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Yes No Maybe So: "Book Club"

by Nathaniel R

First things first: how utterly fabulous does Jane Fonda look in the trailer for Book Club? She's 80 (!!!) Don Johnson isn't even 70 year but he should be so lucky. She looks great as a ginger. 

Now that the mandatory Jane worship is out of the way (I just saw Klute again -which is a renewal of breathless fandom for her gifts every time), let's break down the trailer for this romantic comedy of sorts about four golden girls who aren't willing to stop living and are dating again. Whilst they read books? We're really not sure how the books fit into it to be honest. Neither is the trailer...

• Jane Fonda looks like a ton o' fun in this role. Love this boob grab and hip shake. Ha! 
• Always happy to see Mary Steenburgen, one of the most reliable and undersung actresses. And if you've never seen her Oscar winning role, do so. She's fab in Melvin and Howard
• Maybe the Keaton arc will be moving? Refusing to stop hoping / living. 
• The script seems to be playing on each of the actresses personas which might be a good sign (Keaton's eccentric fashions, Bergen's power woman, Fonda's rebellious streak, and even the super niche bit about Mary Steenburgen getting her screen husbands horny in moving cars and then having to explain it to the police (see also Parenthood, 1989). 

LOVE THE CAT. The book jokes not so much.

Fifty Shades of Grey jokes, really? Those had expiration dates and they're already moldy. P.U. 
• For a comedy the trailer isn't very funny. So perhaps the best we can hope for is pleasant smiles rather than guffaws. 

• Richard Dreyfuss. Would you answer this message? I can never decide about him. Sometimes he's just brilliant (Close Encounters), sometimes he overdoes it (Jaws), sometimes it's both simultaneously (The Goodbye Girl), sometimes he's just right in a low-key way (Postcards from the Edge). 
• Seriously why is it that every onscreen female foursome has to break down in almost the same way (see Girls Trip, Golden Girls, Sex and the City and probably many lesser known examples). Fonda is obviously the Samantha/Blanche ... Bergen the Miranda/Dorothy and... Keaton the Rose/Charlotte... Steenburgen is the wild card I guess.

Are you a Yes No or Maybe So?  And how do your allegiances break down with these actresses? It's a relief that none of them have to settle for that awkward "Golden Globe Nominee" title card that sometimes happens in the middle of all the Oscar winner cards!


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Reader Comments (42)

Glad Streep is not a part of this “ham” fest. Love the idea of these 4 actresses together but finding their groove back with 50 shades.......?

March 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

I love watching Steenburgen react to Jane in that GIF.

She's giving you interiority. She's giving you an independent experience of the scene. She's giving you prop work. She's giving you a moment of hesitation. She's giving you an eye-roll in profile. She's giving you limp-wristed resignation. She's serving wardrobe. She's using her bangs.

March 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterHayden

Jane Fonda = YES.


March 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

This seems a bit too formulaic and musty to actually be good. These actresses deserve better but at least they're getting paid.

March 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterW.J. McKelvey

No to cash-grab projects. I don't care who is grabbing the cash.

March 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterCorey

With the heat of a thousand suns, NO.

March 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJono

Not wild about any of the actresses, especially Fonda. NO!

March 12, 2018 | Unregistered Commentergrrr

I would love to be Jane Fonda's bitch for a day but.... I ain't seeing this shit. Especially for any film that is inspired by Fifty Shades of Bullshit.

March 12, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterthevoid99

There seems to be a terrible male version of this movie released every few months with Alan Arkin, Michael Douglas and Morgan Freeman. Yay for gender equality, I guess? Still, hard pass.

March 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Jane Fonda = YES for me too. With Steenburgen and Keaton added bonuses.

Interesting that for last Oscar nominations, you have to go back to 1986 (Fonda), 1980 (Steenburgen) and 1979 (Bergen). Only Keaton has been nominated this century (2003). Not that this film will change this of course!

March 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSteve G

Where can I buy my ticket?

March 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterKaren Silkwood

Yes for Fonda as Blanche Devereaux but otherwise looks painful...

March 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMarsha Mason

Fonda looks fabulous- the movie's target audience will love it

March 12, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterjaragon

Candice Bergan seems to be the only real woman in this, she has matured beautifully, hate the fakeness of Fonda.

March 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJoe (UK)

Would you guys rather these actresses be back in obscurity and no movie at all? Seriously quit your bitching and supporrt when roles come along for women over 50

March 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterME

ME- but can’t they come back in projects worthy of their talent?

March 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

If the trailer is any indication, this movie looks like it was assembled by committee, and everyone involved deserves better. I'll wait for it to stream or hit Red Box.

March 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

Obscurity? All four of these actresses have spent recent years thriving in tv projects.

March 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Ah, you never know. Hope Springs had a shit trailer and turned out to be much much much better than expected and well worth the watch. So maybe this one will surprisr

March 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterCarmen Sandiego

With the exclusion of Woody Allen, Diane Keaton gets the best looking romantic screen partners.

March 12, 2018 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

i'd much rather spend six and a half hours rewatching they shoot horses..., annie hall, carnal knowledge and melvin and howard than 90 minutes of this crap

March 12, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterpar

This looks bad, but I'll watch it twice before watching any of those Old White Dudes (and their One Old Black Friend) Rob A Bank/Break Out Of A Nursing Home/Go To Vegas/Generally Misbehave While Making Jokes About Viagra movies.

March 12, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterthefilmjunkie

It looks bad, but I will be there on opening day.

March 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Dunks

I mean, I’m an obvious yes, even if it looks terrible. It’s a pity they couldn’t also throw in Marsha Mason as well.

March 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

It's very sad to me that Jane Fonda is now a walking, talking plastic surgery joke. And newsflash, men in their 60's are not into women in their 80's. Who keeps promoting this 50 Shades poorly written porn to make a buck? Universal Pictures.

March 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMarie

Sorry, this is Paramount but still ... Trash!

March 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMarie

Yes, of course. But probably an at-home Hate Watch, while playing on my phone. Was this movie made a long time ago and just sitting on a shelf? The jokes seem dated. (TBH, Rita Moreno flirting with Stephen Tobolowsky on ODAAT is more charming than this trailer.)

I totally concur with your first No bullet.

March 13, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPam

Wow. Such nasty comments. You do all know that these are 4 of the greatest actresses of all time?

March 13, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBette Streep

I'll be there on opening night (said with no sarcasm whatsoever!).

March 13, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterKiki

Bette Streep - Does that really still surprise you? This blog often has some of the most toxic, bitter comments about actresses that you can find online. Which is sad to see in an otherwise very actressexual blog.

March 13, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRon Cruz

Ron Cruz-

Exactly. I have noticed that too. It's a shame. Some people can't be pleased no matter what, so why try?

March 13, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDAVID

Who knows if I'll see it. I think the trailer kind of covers it all. I am always intrigued by Diane Keaton - her clothes are so oddball in person & at award shows. The gloves & the goofy unappealing hats. Then, in the movies, they dress her beautifully and traditionally & she is SO pretty and appealing. She looks so great on that date scene. Same deal with Baby Boom, Somethings Gotta Give & First Wive's Club....she's got spectacular legs. I've always liked her. I like them all....I get tired of hearing how great Jane Fonda looks. Good for her - my assumption is she is an extremely disciplined person in terms of her diet and fitness regime.

March 13, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterjimmy

Well, it doesn't look great, buuuuuuut...I might see it. Even if it's corny, it could be charming.

March 13, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

Book Club: Look, there's a VERY good movie to be made oriented around the idea OF a normal Book Club...but I'm pretty sure that movie is "affectionately jabbing at masterpieces (8-10 minutes per book, so 10-15 books is your movie) with low or no plot". The kind of books that should be showing up in that idea? Modern Library's Top 100 Novels. Time's Top 100 Novels. Old classics like Tolstoy novels, Dostoevsky novels and Don Quixote. Watching people suddenly trying to wrap their heads around Gravity's Rainbow or Infinite Jest? Or falling in love with The Man Who Loved Children or The Bone People? THOSE are the kinds of things I'd expect out of a movie generically called "Book Club" and that could have been a very fun watch. Instead, the trailer makes it look like its VERY plotted and very "normal" and basically structured around only one (deeply trashy) book. So, yeah. I'm a NO. (Note: This cast IS roughly the calibre you'd need to sell such an idea, so I hope what I threw out wasn't the original idea and it metastasized into this due to studio notes. If someone reading this wants to write that movie now? Call it Book Clubbing The Best and give me (Christopher Morrison) a "Story By" credit.)

March 13, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Look, they can just nail a camera to a table and point it at these four ladies having tea and talking, and I'll hang on every minute. These four together for the first time is the only criteria necessary to buy a ticket.

Diane is in my Top 10 Actresses of all time; Jane is in the Top 20.

John T--YES, cosign about Marsha Mason!

March 13, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

All of them have made better films but I'm sure they'll have great chemistry together and hopefully their having fun will lead to the audience having the same.

It's great seeing them front and center and not shoved to the sidelines playing someone with half their talent (if we're lucky) mother.

March 13, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

Well, I am enjoying my appearances on Grace and Frankie with Jane, so I guess they couldn't throw me in this too...

I remember Jane Fonda playing a sexually vivacious senior in The Newsroom which was generally pretty bad (though not as bad as the worst haters said), but in which she was totally hilarious in her role. Better as a side thing than a whole movie though.

March 13, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMarsha Mason

This is an SNL spoof, right? They really wouldn't make a movie about seniors and erections? Bad concept = harsh comments. Where are the people of color? Never mind.

March 13, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMiss Viola Davis

No many haters here especially when they are against Jane Fonda or Jennifer :Lawrence, Amy Adams, Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman and the list goes on. Only a few actresses remain unscathed (M. Pfeiffer, Viola Davis, Julianne Moore and A Bening).

March 13, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJans

Jans: I don't hate these actresses. I hate this concept, for how normal/overdone it is, but these are phone book actresses. The entire movie could be them ribbing at great books and it'd be amazing. So, I ask again: Why ISN'T it just that?

March 14, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Only a few actresses remain unscathed: M. Pfeiffer (wan), Viola Davis (strident), Julianne Moore (forgettablle) and A Bening (frequent loser). Fixed that for you. X

March 14, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterHilary Swank

The most interesting elicit the most passion? Shade! ^

March 14, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterTom Ford

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