Any movie starring Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen, and Diane Keaton is guaranteed to be a hit . . . right? Targeted at the profitable baby boomer market and featuring four talented boomer-age women, Book Club, The Next Chapter is, I regret to tell you . . . a miss.
My gal pals and I couldn’t wait for this movie to hit the theatres. We enjoyed the original Book Club movie a couple of years ago and looked forward to another salty popcorn and Diet Coke-fueled afternoon of girl fun. What a disappointment.
Here’s what I did like about Book Club, The Next Chapter:
- The leading ladies are an inspiration to us all. Still working, still gorgeous, and coping with ageing in their own way.
- Scenes of Rome, Venice, and Tuscany were wonderful and watching them on the big screen is as good as it gets without actually suffering through a three-hour airport wait, a seven-hour flight, and the airline losing your luggage to get there.
- Some of the aging jokes were actually funny.
- Candice Bergen.
Here’s what I did not like:
- The plot, the writing, and the premise were just plain stupid. Wasted good talent on trite, clichéd material.
- Why do actors in American productions always have to be gorgeous, thin, and rich? Who among us can relate? Where are the (Bafta-winning) Siobhán McSweeneys (Derry Girls and so much more) or our own Mary Walsh types?
- Jane Fonda looks like an avatar. She’s had too much ‘work’ done on her face and she seriously over-acted, rendering her character just plain annoying.
- Some of the aging jokes were cheap and gratuitous. The writers should have worked harder at originality.
You may not agree with my assessment of Book Club, The Next Chapter. After all, I also disliked 80 For Brady for many of the same reasons. Movie appreciation is highly subjective. Personally, I recommend waiting for Book Club to arrive on your streaming service where you can watch it for free, sort of. Of course, you will miss the camaraderie of a girls outing with salty popcorn and fountain Diet Coke. I also realize going to the movies is about escapism, a release from reality. This movie is meant to be a fluffy rom-com, not Citizen Kane. Do you think I’m being too harsh? Let me know in the comments below.