Tuesday, May 29, 2018


Book Club
June Pictures / Paramount Pictures
103 minutes

Boasting an impressive cast and
promising an engaging story,
Book Club was one of the films
that I had been really looking
forward to seeing this year.

A lighthearted comedy, the debut from director Bill Holderman tells the story of four lifelong girlfriends searching for meaningful and satisfying romantic relationships while navigating through their golden years. Yet, despite the film's playful premise, the all-star cast's curb appeal and the general likability of the characters, Book Club tends to fall a bit flat.

The matinee showing I attended was packed with moviegoers primarily over age 50. And while the audience responded well to many of the film's laugh-out-loud moments, the story often felt painfully predictable. Featuring Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen, the award-winning ensemble seemed over-qualified for the dumbed-down scenarios and contrived dialog.

Played by Keaton, the character of Diane is only in her late 60s. Hence the concern her daughters project for her well-being is rather over the top. At one point, Bergen's character, Sharon, "connects" with Richard Dreyfuss' character, George. Although they're both amazing, renown actors, the image of them "getting freaky" in the backseat of George's car was less than titillating. Additionally, the sizzle factor between Fonda's character, Vivian, and Don Johnson's character, Arthur, lacked legit "steam." Conversely, the husband and wife dynamic between Craig T. Nelson and Steenburgen was authentic and charming. But in the end, true love prevails, all around — YAY!

In sum, Book Club succeeded in living up to my expectations — sorta. And despite the story's occasional stiffness, it definitely was worth the investment — kinda. (B-)

-Christopher Long
(May 2018)



C'MON! -

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