Movie Reviews

Book Club – A Fun Ensemble Comedy

Four great ladies who I’d watch on their own are together.

Synopsis: Diane is recently widowed after 40 years of marriage. Vivian enjoys her men with no strings attached. Sharon is still working through her decades-old divorce. Carol’s marriage is in a slump after 35 years. The lives of these four friends are turned upside down after reading the infamous “50 Shades of Grey.” From discovering new romance to rekindling old flames, they inspire each other to make their next chapter their best chapter yet. (Rovi)

Starring: Diane KeatonJane Fonda, and Candice Bergen

Writers: Bill Holderman and Erin Simms

Director: Bill Holderman

Rating: PG (Canada)/PG-13 (United States)

Running Time: 104mins

Trailer: 

For showtimes and more, check out Book Club on movietimes.com.

It’s surprising that four great actresses like Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen have never worked together until now but better late than never. Here they play a group of friends named Diane, Vivian, Sharon, and Carol respectively. These older women held regular book club meetings where each friend would pick a new book for the month. The next book just happened to be 50 Shades of Grey. Whether they’ve read it or not (I stopped halfway through the first book because it was so bad), everybody knows about it. However, these women are reading it for the first time.

The novelty of the film was seeing older women, specifically these actresses, react to the book for the first time and these reactions did not disappoint. The story wasn’t about 50 Shades of Grey itself but rather how it affected their lives, particularly their love lives as they were getting older. Each woman were in different situations in their lives. Diane was a recent widow with overprotective daughters, Vivian was promiscuous and emotionally unattached, Sharon was still getting over her divorce, and Carol was facing marital problems.

The best way to probably describe the film would be four journeys of self-discovery in one. All these stories were compelling to watch despite treading familiar themes and predictable endings with the women finding love again or getting it back because of the different perspective. The story had a decent balance as it jumped between the women. The inverse of that was that it occasionally hurt the momentum of certain storylines and it also meant not having the four of them together as often as one would like. This was the worst part of the film since the best part of the film was whenever all the friends were together on screen. They were hilarious to watch together because of their great chemistry. Because of the balanced script, each woman had a chance to shine in that regard.

Suffice it to say that the performances were great across the board with the four leads being the standouts. It’s hard to believe that Keaton, Fonda, Bergen, and Steenburgen never worked together (though they all knew each other) before since it didn’t look it here. Their chemistry made the film fun to watch and their individual performances and grace kept their own storylines compelling to watch. Each of them were funny at times but Bergen stole many scenes as Sharon.

Overall, this was a good romantic comedy of sorts whose appeal may be limited though was surprisingly hilarious and fun to watch. This was thanks to the great performances and chemistry of Keaton, Fonda, Bergen, and Steenburgen who all prove that they can still do it. It’s just a crime that they haven’t worked together until now but hopefully this will lead to more collaborations in the future.

Score: 8/10

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