“Book Club: The Next Chapter” Is No Bestseller

by Christian Ramos on May 16, 2023

in Print Reviews,Reviews

[Rating: Minor Rock Fist Down]

A BIG congratulations to Jane Fonda who stars her third film in just the first half of 2023. Along with Diane Keaton,Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen, these brassy ladies take a trip to Italy in Book Club: The Next Chapter. There they find themselves of a certain age and get as drunk on wine as ever, forgetting all about the title of the movie and the titular books. 

When COVID struck the nation in 2020, book club friends Diane (Keaton), Vivian (Fonda), Sharon (Bergen) and Carol (Steenburgen) took their club on Zoom. There, they could still talk about books, sex, and drink wine. Once they are able to get back in person again, it is announced that Vivian is set to marry Arthur (Don Johnson), a former flame she reconnects with in the first film. The girls decide it’s no time like the present to spend a girls trip away to Italy where they surprise Vivian by making the trip a bachelorette party.

In Rome, the ladies get to try on dresses and drink as much wine as they please. However, on their way to Venice, they come into some trouble when their bags are stolen. Despite this, they still have a good time, including Carol reconnecting with an old flame despite her better judgments and Sharon hooking up with a man she just met. Hey, when in Rome! Or Venice! Soon, the ladies’ hijinks will get the better of them and they’ll have to learn to accept their ages and their outcome in the future. 

Did any of you catch where they actually had a legitimate discussion over multiple books? Yeah me either. I get that the title is just supposed to show that this book club is a group of friends who do their thing, but why only have Steenburgen even bring up the book and how it’s influencing their lives? The book that does this by the way is The Alchemist. 

Just seeing that there was a sequel to a movie that was just so-so was already going to be an interesting experience. I hate that I didn’t care for this, given the cast is so stacked and talented. It needed more humor and you can definitely tell a lot of them (especially Keaton) seemed to be here for a paycheck.

Book Club should stick to reading and drinking at home. 

Christian Ramos is a classic film fan, having had the dream to host Turner Classic Movies for years now. He also has a large amount of Oscar trivia in his head, remembers dressing as Groucho Marx one Halloween, and cherishes the moment Julianne Moore liked his tweet.


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