Book Club: The Next Chapter Review – The Page-Flipping Fab Four Heads to Italy, But It’s Not So Fab


in the opening title card Book Club: The Next Chapter Comes from the great novelist Paulo Coelho: “At a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what is happening to us, and our life becomes controlled by fate. It is the biggest lie in the world.” That’s the elixir we seek in this follow-up to the 2017 box office hit book Club, Who starring jane fondaCandice Bergen, Diane Keaton, and Mary Steenburgen play four 65+ women who have a sexual awakening of sorts after reading a mega bestselling romance novel. fifty Shades of Grey. discussions in that book, like book Club were successful, and the film grossed over $100 million at the box office. and like fifty Shades of Grey movies, Book Club: The Next Chapter He just falls down limping.

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Ms. Fonda, Bergen, Keaton and Steenbergen: With all due respect – we love you, and you deserve better. But alas, let’s not blame everything on the writers, Bill Holderman (who also directs here) and Erin Sims. Bergen and Steenbergen reportedly pitched the idea for the sequel before the first film was even discussed and, well, why not set next chapter In – Very good! – Italy. This is a lovely idea. it worked out better for diane lane In under the Tuscan Sun. Here, not so much. But all is not lost. Despite the fact that the filmmakers seemed to be throwing creative pasta noodles at the proverbial wall, trying to see which one would stick, somehow, the country of Italy keeps this outing from being a tad tighter than it should have been. Is.

Adiamo, shall we?

one of the biggest hiccups in Book Club: The Next Chapter, It’s that the film never fully shifts into second gear. it is pleasant. This is good. But, unlike the first outing, this one doesn’t offer anything particularly new and fresh to the audience. Sure there’s scenic Italy, but even that seems like a trick to enjoy, well, fully breathing and coming to life in all its glory like a strong Italian wine. For.

The story re-acquaints the women during the pandemic. There are Zoom-and-Vine meetings, and they plow through a bunch of books and chat it up. When the women finally reconnect in person, hotel titan Vivian (Fonda) reveals she is engaged to a charmer named Arthur (Don Johnson). It might be a bit of deja vu for viewers, especially if they binged the seasons after grace and frankie or even enjoy 80 for Brady, Another four-girl encounter in which Fonda’s character seemed oddly familiar and not much of a jump from the last role she played. Then again, maybe not his fault.

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The film tells us all about that too. Diane (Keaton), recently widowed when we last saw her, has a new boyfriend (Andy Garcia). Sharon (Bergen) is retired as a federal judge. Carol (Steenbergen) is concerned about the health of her husband (Craig T. Nelson). While it’s great to see these phenomenal actresses on screen together again, the material doesn’t give them all that really sparks their vibrant creativity. Somehow, Italy gets tossed up as a location for a bachelorette excursion. Best to look at where the idea came from, how it almost tanked, and why it was executed entirely on its own, but thank goodness because, well, come on — Italy!

A toast to what could have been

focus features

Italy, of course, becomes one of the main characters in this Book Club: The Next Chapter, movies set in italy Click often, don’t you? The cinematography here is lush and the landscape of the country is a treat to behold. The lady’s first stop is Rome, where they grab the food and culture, comment on the men’s penises – statues, statues! – and begin to grow philosophically, bring to the fore fate, “signs,” and destiny. This goes back to Paulo Coelho’s original quote at the beginning of the film, but the writers never make it clear that our Fab Four are, in fact, using the writer here as a spiritual tour guide.

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In fact, one of the most obvious flaws of this film is that there is no central book to which the story can be linked. True, all the girls have read and talked about Coelho’s deep and engaging book during the pandemic, but it would have been an entirely different film, and one with a more universal purpose, if this book club decided to read would have done the Alchemist on the plane—it’s not a long book by any means—and Then Think of it as a life-shifting/change/molting/whatever experience. All that gets lost in this translation.

The film picks up in its second half and should satisfy audiences eager to see Fonda and others. turning around and running away from each other. There are a handful of comedy tropes to keep the audience engaged, but they manage to do the trick. The girls experience a few mishaps as they make their way to Venice, then to lush Tuscany, where the film’s finale delivers a satisfying, if not predictable, outcome. As far as Garcia, Nelson, and Johnson go, they don’t have much screen time. Giovanni Esposito wedding coordinator is a hootHowever, and Vincent Riotta’s chef Gianni is a nice touch. Giancarlo Giannini’s Italian police chief certainly panders to Italy, but he’s here for comedic effect and plays off Bergen well.

It’s hard to write this movie off completely. Fonda, Bergen, Keaton and Steenbergen are among the greatest actresses of TV and cinema. In that respect, it’s equally hard to believe that the screenwriters couldn’t give him everything he truly deserved. But we’re in Italy, folks. If a glass of wine is poured over you, and you don’t Dear This, most likely, you will still drink it. There is plenty there to savour. And Fonda, Bergen, Keaton and Steenbergen satisfy most palates. cheers to that.

Book Club: The Next Chapter, From Focus Features, opens nationwide May 12.