Book Club: The Next Chapter – The BRWC Review

Book Club: The Next Chapter ladies are back, full of fizz and this is their best chapter yet! Screenwriter Erin Simms, together with director and co-writer Bill Holderman, takes us on a journey from the USA to Italy and it is a complete breath of fresh air.

Diane (Diane Keaton), Vivian (Jane Fonda), Sharon (Candice Bergen) and Carol (Mary Steenburgen) are back for another round of book club. The film starts during the pandemic when the book club had to move online and real life was put on hold. Once they are all reunited in real life, Vivian announces her news and off to Italy the four of them go in search of adventure and meaning just like the book they are reading: the Alchemist.

Lots of films have struggled to deal with showing the experience of lockdown without it appearing depressing or completely devoid of reality. Book Club: The Next Chapter gets the tone right and brings in the emotion of what the whole period of speaking to friends and loved ones via zoom without spending too much time dwelling on the whole period. In fact, the film, like the women depicted, knows exactly what it is and isn’t trying to be edgy or gritty.

It is a resolutely feel good film depicting older women living their best lives and we need more of this on screen diversity, being 70 doesn’t mean the end in fact it can be just the beginning. This is a group of women in their 70s who are living their lives on their own terms. Even though there are a lot of laughs, it hits the emotional notes really well, thanks to a great script and direction, that of the first loves, staying single, and getting married later in life whilst holding onto your own sense of self.

The four actresses; Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen have such great on screen chemistry. It truly feels like an ensemble cast. Book Club: The Next Chapter really shows the complexity of female friendships without resorting to cheap laughs. This film is about women first and foremost but it does so without any male bashing.

This is an absolute joy to watch and unapologetically feel good. I was captivated from start to finish and hope we get a further installment of Book Club!

Book Club: The Next Chapter is released in cinemas across the UK on 12 May.

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