Starring Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen.
Directed by Bill Holderman
We went to see Book Club with a group of 10 of us ranging in age from 30 to 53. We are all book lovers, and we are all fans of Fifty Shades. We also all met EL James last month when she came to Wicked Book Weekend! Many of us saw the preview for this movie when we went to see Fifty Shades Freed together and have been planning this night ever since. So as you can imagine, we were excited.
Book Club is about four California women in their 60s who have met every month since they were in their 20s to drink wine and talk books. I think that was the real story behind the story that I loved. They had a loyal, drama free friendship that spanned 40 years. Think of this kind of like Sex and the City with older women.
Vivian: “Hi, beautiful friends. I would like to introduce you to Christian Grey.”
[She hands a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey to each woman]
Sharon: “Oh, no. We started this to stimulate our minds.”
Vivian: “From what I hear, this book is quite stimulating.”
Diane Keaton plays the recently widowed Diane (who I must say, we kept saying “what is she wearing?”) who has two adult daughters (Alicia Silverstone and Katie Aselton) that treat her like she has one foot in the grave, pushing her to move to Arizona to live in their basement. Jane Fonda plays Vivian, a single-for-life hotel owner who always looks perfect and hot (holy hell, she is 80 in real life and looks AMAZING), and likes casual sex with no entanglements. Candice Bergen plays Sharon, a federal judge who hasn’t been with a man at all in the 18 years since she divorced her husband. Mary Steenburgen plays Carol, a chef, and is the only married one of the group. The problem is, her newly retired husband (Craig T. Nelson) hasn’t had sex with her in 6 months.
When Vivian brings Fifty Shades of Grey to her week for Book Club, at first the other women were against it. But as they read, they each rediscovered their own sexuality and/or need for love and companionship. Maybe it was all of their “inner goddesses” that came to the surface. Diane meets a sexy pilot played by Andy Garcia, Vivian hooks up with an old love played by Don Johnson (oh my, he is still a total hottie, and they made a gorgeous couple), Sharon joined an online dating site, and after 18 years, went on her first date with George, played by Richard Dreyfuss. Carol and Bruce were happily married, but something was missing and nothing Carol tried worked to spice things up, but there were some really funny attempts!
“I could have put him in jail for any one of those things.”– Sharon on Christian Grey
- The cast was amazing.
- Can appeal to any age.
- The little nods to Fifty Shades.
- The fun cameo.
- The little joke of Don Johnson’s casting: his daughter played Anastasia Steele in the movies.
- The journey of self discovery that each of the women went on.
- Lots of funny lines.
- Yes, there were a few tears as well.
- The power of these women’s friendship after 40 years.
- Sharon (Candice Bergen) had one of the best parts, and I loved her journey and snarky comments.
- Don Johnson and Andy Garcia – Can you say Silver Fox?
- Diane Keaton’s outfits kept taking us out of the story (The capes and the belts, and what is with the scarfs?)
- Diane’s kids were over-the-top, treating her like she is 100 years old and needs a live-in nurse when she is clearly a vibrant woman.
- The whole book-club is really wine club vibe. These women drank. A LOT. Every scene had a drink. I’m not against wine with book club, but it seemed almost over-the-top.
The Down & Dirty:
I don’t feel like I can really give a rating to a movie because I so rarely go, so I don’t really have a rating scale in my head. But as for me, I loved it. Did it blow me away? No. But it’s not supposed to. Think of it like a coming of (retirement) age Sex and the City. It was light and fluffy and fun with a not-so-subtle message that it’s never too late for love.