Saturday, May 19, 2018

Book Club puts the sex back into sexagenarian

Movie Title:  
    Book Club

Grade:  B-

Rating: PG-13, 104 minutes

In a Nutshell:  I guess you could say that this movie puts the sex back into the word “sexagenarian", although the majority of the leading ladies are in their 70's and 80's.

Sex is the main focus of this movie which, honestly, disappointed me because this talented cast could have done so much more.  There are so many interesting topics that could have been explored to develop the characters better.

The stellar cast includes four Oscar winners and two nominees: Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen, Andy Garcia, and Richard Dreyfus.    

Designed for an older viewing crowd, the audience I sat with laughed non-stop, while I mostly rolled my eyes.


Tips for parents: 
  • Some profanity, crude language, and 1 F-bomb.  As Candice Bergan’s character says in the movie, “Must you always be so crass?”  Exactly.
  • TONS of wine.  Someone is drinking wine or some other kind of alcohol in almost every single scene.
  • Lots of sex out of wedlock and LOTS of talk about sex, often with metaphors. Just so you know, the four women in the BOOK CLUB read all of the books in the Fifty Shades of Grey series, which is what triggers the focus.  Sharon says, "I'm not sure this qualifies as a book."  Exactly.

Uplifting theme: 
  • “Reaching millions of people doesn’t come close to reaching just one you love.” – Arthur (Don Johnson)
  • “I know I’m getting older, but I’m still learning and one of the things I’ve learned is that I deserve to be happy.” – Diane (Diane Keaton)
  •  Friendship
  • Self-esteem
  • Love and connection
  • The power of books!

Things I liked:
  • I thought Candice Bergan’s character was the most enjoyable and realistic.  As a federal judge, I thought it was cute that she named her cat after Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.  She's 72 in real life.  By the way, have you heard her famous hit TV show Murphy Brown: Season 1 is coming back to TV?  I used to love that show and am excited to see what they do with its revival.
  • The food at the ladies’ Book Club gatherings always looked so good.
  • Jane Fonda is 80 and looks amazing.  Have you seen her recent TV show Grace And Frankie Season 1 ?  She's really great in it and looks stunning.
  • You should read Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken.”  It’s great and referred to in the movie.  What do YOU think it means?
  • Keep watching the rolling credits at the end for a few more scenes.
  • Craig T. Nelson and Mary Steenburgen also played a married couple in the movie The Proposal.  She is only 65, the youngest in the group.  He's 74.
  • This was Bill Holderman’s directorial debut.  Hopefully, he’ll bring more older actors and actresses to the Big Screen.  As evidenced by the large audiences I saw for this film on opening day, there is definitely a market there.  Jane Fonda revealed that studio bosses wanted younger stars to play the characters in this movie. Ageism is alive and well in Hollywood.

Things I didn’t like:
  • As much as I adore Diane Keaton, and I do, she pretty much plays the same character in all of her movies, including her clothing style with scarves, hats, and pant suits.  She even wore an Annie Hall hat in the pool scene.  It’s like she’s just playing herself in movies.  In fact, her character’s name in this movie is Diane.   Ha ha
  • There is such a huge age difference between Ed Begley Jr.'s character and Mircea Monroe's character that it was ridiculous.  I know this is a comedy, but it was just silly.
  • This is a true rom-com Chick Flick where all of the men fall all over themselves to please the women (except one). 
  • Sometimes it’s annoying when everyone in a movie has unlimited time and money to do whatever they want.
  • The second half of the movie really dropped for me. 
  • Andy Garcia played Diane Keaton’s nephew in The Godfather, so I thought their ages were unmatched in this film.  In this movie, she says she was born in  1951.  In real life, she was actually born in 1946 and is 72 years old.  Andy Garcia is 62.
  • The movie franchise of Fifty Shades of Grey is so pornographic and I’ve never understood how those movies could ever make it to mainstream box offices.  Don Johnson, who is one of the leading men in this movie, is the real-life father of Dakota who stars in those sadistic sex movies.  Gosh, isn’t he proud?
  • Blatant brand merchandising always annoys me.  This movie had tons, including Zillow, Bumble, Buca de Beppo, Brooks Brothers, Mercedes, and more.
  • Diane Keaton’s character never says “goodbye” when she talks on the telephone.  Do you know people in real life who do that?  So annoying.
  • I wanted to see more of Richard Dreyfuss and Wallace Shawn.  They're both so awesome.

Funny lines:
  • “The last time she went on a date, she got pregnant.” – Sharon (Candice Bergen)
“I don’t think that’s going to happen this time.” - Vivian (Jane Fonda)
*  "They say that memory is the second thing to go." - Arthur (Don Johnson)
    "What's the first?" - Vivian
    "I don't remember." - Arthur

Interesting lines:
  • Cupid is blind.” – Sharon
  • The choice should be ours.” – Vivian  


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