Thirty something New Yorker Jane is obsessed with the world depicted in her favorite novels by Jane Austen. And by obsessed, I mean absolutely and unequivocally fanatical.
She's never been successful in romance, because none of the men in Manhattan match up to Mr Darcy. Particularly Colin Firth's portrayal of the character. She has a life-sized cardboard cut-out of him in her living room.
All around her, pregnant friends and unsuitable potential partners keep telling her that the clock is ticking. If she doesn't settle down soon, then there will be no happy after ever. Jane would rather read her book.
But then there is a possible avenue for romance that's right up her sweeping Regency avenue. A themed vacation at Austenland promises to immerse her into the world of Jane Austen. Love affair guaranteed.
Jane spends her life savings to fly to England for the opportunity of a lifetime. She knows well enough that the romance is scripted. Every guest will be engaged by the end of the week. It's listed in the selling point features of the trip. That's not really why she's there.
It's to see if living the life and encountering the 'real' Mr Darcy would really be what it's cracked up to be in the novels. Her best friend Molly reckons not. Then Jane might lower her standards and give real men a chance.
Life is often stranger than fiction. The actor playing the Darcy-esque role does so perfectly, yet Jane cannot lower her expectations enough to even embrace him. It seemed that Molly was right all along.
Then again, outside the formal constraints of the Regency drawing room there's a gardener looking after the estate, and he is very lovely indeed.