Movie Review – Book Club

I thought this would be an inspiring movie about taking life by the balls (or in this case, the ovaries) in your golden years. The high-caliber cast of aging actresses is stellar; they did a fine job. I am  about 15-20 years younger than them, but feel like they have options I will never have. They are rich, live in their own lovely homes, have great careers, and enjoy close friendships with each other. They are basically Sex and the City: The Older Edition. It’s cute, it’s funny — and super depressing. I need to stick to Deadpool, Star Wars, and Avengers. Even the recent 50 Shades movie was better than this. This one….is simply full of unrealistic  mockery. It probably depends on what is happening in your life.

I personally feel cheated. In the ruins of my newly single life, I have no friends, live in a cinder-block closet in my mother’s basement, and have no future. I work out like a fiend, and look better than I did in my 20s. I have abs. And it doesn’t matter. The hoary, combed-over, wrinkled ex-husband featured in this film has a 25-year-old blonde hot bimbo for a new wife. So, what chance do I have? Do I have to find old men who think I am the young hot chick?

No, thank you.

Back to the movie. There are a lot of laughs. The entire room, playing up against Marvel’s ‘juggernaut’ Deadpool2 (that’s an in-joke, sorry), was PACKED. Mature ladies, elderly women, old couples, and the occasional young 50 Shades fan took up every single seat. That was unexpected. And the laughs were raucously loud for the first third of the film. I laughed with them too.

And suddenly, reality set in. Things stopped being fun. These four leading ladies looked amazing; they were also rich, and high-powered. (For example, one was a judge. One owned hotels. These were not normal women – they were senior superheroes.) The characters were NOT RELATABLE. A discontent seemed to seep into the entire theater: these women were not us. And the characters were lucky in a way that wasn’t aspirational.

Well, the actresses clearly enjoyed themselves. Good on them. But did the viewers walk out (and use walkers out, in many, many cases) feeling happy? I looked closely at the audience during the credits. And I have to say no: the older people seemed downcast. I myself was full of despair. These characters were clearly lucky. They didn’t work at bettering their lives. Book Club didn’t  encourage the audience to make changes in themselves, or even in their vaginas. One character bumped into an old beau. One character tripped over a hot younger pilot  (she fell into his lap <—– I need to learn this trick). And so on. Luck. Yeah.

So, how to grade this? I’d call it misleading advertising. I expected their book club to inspire changes we could all learn from and emulate. Instead, poor little rich-girl hottie (probably starving herself to keep her shape) Jane Fonda fears “real” love. Adorable Diane Keaton finds a sexy younger millionaire via a stereotypical meet-cute moment. What the heck IS THIS? I don’t eat either, to look good. But where are the men?

Well then. I suppose I’m getting too critical. I just wanted to laugh and let go of grief and regret for a couple of hours. Not happening in this film — things hit too close to home. I will say this:  if you have a really tight group of girlfriends who support you emotionally, and ply you with wine at the drop of a hat, a la Sex and the City (and yes, Book Club), hold onto them like the gold they are.

I feel like crying. Count me out.

Grade: C

Related: Keaton Kisses Kimmel, Talks Sex

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Content Director, and Managing Officer. RunPee Jilly likes sci fi movies, fantasy films, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder.

4 Replies to “Movie Review – Book Club”

  1. I liked the movie. I was surprised at a nearly packed theater on a big Marvel movie weekend. Lots of us older ladies laughing. I took the message from the movie that even the rich and professionally successful have unhappy and lonely parts of their lives. I am not rich and also alone in my life. I left the theater grateful for my happy not rich life but also content with my alone life.

    1. Debra, that is a nice sentiment and a good way to look at it. Personally, I want my own meet-cute moment. And I feel left out in every way. I wouldn’t recommend this film to people who are lonely and feel trapped in their lives, since it doesn’t seem to offer any suggestions beyond joining online dating services. Or maybe to joining a ladies book club. IDK. This movie ruined my entire day and I’m still mad about it.

      Have you watched Grace and Frankie? It deals with similar themes (and Jane Fonda), yet manages to not make the viewer feel so lost. You can stream it on Netflix.

      As always, I love your insightful comments!

  2. I love the Netflix series Grace and Frankie. Two older and eccentric woman who manage to develop companionship. Each of them find and begin to enjoy a new life after long marriages. There are a few of us that dont require companionship. I wrote a paper in college about personalities. I wrote I am my own best friend. I never feel lonely. I can go to concerts and shows alone. I can go for drives and enjoy a walk without feeling I need to have a companion. Yes, I had a 39 year marriage, now widowed and wonderful adult children with families. Please dont be miserable. There are lots of happy and alone people who would laugh at the many funny parts of this movie.

  3. I had a hard time with Grace and Frankie in their first half of their first season. Again, it just hurt too much. It got better when the show got weirder. So I do enjoy that.

    I prefer being taken to far away futures, lands with dinosaurs or superheroes, going to Hogwarts, flying around in spaceships, fighting monsters…I do try to avoid dramas. I’m way too lonely to be subjected to women with actual friends or relationships.

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