Saturday, May 12, 2018

“Book Club”– Movie Review


Recently, I attended an advanced screening of the new comedy “Book Club”, with Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen. 


When long-time friends read a sexually stimulating book, can it inspire them to improve their love life?


Over the past 40 years, four friends have kept in touch by meeting regularly in their book club:  Diane (Keaton), Vivian (Fonda), Sharon (Bergen) and Carol (Steenburgen). They assign each other the same book to read and discuss it during their meetings.  One day, they decide to read the best seller “Fifty Shades of Grey”. When they meet to discuss their progress, they unanimously agree that they find this entire subject matter to be incredibly stimulating; given their enthusiasm, they decide to commit to reading the entire trilogy.  But their interest belies the fact that each woman is currently encountering her own challenges with respect to her love life.

Diane’s husband passed away about a year ago; her daughters are concerned about her being alone so they encourage her to move from her home in southern California to Arizona, where they’re located.  Vivian never married; a wealthy and successful businesswoman, she couldn’t find time for a serious relationship, so instead she just went from one affair to another. Sharon, a federal judge, was divorced 18 years ago and hasn’t been with a man since.  Carol has been married for 35 years, but since her husband’s retirement a couple of months ago, they haven’t been intimate.

Diane winds up meeting Mitchell (Andy Garcia), a pilot who also happens to live in Arizona.  Will she be able to start a new romance with him or will their initial sparks just result in a misfire?  Vivian runs into Arthur (Don Johnson) at one of her hotels; he’s an old flame from years ago. At this point in her life, is it possible for them to rekindle their relationship?  Sharon registers on a web site for a dating service designed for mature adults. When she meets a man with whom she feels comfortable, will she have the perseverance to see it through?  Once Carol tries a few ideas to reignite her husband’s libido, will her schemes work or will it only serve to drive him further away?


As demographics in our country change, we may be finding a new genre of film emerging:  Geezer Love. Should that come to pass, let’s hope the quality of the movies improves because “Book Club” – which apparently aspires to be something of a romantic comedy – is not nearly as funny as it seems to think it is.  This is very much a paint-by-numbers type of motion picture which is just a little too familiar – the feeling of deja vu pervades the viewing experience giving you the feeling that you’ve seen this story before (which you have – many times, in fact).  This being the case, the resolution of each character’s situation is fairly predictable.

Part of the problem here is that the actresses in this cast are a particularly talented group of women with quite accomplished careers – unfortunately, because of their age, their career as such is mostly behind them because they no longer get offered any of the top screenplays.  Those scripts are going to much younger women. As a result, they are forced to take just about anything that comes along because the pickings are slim. If they are going to continue to see themselves as working actresses – or at the very least, score a nice payday – then they pretty much have to commit to whatever comes along. 

“Book Club” is certainly pleasant enough – inoffensive and enjoyable for anyone who’s not terribly demanding when it comes to their entertainment.  The humor, such as it is, isn’t edgy in any way. Whether or not it’s worth going out to the theaters to see is another matter entirely. The timing of its release is a bit unfortunate though; this would’ve been a good movie to see on Mother’s Day, but it’s not opening until the following weekend.  Perhaps if you miss the brunch Mother’s Day weekend, you can make up for it by taking Mom to this film next weekend. Just don’t set your expectations too high.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Speak Your Piece, Beeyotch!