The title is the ages of each actress in the promo pic for the movie Book Club above.
I went to see it the other day to escape a harsh reality that had crashed down on my Facebook world. Briefly, a friend and former colleague shared a story of an idyllic vacation day he and his wife had recently shared.
Recently, like within the previous two days.
“This has been the best day of my life”, she said.
24 hours later, she had killed herself.
Needless to say, I was shaken by proxy. I literally could not imagine what this family was experiencing.
A loving relationship.
But you just never can tell. That’s what shook me up. Well, that and comparing what she leaves behind to what I have…which is super not healthy.
So, I needed an escape.
Book Club was a pretty good lever to pull for that need.
I surveyed the small theater for a quasi-isolated seat near the middle rows and noticed that there were groups on each end of the middle rows. I didn’t want to crowd anyone, nor risk having to walk over people if I needed a bathroom bug out mid-movie, so I planted myself at the near end of the second row of seats.
You know why I mention this?
Yeah, you know.
The three rows behind me as well as the row in front of me were all empty. The lady that walked in after me decided not to risk isolating herself in that vast wasteland of open seating and dropped her girthiness right behind me. I could sense her presence, but being a giver, she decided to make her presence known and announced herself by kicking the back of my chair a few times.
I decamp to the far end of my row, which I hate doing because it’s so obvious, but having this woman kick my seat every time she repositioned herself was not my idea of a relaxing time. Five minutes after the lights went down, three friends joined her. I understood the why of her choice of seats, but was glad I’d decided to move!
It was a bit challenging at first. The characters are in their mid to late 60s and that is obviously not the reality. The other thing that I thought I noticed – and it distracted me, initially – was the random use of green screen. Maybe I was wrong about it, but some of the vistas just looked more real than the action taking place in the foreground.
Obviously, I was having some trouble getting out of my head.
But before me on the screen were four actresses that I love. It didn’t take me too long to relax into the story. The popcorn helped get me there…
My last thought before really sinking in was particularly amusing. The small crowd had laughed at something, I didn’t remember what…just became aware of the suddenness and cohesiveness of the crowd laughing.
I had not.
The sound I heard was decidedly feminine, prompting me to turn and scan the theater’s crowd.
I was the only guy.
This made me laugh.
When no one else was laughing.
Which made me laugh more, and soon I was laughing through tears.
The thing that got me laughing wasn’t the realization that I was the only guy in the theater, rather the juxtaposition of that observation compared to the crowd composition of the last movies I’d seen.
Very heavily skewed toward a male crowd. This was a refreshing change of energy. Plus, when I’m in a nerd movie crowd, I usually joke to myself about how I might be the only non-virgin person in the crowd. Or, at the very least, the only one currently having sex.
I didn’t experience that same snarky thought about this group of women while I laughed at my realization. Thinking back to that moment, it wasn’t intentional, it’s just that getting laid isn’t the modus operandi for women like it is for men.
Yeah…I knew what this movie was about. I’d seen the trailer. So, I think my crowd profiling amusement just ended up making the film that much more enjoyable for me.
Soon, my laughter was in sync with the rest of the crowd. My disbelief was suspended and my reality was expelled for the next 90 minutes.
Star Trek or Wars.
Those are the movies I typically go in for.
But I freely admit – when it comes up – that a good chick flick is also a movie experience that I really enjoy.
Under the Tuscan Sun.
When Harry Met Sally.
13 Going on 30 – what? It wS good!
That type of thing. None of those How to Lose a Guy In Ten Days stories fall into the good category for me. They are good popcorn movies, but what’s the real bigger picture message?
This movie was definitely not a classic chick flick. As a matter of fact, the Silver Fox had asked if I wanted to see it and I knew he’d be miffed that I went without him. I dodged that bullet by telling him to wait til it hit Netflix.
That said…I did enjoy this movie. It had a message. Not only was it a chance to see some of my favorite actresses, but a chance to see them together. Also, it gave each of them a fun storyline with a solid arc as they rediscovered their sexuality at a time in life where society tells us it should be retired.
To paraphrase what Candy hilariously observes in the trailer, “If nature wanted us to have sex at this point in our lives she wouldn’t do what she does to our bodies”…smash cut to her crawling out of the backseat of her Mercedes with Richard Dreyfus. If this movie helps redefine sexual equality for supposed sixty-somethings, I’m all in. There’s a movement I can support. I just wish it could have been written with Age Pride intact and had Fonda proudly owning her octogenarian sexuality.
To Candy’s point, our bodies as they age fall further and further from the Hollywood standard of beauty. More openly sex positive seniors could help redefine that norm and hopefully awaken our culture to something more inclusive of all and less divisive across generations.
And maybe, just maybe…that gives us all a little something more to look forward to when things today look impossibly dark.
Think anyone would get mad if they hash tagged this as #UsToo?
Get it, girls!