Book Club

Fifty Shades of Grey may not be the sort of book most people think of as transformative and inspiring, but after forty years of friendship and monthly book discussions, it’s just enough to shake things up for the members of Book Club.

Genre(s): Comedy, Romance

Director: Bill Holderman

Actors: Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen, Craig T. Nelson, Andy GarcĂ­a, Don Johnson

Year: 2018

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Country: USA

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Vivian (Jane Fonda) owns a luxury hotel and has always favored sex over love and commitment, Sharon (Candice Bergen) is a federal judge who’s been happily divorced for nineteen years, Diane (Diane Keaton) is the recently widowed mother of two daughters, and Carol (Mary Steenburgen) is in a stable marriage. The lives of all four women have become routine, and Fifty Shades steers the conversation in new directions.

For the first time in a long time, the ladies of Book Club begin to examine the aspects of their lives that are unfulfilling. Vivian is forced to consider what might have been after running into a lost love (Don Johnson). Sharon begins to realize she is always wondering what her ex-husband (Ed Begley Jr.) is up to, and is largely consumed by work, her cat, and the demands of adult children. What if she went on a few dates of her own? Diane is left with the realization that life with her late husband was little more than “nice”, and now her daughters (Alicia Silverstone and Katie Aselton) want her to move to Arizona so they can keep an eye on her. They treat her as though she’s old and feeble, but she feels as though possibilities are just opening up, especially after meeting a charming pilot (Andy Garcia). Meanwhile, Carol just wants to reignite the spark in an otherwise amazing relationship.

Simply asking the question, “what do I wish were different in my life?” opens the door to romance and adventure for all four members of Book Club. Better yet, the encouragement and support of loyal friends makes each step in a new direction a little bit easier. This delightful movie is a celebration of life, love, and friendship and is a life-affirming reminder to stay open to new experiences. It also confirms that a cast of mature women can keep a theater full of people laughing and engaged from the title sequence to the closing credits. 

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