Book Club film review: enjoyable piece by four leads

Jane Fonda in Book Club.
Jane Fonda in Book Club.

SHOWING that sisters are doing it for themselves well into their 60s and 70s (and so they should), Book Club is a cute rom-com for the elderly.

Lifelong gal pals Diane (Diane Keaton), Vivian (Jane Fonda), Sharon (Candice Bergen) and Carol (Mary Steenburgen), who have met every month for 40 years for book club, read controversial and sexually-charged 50 Shades of Grey.

The titillating book and worldwide phenomenon ignites some dormant sexual feelings in some of them.

Divorcee Sharon starts internet dating, widow Diane strikes up a relationship with pilot Mitchell (Andy Garcia), Carol tries to put the spark back in the bedroom with hubby Bruce (Craig T. Nelson) and aloof Vivian develops feelings when she has a fling with old flame Arthur (Don Johnson).

Book Club is what you get if you caught up with the manhattan-sipping Sex and the City ladies 30 years later. There are undeniable resemblances between Vivian and Samantha, Carol and Charlotte and Sharon and Miranda.

Speaking frankly about sex like those New York socialites, these characters find a new zest for life through their sexual adventures and misadventures.

While these legendary actresses have proved for decades that they are equipped to deliver astonishing performances of complex characters, Book Club gives them the opportunity to be breezy with a script that takes every rom-com cliche in the Hollywood movie-making handbook and applies it to the aged.

Don’t expect any intellectual debate about the troubling relationship between billionaire BDSM fan Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele in their chosen literature, this is purely women giggling about graphically described sex and Viagra sight gags.

And yet it remains an enjoyable piece of light-hearted fluff buoyed by the delightful four leads.

THE ESSENTIALS

Book Club (M)

Directed by: Bill Holderman

Starring: Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen

Three stars

Review by Julian Wright

In cinemas now