Book Club: The Next Chapter is good fun, even if there’s no plot – review
Once a reliable staple of the box office, older audiences have been the last demographic to head back to the cinema post-Covid. Hoping to draw back silver-haired cinephiles is the star-studded sequel to 2018 comedy Book Club.
Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen return as the group of friends who decided to spice up their lives in the previous movie. Over Lockdown, Vivian (Fonda) has found love and is set to be married. The group uses the nuptials as an excuse to go to Italy for the girls’ trip they’ve always wanted, but their quest for new experiences doesn’t go smoothly.
The original was hardly a classic, but the chemistry between the stars was enough to make it a surprise hit five years ago. This follow up is more of the same, relying on the legendary actors to produce enough laughs to cover up the fact that there is next to no plot. The best moments are when you see them enjoying each other’s company, before the necessity of story takes them somewhere entirely unbelievable. Fonda and Keaton handle the more melodramatic moments, while Bergen is a delight as someone who can even make tired gags seem fresh. Craig T Nelson, Don Johnson, and Andy Garcia play their roles well as the men in their lives, but they are mostly there to create dilemmas for their co-stars.
Overall, Book Club’s next chapter is a pleasant Hollywood fairy tale where likeable people in nice outfits go somewhere pretty. The audience that made the first movie a hit won’t mind that one bit, and the scenic dreaminess may inspire one or two to book a getaway of their own.
Book Club: The Next Chapter is in cinemas from 12th May
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