My theater was packed for Book Club. Of course, the demographic of the theater patrons skewed a little older than me.
I expected as much from the crowd when I decided to go to Book Club, since the stars of the film were all actresses and actors of an advanced age. I was one of the younger people in attendance, and there is nothing wrong with that.
Having said that, I had some positives about the story in Book Club, but, overall, it was perhaps lacking in a few areas.
The cast was great though as we got legendary performers such as Jane Fonda, Candace Bergen, Mary Steenburgen, Diane Keaton, Andy Garcia, Craig T. Nelson, Don Johnson, Richard Dreyfuss, Wallace Shawn, Ed Begley Jr and Alicia Silverstone.
In Book Club, the four lead actresses have been life long friends and get together every month to read a new book and discuss it. It really is as much of an excuse to get together and drink wine and gossip about their lives. So when they women decide to read Fifty Shades of Grey, they start looking to spice up their sex lives.
There is a charm among most of these actors. Keaton, Bergen, Steenburgen and Fonda are very fun together. I enjoyed the relationship with Steenburgen and Craig T. Nelson as the only married pair of the group. The other women and their relationships moving forward are enjoyable to a point.
Here is the problem. The film really becomes your typical, predictable rom-com as the movie progresses. There are very few surprises in the film (after Candace Bergen and Richard Dreyfuss’s one scene) and it devolves into an unremarkable movie, which, with a cast like this, is a shame.
There is certainly enough likability among these actors that could have sustained the film over the full run time of the movie, but this seemed to really lose steam when we have the same old tropes of rom-coms.
There is a very charming scene involving Steenburgen, Nelson and a Meat Loaf song that is one of the best of the movie, but there is just not enough charm in the film to make up for the lazy writing and the predictable plot.
Now, the music of the movie was extremely varied and fun, with everything from Tom Petty’s Runnin’ Down a Dream, Paul Simon’s Late in the Evening, Hot Chocolate’s You Sexy Thing, and Sybersound’s Don’t Dream it’s Over. There was a lot of fun music involved here which helped keep the entertainment level at a middle area.
Unfortunately, there is nothing special here. You may go to Book Club and have a decent time. There is nothing obviously wrong with the film that will make you hate it. But it could have been (or should have been) considerably better than it turned out.