Movie Review: Book Club

Four iconic actresses—Candice Bergen, Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Mary Steenburgen—come together in this breezy movie about relationships, aging, and sexuality.

Each actress plays a role closely tied to her own persona: High-strung Diane (Diane Keaton) is dealing with recent widowhood, Vivian (Jane Fonda) enjoys her short flings and independence, Sharon (Candice Bergen) plays a cynical, long-divorced federal judge, and Carol (Mary Steenburgen) is experiencing a slump in her marriage.

After starting to read Fifty Shades of Grey, their book club selection, the women’s lives are turned upside down.

While traveling to visit her two condescending daughters, Diane stumbles over a dashing stranger (Andy Garcia), almost knocks him out as she tries to retrieve anti-anxiety pills, and when a loud noise frightens her, she grabs his crotch to steady herself. Sparks fly and soon the twosome is inseparable.

Carol’s attempts to revive her sex life with her husband (Craig T. Nelson) lead to several cringe-worthy conversations and an embarrassing encounter with a female constable.

Bold and confident Vivian succumbs to the advances of a younger lover (Don Johnson) from her past. Sharon, played with aplomb by Candice Bergen, stole the show with her witticisms, no-nonsense judgments, struggles with Spanx, and online dating adventures. I could easily have watched an entire 104 minutes of this particular subplot.

Definitely light fare but worth seeing and noting the underlying message: If you’re feeling stuck or stagnant, take responsibility and shake up your life.

8 responses to “Movie Review: Book Club

  1. I knew I would like this. Candice Bergen is a gem – I’ve missed her since Boston Legal went off, and am looking forward to the remake of Murphy Brown.

  2. As soon as I heard about this movie I thought about some female relatives of mine, all in their 70s, who spent one summer reading – and loving – these books. I teased one of them about the content [even though I hadn’t read the books] and she said, very seriously, “but it’s a good story.” I thought – great for them, to read and enjoy sexy books, of a type none of them had ever read before.
    I finally broke down and bought the books out of curiosity. But that’s another story.
    Enjoyed your review. This is one movie I look forward to watching!

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