1 hour 44 minutes
Taking time out on a cloudy Sunday afternoon, I went to the theater to watch the “Book Club”. I’ve been looking forward to seeing this film ever since I knew it was going to be in theaters. I was a little apprehensive that it would fail all my expectations and the big-screen celebrities that came together would drop the ball on great acting and the whole thing would fall flat. That was not the case at all. I was pleasantly and delightfully surprised at the real and comedic approach this film took to highlight the realities that come with certain expectations while aging in today’s society.
“Book Club” stars Jane Fonda as Vivian who has never been married and is a successful luxury hotel owner. It also stars Diane Keaton as Diane. The word is – this role was written specifically for Keaton, so they kept her name. She is a recent widow after 40 years of marriage and her two grown, married and over-protective daughters (Alicia Silverstone and Katie Aselton) treat her as if she is already on “her way out.”
Candice Bergen stars as Sharon, a federal judge who has focused on her career and has not been in a relationship since her divorce 18 years ago (unless you count her relationship with her cat). Mary Steenburgen stars as Carol and she is the only one of the four friends who has remained married. She is a successful chef whose relationship with her husband (Craig T. Nelson) needs a little spark and pick-me up.
In the film, the four long-time friends and book club members do not discuss the literary likes of “Moby Dick” by Hermann Melville (although Diane will lead one to think so), but instead they ooh and ah over the “Fifty Shades of Grey” series by E. L. James. Believe it or not, this book series is the catalyst of self-reflection and living their lives fully.
In each storyline, the women experience varying degrees of fun with matters of sisterhood, joy, hope – and yes, sex (subtle and often only referenced in the film). If diversity in race, social and financial status is what you are looking for in a movie, “Book Club” will fail to offer you that. It only contains one demographic of successful, white, heterosexual and wealthy women.
Due to the occasional strong language, a few references to sex (with one questionable - although funny - scene) and a lot of wine consumption, this film may not be a family go-to. However, I suspect it will be enjoyed by both men and women 40 and over since this is the age that one begins to think about their own mortality. Women 20 to 39 years old may enjoy it as well, since the film carries strong messages about female friendships and healthy relationships.
Without a doubt, this film is a must see for those who need a laugh; and it helps us all to not take the aging process too seriously.