Just a thought… Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine. [Lord Byron]
Well, after the drama of the last two days’ journals, I thought today I’d share with you an actual scripted comedy that we took in last week. And do you know what? I did something I don’t think I have ever done since getting into radio thirty-some years ago: I saw a film without reading one single review beforehand.
We saw a trailer for Book Club last winter when we went to Phantom Thread. Thread was the last film we saw before the Oscars – last big screen movie, period, actually – and I was dying, not only for some theatre popcorn, but to see a movie that is not all CGI and superheroes (as good as those are, I know).
When our pals Nancy and Charles from nearby Sidney suggested a matinee in the tiny town, we said, “Sure!” and off we went. What a surprise on a sunny and 17 C day to find the theatre packed! I guess word had travelled that it was a lighthearted comedy and we weren’t the only ones looking for just that kind of movie.
In case you haven’t heard of it, Book Club stars four well-known comedic actresses, all north of 60 years in age. Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen and Diane Keaton portray a group of friends who are (with one exception) single. One is a serial dater who won’t commit, one is married to her high-profile job and never goes out after a failed marriage years earlier, another is a widow of just one year, while the fourth is in a stale thirty-year union.
When the spiciest of these girls (Fonda) chooses the Fifty Shades series for the next book club selection, all of a sudden, eyes are opened and imaginations are sparked. Bow-chicka-wow-wow…
There were plenty of laughs during the film (one especially saucy sequence is due to the uprising that occurs when a wife spikes hubby’s beer with Viagra) but there are moments of tenderness too. Four terrifically entertaining actresses (plus Don Johnson, Ed Begley Jr., Andy Garcia and Richard Dreyfuss as various partners to this dynamic quartet) more than deliver on a witty script.
It’s sassy, wine-soaked and just a fun movie with a great soundtrack – from Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and Paul Simon to Meghan Trainor and Katherine McPhee. You know, sometimes a bit of fun is all you need. After all, Phantom Thread gave me enough angst to last for months. Don’t expect to see The Book Club at the Oscars next year (unless the Carole Bayer-Sager co-written closing theme is nominated) but that’s why it was a summer release.
And okay – I just looked up a review. On EW.com, Entertainment Weekly gives it a B and calls it: “Salty and silly and still crazy, after all these years.” I couldn’t agree more. Like a good book, this movie is just hard to put down.
Tomorrow: a huge PayPal scam hits home for one of my sisters.