error of your ways?
I've only seen the movie so far (I know, I know, but my to read list is long) and I thought it was obviously a satirical take on fangirl culture.

Kristen

It just reinforces that realization that there are all kinds of differences within us, and some people are simply not hardwired to understand wit and nuances like others. Personally, I could have used more kissing in that book.... :)

Kylie

I'm floored by all these negative responses you're receiving. I suppose it just proves that art is subjective, and that not everyone is going to love everything. Please know that we love it, though, and that we all support you and think you're hilarious. :)

Heather Moore

I remember getting into an online debate over AUSTENLAND when I posted a glowing review of it on a book review site several years ago. I was surprised at the commentator's vehemence... I mean, AUSTENLAND is a clever, funny, and adorable book. Some people just need to relax and enjoy life a bit more. And maybe instead of emailing authors hate mail, they need to take a walk, plant some flowers, or take their kids to the park.

Cheri

Isn't Austenland not a YA novel? So the mother who bought it for her daughter and then called it trash probably misunderstood the initial point of the book. I'm not trying to give her a pass but I do think too many parents just assume a book is suitable for their child because of the name on the cover and don't do any research.

I do not see the point in sending vicious, insulting mail or email to anyone. I've been incredibly unhappy with a person's words or actions before but I don't blast them and everything they do. Just because I failed to appreciate that one Libba Bray book doesn't mean I think she's a terrible author. That book just wasn't to my tastes.

I am glad, though, that your positive responses from readers (and now viewers) outweigh the negative. I'd hate for you to stop creating magic just because some inappropriately vocal people don't get it.

Suzanne Warr

I think people often get angry at someone who seems fair game rather than admit they're angry at someone a little closer to home. So, say for example that a woman's love of Austen has been mocked by a husband or friend and those comments stung. She's not going to pick a fight with them about it, but you're fair game in her mind and it's easy to transfer her anger to you. She might even blame you for adding fuel to their fire. It's unfortunate because it does no one any good, but perhaps it can help you let the ugliness roll of if you realize it's most likely displaced.

Sorry to hear about the hating, whatever the reason!

Karlene

I loved it. And doesn't Jane Austen lovingly mock her social class and society in her books? I totally get it. Great work. Keep at it!

Kari

I cannot imagine criticizing an artist over one work who has brought me so much joy and pleasure in the past. I'm sure the correspondent's intent was not to hurt, but I know how sensitive I am, and any of the negative comments that you have received, especially ones that falsely assign malicious intent, would hurt my feelings. There is a way to offer evaluation without injury.

Rosalyn Eves

I loved Austenland too, and never felt like the movie was poking fun of Austen fans. I'm not a hard-core fan (i.e., I don't haunt fan websites), but I own multiple copies of Austen's works and have read all of them multiple times (even Sanditon)--and I saw nothing but affection coming from the movie. I'm glad you write what you feel inspired to write, regardless of how people react!

TheRobinAmbrose

I wonder if it's more perilous to mock a group that hasn't yet learned to mock itself. Theatre people have very little natural pride, and we mock ourselves all the time, so we love it when others join in the fun (I, too, grew up in theatre, and even majored it in). Certain cultures, too, have a fun view of themselves and their own quirks, so they respond well to exposure.

Literature, though, is SERIOUS STUFF. Those who love it, read it, and obsess about it are SERIOUS SCHOLARS. Their quirks aren't funny, and they aren't quirks, thank you very much. If something they do seems to be different from societal norms (or possibly bears humorous resemblance to quirky things in society at large), then, well, you must be mistaken. You big liar. ;) (I minored in English.)

Honestly, I think you're just bearing the brunt of being on the cutting edge of a whole new world of absolutely mockable literary-obsession quirks. They'll get used to it. Lawyers laugh at lawyer jokes, after all. (I'm also a lawyer.)

Linda Westphal

Some people just don't feel complete without a big old pack of umbrage on their back, collecting it wherever they go.

Taffy

I loved Austenland! Both the book and movie. My 17 yr old daughter has been to the movie THREE times. She said the third time was even better. I hope to catch it again this weekend. I hope it comes out on DVD by Christmas because that is what I want Santa to bring to me.

Rebecca

I agree that comedy is perilous. (Laughing at something that may mean a lot to someone else.) My husband likes more comedies than I do, and often is frustrated when he shows me a movie he thinks is hilarious and all I can do is enjoy him enjoying it. However, we put our heads together, made a list, and found that we like AT LEAST 30 comedies in common! Even though not all of its (especially ad-libbed innuendo-ish) humor was up my alley, Austenland is one of the few films that successfully tickled my funny bone. A LOT. Bringing on giggles long after the credits finished rolling. Thank you. :D (I liked it better than the book!) I'm hoping to talk my husband into watching Austenland with me when it comes out on video and I buy it! (He's as much a fan of the Colin Firth Pride and Prejudice as I am.)

Sandra

That's like a Star Trek fan not liking "Galaxy Quest." Honestly, I think parody should bring a group of people together rather than divide them. Finally, here are jokes we all understand. I saw "Austenland" as more a clash between Austen's regency time and ours. We love Austen, we do, and escaping into her world, her language, her time is enchanting. But seeing, really seeing, how it clashes with someone comfortable in modern conveniences and how awkward that can sometimes get…well, I thought it was hilarious.

karina

I fell in love with Jane Austen books in 7th grade - I've read each of her books at least 20 times. In college I fell in love with the BBC Pride and Prejudice (and Darcy, of course) even though the movie fell short of the book, in my opinion. One thing I've noticed over the years is there are different Austen readers - some read for the romance, and others read for the humor (and the romance, but they love the humor). I think maybe some of the negative reviews must come from those who see no humor in Jane Austen to begin with. They're not looking for comedy. I loved "Austenland" and think you and Jerusha did an amazing job! And I think Jane Austen herself would laugh right along with you.

Miriam

Some people take things more seriously than others. I loved Austenland and I think it's so lovely to make a tribute not just to Jane Austen but to her fans, who are so numerous and varied. But it takes all sorts, and while most people would have laughed, some people may have been teased about it, or have a bit of a persecution complex or something, and see it as an attack. Which it definitely isn't.

Maybe it's that it hits a little too close to home. For instance, Supernatural have a hilarious running gag that makes fun of their fans where there are in-show fans... and the real life fans adore it. But that's because I think there are differences- on the show the fanbase is largely male, and all obsessed with Sam (in real life, largely female, obsessed with Dean). But also, the SPN fandom is a group of people who have grown together as an entity and as a group have a good sense of humour. Austenites are more disseminated- from my sixteen year old self reading Austenland before reading all the books and still enjoying it (but I'd enjoy it more now), to women decades older than myself who have their own views on Austen well-established and all the defences up.

Maybe because it reaches so many people, it affects so many lives, it creates so many differences :)

(as for that first email, if Austenland was smutty... goodness help the poor girl once she reaches adulthood and has free rein on her reading material.)

Also, I don't know where the original link to this is, but I just saw the list and thought you ought to know in case you didn't already: http://www.youngwriterssociety.com/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=99237

Mary Milton

As a huge Jane Austen fan, I loved both your Austenland books and found them funny and charming. I recommended them to lots of my reading friends, and we all "got it". :) I am so sad that the movie never made it to my town, but my husband already knows that it's #1 on my Valentine wish list! Thank you for writing so many wonderful stories! Book of a Thousand Days is my favorite ~ I read it out loud to my children and we were all riveted.

Bkmuse7

Ditto to all of the above -- I don't think you were misunderstood by your own peeps. Not real Austen peeps. I know I can't speak for everyone, but I've been an Austen fan since first reading P & P at 13 (ack! over 30 years). I liked Austenland the book, Midnight in Austenland even more, and the movie of Austenland made me like the book even more. It was so over the top funny and delightful. I think you are right that humor is tricky and so personal. And I hope you will keep making light in the literary world (these sentiments remind of Gary Soto's recent article on why he doesn't write literature for children anymore, and it is a loss for all of us.)

Kate

Hahaha geeez, I guess you can't please everyone! Personally, I love it. I've been to Austenland five times now. So there. (:

Alexa

HAHAHA I absolutely loved your post. Christopher Guest movies are my favorite! :) Some people are just so easily offended. It is best to ignore those people and know you have a huge support behind you who love what you do!

Andrea

I just have to say, I finally got to see Austenland last week when I was visiting family for Thanksgiving. My sisters-in-law and mother-in-law had already seen it and were more than happy to go again for my sake (wink, wink). It was so good! And oh, so funny! We all loved it. I will definitely be purchasing the DVD when it comes out, and I look forward to watching it with my husband. I'm in the Jane-Austen-fan camp and my husband is in the poke-fun-at-Jane-Austen-fans camp, so the movie is a perfect fit for both of us:).

I also just wanted to say (since I'm finally getting around to making a comment, which I rarely do): Thanks for writing such fun and worthwhile books. I'm continually amazed at your versatility. I love that I can share your books with everyone, too, from my sons and daughter to my parents, siblings, nieces and nephews, in-laws, and friends. I love your work!

Margie Allred

I just wanted you to know that I love Jane Austen and I loved Austenland. I never felt like you were making fun of Jane Austen or of fans.

Last week my husband and I took our 17 year old daughter to see the movie because we loved it so much the first time and needed an excuse to see it again. There was a little girl sitting behind us, probably about 10. The second time the kissing started she loudly groaned, "Oh no, not again!" The whole audience cracked up. I could go into a rant on taking kids to movies that are not age appropriate, but that could take all day. Thanks for a fun movie.

Claire

Can I just say I read Austenland in 7th grade and was not shocked at all. Although that may have been because I had already read Wicked which is interestingly in the teen section of the library and much more disturbing. I am an Austen fan and didn't feel mocked at all although to be fair I would say I am in love with Darcy as a matter of course rather than because I actually want to marry him.

Karianne

I stumbled upon Austenland a few years ago when a friend recommended The Princess Academy, but it wasn't available in my library. I immediately fell in love with your work, and have read most of your books. As an avid Austen fan, I found Austenland to be hilarious and loved every bit of the book. I was so excited to see the movie that I wouldn't let my husband come with me for fear he would ruin it with his eye rolls and gagging noises (romantic comedies are one area we do not see eye to eye). The movie was so well done, and I don't know the last time I laughed that hard. I especially loved the opening scenes when she was walking into the Jane Austen class in college. I took that class and I'm proud of it! My point is that your work is awesome, so I hope you don't let the haters get you down.
P.S. My eight-year-old daughter just finished reading Princess Academy, and I think you have a new fan. She loved it!

Sheri

First, if anyone should know how to gently mock themselves, it should be Jane Austen fans! Otherwise, I question whether or not they really "get" her. Likewise to being able to accept a little spoofing.
Second, I see this frequently in homeschoolers. And yes, I was one myself. It's as if they're terrified that presenting anything less than a professional demeanor will negate their efforts to be taken seriously. Personally, I feel the best way to disarm the haters is with a little humor. After all, what do we live for but to make fun of ourselves? Ha!

Jenifer

What boring comments. I was hoping for some outrage. Angry Austen fans must be so eloquently upset.

A book about a cardigan and pearl wearing, Jane Austen reader, that included no hyperbole, would have been a real page-turner.

It was your disrespect for elderly cougar women that forced me to trash my copy of the novel, under wilted celery. My mother in law will never be allowed to read that smut in my home.

Emily

It can be hard to laugh at ourselves, but as a woman who was a Tercel owner until she was 31, I laughed at the Tercel joke in Austenland. (A better description would be that I LOLed but I am so SICK of that term. And, for the record, my Tercel got 40 miles to the gallon!)

My grandma-in-law is the best example. She'll do something embarrassing and just laugh and laugh at herself. I'm not quite there--yesterday I burst into tears when an awful picture of me showed up on FB, but I'm working on it.

I saw Austenland in the theater twice, and I NEVER see movies twice. Ever. Looking forward to February 11!

And just remember, everyone has their critics. You can't please everyone all the time. I haven't read Austenland in awhile, but it's in the queue, and I'm looking forward to enjoying it in all it's smutty, under the wilted celery glory! Tallyho!

Katy

I absolutely loved Austenland. My daughters and their friends go around quoting the movie. My oldest made her friend an "I Love Mr Darcy" bag just like Kerry Russell is holding in a postcard we picked up. Her friend loved it. We are anxiously awaiting the release.

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