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At the film’s best, Book Club places its target demographic within the type of ensemble romantic comedy roles typically reserved for actors decades their junior. For decades, four friends have come together to read books and trade insights into each others’ lives.Diane (Keaton) is a widow who is struggling to maintain her independence in the eyes of her overbearing children.Vivian (Fonda) is a hotel tycoon who has foregone intimacy for decades of casual sex. James' infamous novel as its next read, each member is inspired to embrace life in unique – and fairly predictable – ways.Meanwhile, Carol (Steenburgen) is struggling to re-establish her own sex life with her retired husband (Nelson), while Sharon (Bergen) is jolted out of her comfort zone by the news that her ex-husband (Begley Jr.) is engaged to someone several decades his junior. Nothing that happens in Book Club will come as a surprise to lifelong fans of the genre.
stars Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen as women of a certain age dealing with love and lust; Johnson and Andy Garcia co-star as the swains.
Whenever the book club members are off pursuing their individual personal blisses, the laughs are of the paint-by-numbers variety, and it is only the good cheer of the performers that keeps the jokes from missing the mark entirely.
And yet, given the sheer embarrassment of talent on display, Book Club works just as often as it doesn't.
Couldn’t hurt to have such a stellar cast, though, when you’re getting a movie made?
Well, it helps to get a big studio like Paramount to look up from their corn flakes and away from the comics. Yes, it was a nice change to see people who were not in capes and tights.