Book Club Comedy

Review: ‘Book Club’ is a Fun, Fluffy Romantic Comedy that Proves Love is for the Young at Heart

May 18, 2018Sherry Li

Book Club, a romantic comedy from director Bill Holderman, follows a group of lifelong friends who read "Fifty Shades of Grey" for their book club, ultimately sparking a change in their lives.

The fantastic cast includes Diane Keaton as Diane, Jane Fonda as Vivian, Candice Bergen as Sharon, and Mary Steenburgen as Carol. But while their characters' lifelong friendships and unique personalities allow for hilarious interactions between the four of them, it's in their individual stories that we really get to know these women.

Diane, who lost her husband a year earlier, is dealing with her adult children constantly worrying about her being alone "at her age," and has finally met a new man (Andy Garcia). Vivian, who has always prioritized career before romance, runs into the man whose marriage proposal she turned down decades earlier (Don Johnson). Sharon, who still hasn't gotten over her divorce that happened 18 years earlier, decides to give online dating a try. And Carol, who loves her husband Bruce (Craig T. Nelson), desperately wants to liven things up in the bedroom.

Since most of the film follows these women individually, there aren't that many scenes which the cast share with one another, which is disappointing. It's when the entire group is together that the audience gets to truly bask in their hilarious chemistry, which isn't always evident in their solo storylines.

Bergen, whose character hasn't dated in almost two decades, stands out in particular, and really makes use of her comedic talents in her individual plotline. But even though Holderman and co-writer Erin Simms ensure that the movie's jokes almost always land, the rest of the writing comes across a little lazy and too convenient at times. That said, although scenarios seem to happen for no reason other than to advance the plot, considering there are four parallel storylines, the balance between them is actually fairly well done.

Overall, the result is a fun, fluffy romantic comedy for those who are tired of the notion that love and life are just for the young. On top of ending each character's arc with the kind of neat, happy ending that we don't often see for that demographic, Book Club is charming, with plenty of funny moments throughout, and it leaves viewers with an inspiring message that will no doubt help them look beyond the film's flaws.

Book Club releases May 18th, 2018 from Paramount Pictures. The film has an MPAA rating of PG-13. Its runtime is 1 hr. 44 min.

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