“Book Club” feels like it arrived about 3-5 years too late. But, that seems apt when you acknowledge the film’s target audience. If you wanted to spend an early summer night watching four aging women having their libidos rekindled by 50 Shades of Grey…this is the film for you. Hell, if you take it as an older actor ensemble piece, then the movie is a home run. But, it tries to be funny. Not funny in the hit and miss sort of way, funny in the PLEASE LIKE THIS FILM BY COMMITTEE sort of way.

When a film gets made about older people, it goes in one of two ways. Either we’re getting a super serious study about aging and what it means to be an aging adult. When that doesn’t happen, we get a comedy about not acting your age or fighting societal implications. This is usually accompanied by Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman or Robert DeNiro mugging for the camera in a way that almost invalidates the career they have forged to this point.

The premise of the film is that Hanoi Jane, a woman that makes excuses for a pedophile, an older Murphy Brown and the badass Mary Steenburgen are going to recharge their marriages with vanilla takes on S&M. Will Craig T. Nelson get into smacking cellulite ass? Does Don Johnson have what it takes to moisten the Deadly Desert between m’lady’s legs? All these answers will be tepidly revealed in the PG-13 movie that still had seats available for people who aren’t quite the Deadpool or Avengers crowd.

Most of you will forget this film exists and try to remember it by the time it hits home video. While that’s not exactly the best of praise, it’s realistic. This isn’t a film for a wide audience. It’s a movie for people living through the moments that might have passed them by a generation ago. Their jokes aren’t your jokes and that’s fine. It’s not like this crowd was going to Deadpool 2 this weekend anyways.


  • 1 hr and 44 mins
  • PG-13
  • Paramount


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