Book Club

Book Club 2

The only surprise in this by the numbers sweetie is just how high its stars elevate it. And when we’re talking Jane Fonda, Mary Steenburgen, Candice Bergen and Diane Keaton that really isn’t a surprise at all.

In lesser hands, Bill Holderman (who also directed) and Erin Simms’s script could feel trite and silly. You know, the old lifelong friends share happiness and heartbreak over novels and wine thing is, frankly, just asking for trouble, at least amongst snarky Twitterers. And the fact that “their lives are forever changed after reading 50 Shades of Grey” (quoting the press notes here)? Even I, who just couldn’t with the books or the movies, feel an initial eeew. But, remember gang, it’s Fonda, Steenburgen, Bergen and Keaton here. Things have got to get better.

And they do.

Fonda’s Vivian, flashing her various “enhancements”, finds her tidy glamorous world shaken when old flame Arthur (Don Johnson) shows up. Diane Keaton’s Diane (how convenient) is newly widowed and just might with the delicious Andy Garcia. Candice Bergen’s Sharon, a level minded judge, is over it. Until she’s convinced to give Bumble a try. I won’t spoil the fun by spilling just who she winds up seeing, but who knew he could be so cute? And, in the movie’s only relatively new territory, Mary Steenburgen’s Carol can’t understand why her loving husband of 35 years isn’t having sex with her anymore.

We know as little as possible about the men here, even though each actor sure looks good. And Nancy Meyers would be proud of the gorgeous interior decorating that is as yummy as are the men. But when it comes down to it, this is a movie is about women friends who’re trying to help each other through life, friends who show up and care enough to nudge you to your best self. Each actress is a delight and spending a breezy hour or so in their company turns out to be pretty delightful, too.