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Film Review: “Book Club” (2018) ★★★★


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How many romantic movies are there that really touch upon the true meaning of relationships, days that we spend with our loved ones and the years that pass by but we’re yet to learn what true happiness is? Not many but one of them that comes to my mind is “Something’s Gotta Give” with Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson. And therein lies the real problem – we deserve to see more of such intelligent, wicked and heart-melting romantic films but there’s not much out there. However, I have great news for you my valuable reader; the wait is over with the stunningly charming “Book Club” that has the right cast to grab your soul and transport it into a world that is filled with what the real world’s missing – appreciation.

Diane (Diane Keaton), Vivian (Jane Fonda), Sharon (Candice Bergen) and Carol (Mary Steenburgen) are friends for ages. They cherish each other, appreciate their presence and never take for granted the most important thing they have in common – true friendship. Each one of them are going through the same stage of life but through different paths. However, all assemble in one circle when they begin reading “50 Shades of Grey” that helps them to look at each other’s personal life from an angle they did not even know existed.

Diane has two grown up daughters, Jill (Alicia Silverstone) and Adrianne (Katie Aselton), who treat her with great care but rather as if she was a helpless child. She meets a man, a very charming, sensitive and hopelessly romantic man named Mitchell (nobody could be better candidate than Andy Garcia) who is willing to help Diane begin a new life. Vivian owns her own hotel, has a busy life, a life where there is no place for permanent relationships. And that’s how forty years ago she gave up her romance with Arthur (Don Johnson) who now realizes she’s the one with whom he would love to spend the rest of his life. Sharon is still alone, but through online dating website she hopes to find her best match, while for a full-time job she works as a federal judge. Lastly, the very cheerful Carol who does everything possible to revive her relationship with her husband.

All these women are attending the book club that no one else except themselves attend. It just happened that always in search for adventure, Vivian brings the new book so everyone can read it. First they find it very strange and feel that something does not fit into who they are or their belief in old-fashioned relationships, but as they dive into the book, they find their new selves, begin discovering the new life, and even to be more bold about the move many would find inappropriate at their age. However, as you watch these women, you realize no one else except them know how to live their life to the fullest, and that no matter how hard it is, compromise, willingness and determination will help them shut the door to prejudices and finally welcome what they have tried to reject for many years – love.

Co-written (along with Erin Simms) and directed by Bill Holderman, “Book Club” is a genuinely funny, adorable romantic comedy that will make you laugh throughout. Despite having such a stellar cast, it’s a very down to earth piece that brings the best out of the talents the film has. It manages to make “50 Shades of Grey” an excellent turning point where an adult audience can find in it something we may have missed. It captures the importance of love, courage and ability to stand for yourself, desire and following the heart. The chemistry between Don Johnson and Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton and Andy Garcia, Craig T. Nelson and Mary Steenburgen are the best on-screen couples you will ever get a chance to see. The charm they have is unique, refreshing and honest. All of them do their best to tell the story of the characters they portray which helped the film a lot.

In conclusion, “Book Club” is the kind of instant classic I wish it had a sequel. It’s an undeniable fact that we need more intelligent films that know how to handle the lines or the world’s most famous ladies, have them share the same screen and look simply stunning. And on top of that, it’s a brilliant comedy and a great reason to spend your Friday night with dear friends who will appreciate even more what the “Book Club” has to offer.

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