The novelty of "Book Club" should not be underestimated. Here is an inviting, feel-good romantic comedy centering around four vibrant, individualistic women well over the age of sixty that does not end with a funeral or one of them bravely battling a disease. Were that not enough on its own, the screenplay by first-time director Bill Holderman and co-writer Erin Simms frequently sparkles, the characters are engaging, the situations they face feel honest, and the ensemble cast is filled out with a who's-who of wonderful acting veterans and legends. Pairing together Diane Keaton (2015's "Love the Coopers"), Jane Fonda (2014's "This Is Where I Leave You"), Candice Bergen (2009's "Bride Wars") and Mary Steenburgen (2015's "Song One") as the quartet of leads is surprising, inspired, and downright momentous. They slay every moment, clearly delighted by getting to play such textured roles at this stage in their careers.
For decades, Diane (Diane Keaton), Vivian (Jane Fonda), Sharon (Candice Bergen) and Carol (Mary Steenburgen) have managed to remain tight-knit best friends thanks to their ongoing book club. When single, free-wheeling hotelier Vivian offers up E. L. James' "Fifty Shades of Grey" as their latest read, the group's initial skepticism soon takes a turn as the erotic fiction begins to inspire their own love lives in different ways. Recent widower Diane, whose grown daughters Jill (Alicia Silverstone) and Adrianne (Katie Aselton) have been nagging her to relocate from her home in Santa Monica to Adrianne's remodeled basement in Scottsdale, is smitten by pilot Mitchell (Andy Garcia), but worries how a new romance would look only a year after losing her husband. Vivian is surprised to rekindle an old relationship with radio deejay Arthur (Don Johnson), but is hesitant to let herself get too close to a man she genuinely is beginning to care for. Federal judge Sharon, who hasn't dated since her divorce eighteen years earlier, decides to take a chance by signing up for a dating app. And restaurant owner Carol, who fears her thirty-five-year marriage is in a rut, sets out to spice up her relationship with recently retired husband Bruce (Craig T. Nelson).
See Dustin Putman, TheFilmFile.com. for full review