Book Club: The Next Chapter takes what worked in the first movie and makes this one even better. In Book Club, Carol (Mary Steenburgen), Vivian (Jane Fonda), Diane (Diane Keaton), and Sharon (Candice Bergen) have their lives changed forever when their book club reads 50 Shades of Grey.
In this sequel, the four best friends take their book club to Italy for the fun girls trip they never had. When things go off the rails and secrets are revealed, their relaxing vacation turns into a once-in-a-lifetime cross-country adventure.
Adding In Real Life Events
Book Club: The Next Chapter starts off by weaving in details of real life events. It mentions how the pandemic occurred and includes a hilarious montage of the ladies meeting on Zoom for their book club. Besides trying to figure out technology and Zoom filters, the friends try their hand at breaking bread and other classic ways we all passed our time during the pandemic. When they finally get to see each other in person, they comment that hugging feels illegal.
Weaving in a storyline like this is perfect. The main plot follows the foursome heading to Italy for a vacation to celebrate the fact that one of them is getting married. It is mentioned that the world is opening back up for travel, and that they should take advantage and go, since they don’t know when they will ever get the chance again.
In real life, the pandemic did open the eyes to lots of people. It was sudden and unexpected, and caused many to be stuck in their homes for months, or even years. So having the chance to go and explore is something that many do not take for granted anymore. Starting the movie the way it did allowed the necessity for their trip to be relatable to viewers.
Incredible Cast Chemistry
Probably one of the reasons that this film works so much better than the previous one, which was a fine movie but nothing memorable, is because of the chemistry between the main cast. Mary Steenburgen, Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, and Candice Bergen are being reunited for this one. They have already worked together for an entire film, not to mention on other projects here and there.
All four women are acting powerhouses and have been in the profession for years. They are professionals and know how to act. So of course they can all do their own thing without issue. However, when they all get back together it truly feels like we are seeing friends reuniting after far too long apart. This continues as the movie goes on. If they don’t all love each other like friends, or even sisters, they sure have me fooled. Although they really are great actresses, so who's to say.
What I can confirm is that they have an unmatched chemistry on screen together. This group of ladies is exactly how I hope to be with my friends when I am their age. It is clear they all had a lot of fun with this one.
Taking A Trip Abroad
One of the best things about Book Club: The Next Chapter is the adventure that this crew goes on together. Not only do we get to watch their relationships and bond deepen, but the audience gets to see some extremely breathtaking scenery. As they explore the Italian countryside, so do the viewers.
I have never been lucky enough to travel overseas, at least not yet, so it was a complete joy to get to go on this journey. I have expanded my bucket list thanks to this movie and everywhere that the women visit.
Book Club: The Next Chapter takes the humor that works so well with the first movie and expands on it. When these ladies get together, it is a good time – even through all the drama and secrecy.
This movie breezes by with an under two hours runtime. It is the perfect movie to go see with every generation of women in your family, which is certainly why the film is coming out when it is, just in time for Mother’s Day.
Book Club: The Next Chapter is geared towards an audience of older women. However, there are many who will enjoy it because it is so light-hearted and fun. There are certainly some topics that won’t be for everyone, but women of all ages should have a good time with it. It never really drags and while it might be a bit on the forgettable side, it makes for a wonderful weekend watch.
Book Club: The Next Chapter releases in theaters on May 12th.
Rating: 6/10 SPECS
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This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Tessa Smith owns MamasGeeky.com and is a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer-approved Film and TV Critic and a huge geek. Tessa has been in the Entertainment writing business for almost ten years and is a member of several Critics associations including the Critics Choice Association and the Greater Western New York Film Critics Association. She grew up watching movies, playing video games, and reading comic books -- and still loves all of those things. She proudly lets her geek flag fly and spreads the word that there is nothing wrong with being a geek.