Sometimes all you need to adequately judge a film is to sit inside a theater, and listen to the room fill with laughter. Such was the case with Book Club, directed by first-time director Bill Holderman, and written by Holderman and Erin Simms. The film stars Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candace Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen. Given that all four women have been nominated for Oscars, with three winning, it is certainly no surprise that they would be a box office draw. It is a surprise however, that Hollywood would recognize them as such, given the industry’s blind quest for youth. With the success of Grace and Frankie on Netflix, and its age-spanning audience, it’s ever-the-more clear that there is a market for this type of comedy.
Keaton plays Diane, a recent widow with two overprotective daughters that are angling for their mother to move into their basement. Steenburgen plays Carol, a chef and loving wife to Bruce (Craig T. Nelson), who is emotionally struggling with his recent retirement. Jane Fonda plays Vivian, a power woman who is rekindling an old flame (Don Johnson). Candace Bergen plays Sharon, a divorcee who has discovered the world of online dating. The fierce foursome come together for their book club, and this time around they’ve chosen 50 Shades of Grey for their read. Though the trailer for this film would lead you to believe that their chosen book is merely a gimmick to bait the audience, it’s actually lovable background noise to a much more enjoyable plot-line. This is a fun story about friendship, and it proves that reinvention doesn’t discriminate based on age. These four women are famous for a reason, and given the right material, they will remind you of their prowess. Plus, you cannot go wrong with a lighthearted rom-com that delivers the laughs.