Ahlia Karam | 13/08/2018
If you’re looking for an easy watch on Sunday afternoon, you’ve come to the right place. Book Club won’t be tearing down any societal barriers or winning any awards, but it definitely got the audience laughing.
Picture this; four rich white ladies (RWLs) started a book club when they were in college. Now in their 60’s, they meet once a month to drink white wine, sit near extravagant cheese platters and not really talk about the book. Each portray one of the four types of RWLs. Sharon (Candice Bergen) is the hard working supreme judge who doesn’t care for romance, sex or anything in between. Vivian (Jane Fonda) is the one who wears thigh high boots, leopard print and likes her men to be gone before the morning. Diane (Diane Keaton) is the recently widowed ‘mom’ one, and Carol (Mary Steenburgen) is the one who wears a lot of shawls and is in the marriage that has lost its spark.
Because Vivian is the wild one, she brings the world renowned ‘50 Shades of Grey’ as her pick for this particular month’s book. Lo and behold, all four characters romantic lives start to take drastic turns.
After finding out her ex-husband is dating a younger, blonder woman, Sharon is convinced to join the world of online dating and signs up to Bumble. Diane meets someone on a plane (Mitchell, played here by Andy Garcia) and they of course hit it off right away. Vivian’s college sweetheart Arthur (Don Johnson), maybe the only man she’s ever loved, and conveniently is staying at the hotel she owns. And as for Carol, she’s pretty much just trying to get her frumpy, retried husband Bruce (Craig T. Nelson) to have sex with her.
Some interesting casting choices were made in this film, particularly with respect to maturity. While not explicitly said, it is assumed that the four main characters would be around the same age if they started this club during their studies. Diane was treated by her daughters Jill (Alicia Silverstone) and Adrianne (Katie Aselton), like she was on the brink of death, whereas, Carol could have been anywhere between hers 40’s and 60’s. Jane Fonda as Vivian did seem like the perfect choice. She pulled off this character to a tee. While Jane is turning 81 this year, it's anyone's guess what age Vivian was meant to be. Diane Keaton, as Diane, was pretty much just playing Diane Keaton, and there is no surprise there. If you saw a picture of the character Diane and Ms Keaton side by side I don’t think you’d be able to tell which one was styled by wardrobe. Her love interest seemed to be quite her junior. It is not clear if this was an intentional part of the storyline or if Andy Garcia was just looking particularly youthful in this role.
Along with the majority of cinema these days, this film went arguably 45 minutes longer than it needed to. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t fun; in fact, it was still an enjoyable film to watch. It was playful, it was heart-warming and it shows that it’s never too late to make a big change to jump start your happiness. The best way to describe it is as to be expected; there are no surprises in the flow of the storyline and while that is what makes it so easy to watch, it’s also the same thing that will condemn it to a be barely remembered in a years time.
Fun but unadventurous, Book Club is a fine movie outing that won’t have you recalling the time you spent watching it much more than 3 days past your viewing.