Opera House Cinema Series to screen ‘Austenland’

“Austenland,” starring Keri Russell and Jane Seymour, is the next featured film in the Fredonia Opera House Cinema Series. It will be screened on Oct. 12 and Oct. 15 at 7:30 p.m.

Based on the novel of the same name by Shannon Hale (who also co-wrote the script), “Austenland” is a romantic comedy about 30-something, single girl Jane Hayes (Russell), a seemingly normal young woman but with a secret: she is obsessed with all things Jane Austen. When Jane decides to spend her life savings on a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-crazed women, her fantasies of meeting the perfect Regency-era gentleman suddenly become more real than she ever could have imagined.

“When Comedy Went to School” poses those questions and find that most of the answers can be traced to upstate New York’s Catskill Mountains, a/k/a the Borscht Belt, where Jewish immigrants transformed lush farmland into the 20th century’s largest resort complex. Those Catskill hotels and bungalow colonies provided the setting for a remarkable group of young Jewish-American comedians to hone their craft and become worldwide legends.

Claudia Puig, in USA Today, calls the film “a novel concept a humorous chick flick for well-read audiences.”

Amber Wilkinson, in Eye for Film, calls it “a warm-hearted pleasure for comedy romance lovers (Austen readers or not) everywhere.”

Damon Wise, in Radio Times, says “the enduring appeal of Jane Austen’s England is explored in this hilarious romp.”

Rated PG-13 for some suggestive content and innuendo, “Austenland” runs 97 minutes.

The Opera House Cinema Series is sponsored by Lake Shore Savings Bank. Tickets are available at the door for $7 (adults), $6.50 (seniors & Opera House members) and $5 (students) the night of each screening. A book of 10 movie passes is available for $60 at the door or online at www.fredopera.org. For more information, call the Opera House Box Office at 716-679-1891. The Series continues with the J.D. Salinger biopic documentary “Salinger” on Oct. 19 & 22; and Lee Daniels’ “The Butler,” starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, on Oct. 26 & 29.

Chautauqua County’s only performing arts center presenting its own programming year-round, the 1891 Fredonia Opera House is a member-supported not-for-profit organization located in Village Hall in downtown Fredonia. For a complete schedule of events, visit www.fredopera.org.