By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
is a funny, romantic comedy for grown folks. It’s the kind of movie Hollywood should make more often, but only cranks out occasionally.
It’s also one that borrows a page or two from rom-com master Nancy Meyers (“The Intern,” “The Holiday” and “Something’s Gotta Give”).
Still, I’ll take it.
In “Book Club,” Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen star as well-heeled, wine loving, mid-60ish friends who have known each other since college.
The vivacious Vivian (a fabulous 80-year-old Fonda, TV’s “Grace and Frankie”) owns a ritzy hotel and has a slew of handsome men who will do anything
Don’t hate. She looks amazing.
Sharon (Bergen, “Rules Don’t Apply”) is a federal judge whose husband Tom (Ed Begley Jr., TV’s “Love”) left her for a younger woman (Mircea Monroe, TV’s “Episodes”).
Carol (Steenburgen, TV’s “The Last Man on Earth”) is a chef and restaurateur who is stuck in a sexless marriage with her loving, but boring husband Bruce (a funny Craig T. Nelson, “Incredibles 2”).
Diane (Keaton, “Love the Coopers”) is a widow and doing just fine on her own, but her overbearing daughters Jill (Alicia Silverstone, “The Killing of a Sacred Deer”) and Adrianne (Katie Aselton, TV’s “Legion”) want her to move to Arizona so they can look after her.
Vivian feels it’s time for her friends to start living again and get their grooves back. This is something Vivian knows how to do very well.
So, she invites the women over her house for their book club meeting and wants them to read E.L. James’ sexy/trashy novel, “Fifty Shades of Grey.”
Initially none of them are interested, but once they start reading well, it’s a game-changer.
Everyone comes out of their shell looking to roll the dice and just take a chance. This leads to some hilarious set ups like Carol slipping multiple Viagra pills in Bruce’s beer.
Then there’s Sharon testing the online dating waters by joining Bumble in the most unconventional way. She winds up with two love interests (Richard Dreyfuss, TV’s “Shots Fired”) and Wallace Shawn, (TV’s “Young Sheldon”).
Diane finds romance in the arms of a sexy and wealthy airplane pilot named Mitchell (a terrific Andy Garcia, “Mama Mia: Here We Go Again”).
Even Vivian—who never imagined settling down with just one man—is rocked when her super handsome former beau, Arthur (Don “Sonny Crockett” Johnson, TV’s “LA to Vegas”) resurfaces and confesses his love for her.
It’s a nice touch too by the filmmakers to have Johnson in “Book Club” since Dakota Johnson is his daughter and stars as Anastasia Steele in the “Fifty Shades” movies.
Actually, first-time director Bill Holderman (“A Walk in the Woods”), who also co-wrote this movie with Erin Simms (“Pete’s Dragon”), has sprinkled so many tasteful and clever jokes into “Book Club” that it allows the stellar cast to cut loose and take it to hilarious heights.
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Take A Look At This Trailer For "BOOK CLUB"
Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics’ Association (BFCA), the Black Reel Awards Voting Academy and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.