Four lifelong friends have been meeting for their monthly book club for many years. Diane (Diane Keaton) is a widow, Vivian (Jane Fonda) a sex-loving singleton, Sharon (Candice Bergen) a divorced judge, and Carol (Mary Steenburgen) who is in a long marriage that is becoming stale. All of them seem stuck inn their ways until Vivian suggests that they read 50 Shades of Grey as their next book.
This is definitely a film aimed at a certain demographic and the older groups of women in the audience when I saw it seemed to be lapping-it-up. I found that there were a handful of decent gags and a couple of winning performances but overall the film felt a bit clunky and flat to me. It is good to see four talented female performers of that age heading up a film but the chemistry between them wasn’t there. Bergen is the pick of the bunch and has most of the best lines and moments, but I feel like I have seen Keaton’s ditzy character too many times and was not at all convinced by Vivian realising that she was looking for love after all. The best performance in the film actually comes from Andy Garcia, who is charming an relaxed as a pilot who falls for Diane, whilst a lot of the other turns felt too forced.
The arc of the film, and each woman’s story resolution is totally predictable, as are the Viagra gags and a cringe worthy rekindling of Carol’s love life with her husband.
Competently enough directed by Bill Holderman, this is a just about adequate time-filler that also feels like a missed opportunity.
Rating: 5 out of 10