Book Club definitely frontloads its worst moments. Surprisingly, the poorly Photoshopped pictures of its mature quartet—Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen—are the comedy’s nadir, despite the elderly sex jokes and double entendres yet to come (wink). Expectations are low for a comedy regrettably keyed by Fifty Shades of Grey, but Book Club is more pleasant to watch than any adaptation of E.L. James’ bestsellers.
Four lifelong-ish friends—Diane (Keaton), Vivian (Fonda), Sharon (Bergen) and Carol (Steenburgen)—have their lives turned upside down after reading Fifty Shades for their homegrown book club. Recently widowed Diane meets a hot pilot (Andy Garcia); proudly sexual Vivian rekindles real romance with a jilted lover (Don Johnson); Sharon, a federal judge, tries online dating after her ex (Ed Begley Jr.) finds love again; and Carol tries to re-light the sexual fire with her loyal husband (Craig T. Nelson).
This premise promises a much worse movie than it actually delivers. The actresses banter like the pros they are, with the lower-profile Bergen showing she has more than enough juice left to jumpstart a “Murphy Brown” reboot. Sure, Diane’s daughters (Alicia Silverstone and Katie Aselton) are the worst, but no movie’s perfect. Is having the funniest cinematic boner gag I have seen in years not enough?
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