Book Club: Shades Of Grey

Book Club is a romantic comedy film directed by Bill Holderman. The plot sees a group of women (played by Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen), read the Fifty Shades Of Grey novel and the book impacts each woman’s life, more accurately their love lives; what follows is an exploration into happiness and satisfaction in later life.

This feels like a knockoff Sex and The City, a less smart, less shocking, less risky version of it. I will admit I didn’t have high hopes when I put the film on, I was expecting it to just be a mindless easy ride, but instead I found it infuriating.

My issue with this film is how it address senior agency. Diane Keaton’s character is told how to live by her daughters, they tell her who she can and can’t date and tell her to move across the country and worst of all Keaton’s character listens. This kind of neurotic toxicity wouldn’t be that bad if the film actually portrayed her daughter as antagonists, but it doesn’t, it treats their behaviour as normal. Also there is a little bit of sexism in this as well as the narrative the daughter use to justify her moving is, that she won’t be able to cope since her husband, the girl’s father, has died; again another toxic message.

The humour made me laugh a few times especially the stuff with Steenburgen’s character and her husband. However, for the most part I found the humour to be quite flat and lame. Now I can’t be too critical of this as humour is subjective and just because it didn’t find it a laugh and minute doesn’t mean you won’t. For me it really felt like they were trying to draw on the same type of comedy as Sex In The City, but was afraid to commit to the bite.
Overall, I found this film to be irritating, it was good for a few sporadic laughs, but as the film went on my enjoyment with it lessened and lessened.

Pros.

A few good laughs.

Cons.

I don’t like the messages of the film.

The characters feel too passive.

The humour lacks any wit or bite.

It is instantly forgettable.

1/5

Reviewed by Luke

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