Book Club

Book Club

2018, PG-13, 104 min. Directed by Bill Holderman. Starring Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen, Craig T. Nelson, Alicia Silverstone, Andy Garcia, Don Johnson, Ed Begley Jr., Richard Dreyfuss, Wallace Shawn.

REVIEWED By Matthew Monagle, Fri., May 18, 2018

Book Club isn’t a movie for me. It’s probably not a movie for you, either. Book Club was written for an audience that will find loaded references to 50 Shades of Grey delightfully risqué. It will resonate with people who remember first hand the career evolution of its stars and bring that perspective into the theatre. At the film’s best, Book Club places its target demographic within the type of ensemble romantic comedy roles typically reserved for actors decades their junior. Some will love it. Others? Well, they probably won't watch the damn thing, so who cares what they think?

For decades, four friends have come together to read books and trade insights into each others’ lives. Diane (Keaton) is a widow who is struggling to maintain her independence in the eyes of her overbearing children. Vivian (Fonda) is a hotel tycoon who has foregone intimacy for decades of casual sex. Meanwhile, Carol (Steenburgen) is struggling to re-establish her own sex life with her retired husband (Nelson), while Sharon (Bergen) is jolted out of her comfort zone by the news that her ex-husband (Begley Jr.) is engaged to someone several decades his junior. When the group agrees to try E. L. James' infamous novel as its next read, each member is inspired to embrace life in unique – and fairly predictable – ways.

Nothing that happens in Book Club will come as a surprise to lifelong fans of the genre. Closed-off characters learn to open their hearts to love, old flames resurface, and second chances are issued to jilted lovers. We’re presented with typical comedy bits updated for the septuagenarian crowd, such as one character struggling to acclimate to online dating or another discovering the dangers of too much Viagra on date night. Whenever the book club members are off pursuing their individual personal blisses, the laughs are of the paint-by-numbers variety, and it is only the good cheer of the performers that keeps the jokes from missing the mark entirely.

And yet, given the sheer embarrassment of talent on display, Book Club works just as often as it doesn't. Given the quartet of big performers at the film's center, it's refreshing to see that each stock persona fits nicely within the dynamic of the group. Several romantic subplots even sparkle onscreen. Keaton’s still-nervous energy as an actress is a perfect match for the languid charm of Andy Garcia; Bergen’s period of sexual self-discovery leads her right into the waiting arms of all-too-welcome actors like Dreyfuss and Shawn. What could’ve been a lazy callback to Hollywood heartthrobs in their prime becomes a more engaging exploration of sex and dating within the 70-plus set. Ultimately, that makes Book Club a totally acceptable – albeit totally disposable – bit of Hollywood fun.

Showtimes

Mon., May 21

12:10, 3:05, 6:00, 9:05

Tue., May 22

3:05, 6:00, 9:05
AFA 12:10

Wed., May 23

12:15, 3:10, 6:00, 9:05

Mon., May 21

11:30am, 2:15, 3:30, 7:30, 10:35

Tue., May 22

3:15, 6:00, 9:40
AFA 12:35

Wed., May 23

11:30am, 1:15, 5:15, 8:00, 10:45

Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane

5701 W. Slaughter, 512/861-7060, drafthouse.com/austin/theater/slaughter-lane

Showtimes at this venue are subject to frequent change. Please confirm daily times by phone or website.

Mon., May 21

12:25, 3:35, 6:00, 9:00

Tue., May 22

3:35, 6:00, 9:00
AFA 12:25

Wed., May 23

12:00, 3:40, 6:00, 9:00

Barton Creek Square (AMC)

2901 South Capital of Texas Hwy, 512/306-1991, www.amctheatres.com

Matinee discounts available before 4pm daily. Bring Your Baby matinees the first Tuesday of every month.

Mon., May 21

CC/DVS 11:10am, 1:50, 4:40, 7:20
CC/DVS, recliners, reserved seating 11:10am, 1:50, 4:40, 7:20

Tue., May 22

CC/DVS 11:10am, 1:50, 4:40, 7:20
CC/DVS, recliners, reserved seating 11:10am, 1:50, 4:40, 7:20

Wed., May 23

CC/DVS 11:10am, 1:50, 4:40, 7:20
CC/DVS, recliners, reserved seating 11:10am, 1:50, 4:40, 7:20

Cinemark 20 and XD

N. I-35 & FM 1825, 512/989-8535

Cost for 3-D and XD shows is regular ticket price plus a premium.

Mon., May 21

digital 1:20, 4:10, 7:00, 9:50
digital, luxury lounger 1:20, 4:10, 7:00, 9:50

Tue., May 22

digital 1:20, 4:10, 7:00, 9:50
digital, luxury lounger 1:20, 4:10, 7:00, 9:50

Wed., May 23

digital 1:20, 4:10, 7:00, 9:50
digital, luxury lounger 1:20, 4:10, 7:00, 9:50

Cinemark Cedar Park

1335 E. Whitestone, Cedar Park, 800/326-3264

Call theatre for complete list of movies and showtimes.

Mon., May 21

digital 10:30am, 1:30, 4:20, 7:10, 10:00
digital, luxury lounger 10:30am, 1:30, 4:20, 7:10, 10:00

Tue., May 22

digital 10:30am, 1:30, 4:20, 7:10, 10:00
digital, luxury lounger 10:30am, 1:30, 4:20, 7:10, 10:00

Wed., May 23

digital 10:30am, 1:30, 4:20, 7:10, 10:00
digital, luxury lounger 10:30am, 1:30, 4:20, 7:10, 10:00

Mon., May 21

digital 10:45am, 1:35, 4:25, 7:20, 10:10
digital, luxury lounger 10:45am, 1:35, 4:25, 7:20, 10:10

Tue., May 22

digital 10:45am, 1:35, 4:25, 7:20, 10:10
digital, luxury lounger 10:45am, 1:35, 4:25, 7:20, 10:10

Wed., May 23

digital 10:45am, 1:35, 4:25, 7:20, 10:10
digital, luxury lounger 10:45am, 1:35, 4:25, 7:20, 10:10

Cinemark Round Rock

4401 N. I-35, Round Rock, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium. Call theatre for complete March 26-28 showtimes.

Mon., May 21

digital 10:30am, 1:20, 4:05, 7:20, 10:00
digital, luxury lounger 10:30am, 1:20, 4:05, 7:20, 10:00

Tue., May 22

digital 10:30am, 1:20, 4:05, 7:20, 10:00
digital, luxury lounger 10:30am, 1:20, 4:05, 7:20, 10:00

Wed., May 23

digital 10:30am, 1:20, 4:05, 7:20, 10:00
digital, luxury lounger 10:30am, 1:20, 4:05, 7:20, 10:00

Cinemark Southpark Meadows

9900 S. I-35, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Mon., May 21

digital 11:20am, 2:05, 4:40, 7:20, 10:00
digital, luxury lounger 11:20am, 2:05, 4:40, 7:20, 10:00

Tue., May 22

digital 11:20am, 2:05, 4:40, 7:20, 10:00
digital, luxury lounger 11:20am, 2:05, 4:40, 7:20, 10:00

Wed., May 23

digital 11:20am, 2:05, 4:40, 7:20, 10:00
digital, luxury lounger 11:20am, 2:05, 4:40, 7:20, 10:00

Cinemark Stone Hill Town Center

18820 Hilltop Commercial Dr., 512/251-0938, www.cinemark.com

Mon., May 21

digital 12:40, 3:35, 6:30, 9:20

Tue., May 22

digital 12:40, 3:35, 6:30, 9:20

Wed., May 23

digital 12:40, 3:35, 6:30, 9:20

City Lights Theatre

420 Wolf Ranch Parkway, Georgetown, 512/868-9922

Mon., May 21

1:05, 1:35, 4:35, 7:25, 7:45, 10:25

Tue., May 22

1:05, 1:35, 4:35, 7:25, 7:45, 10:25

Wed., May 23

1:05, 1:35, 4:35, 7:25, 7:45, 10:25

Thu., May 24

1:35, 4:35, 7:25, 10:25

EVO Entertainment

3200 Kyle Crossing, Kyle, 512/523-9009, www.evo-entertainment.com

Mon., May 21

12:00, 2:55, 6:05, 9:05

Tue., May 22

12:00, 2:55, 6:05, 9:05

Wed., May 23

12:00, 2:55, 6:05, 9:05

Flix Brewhouse

2200 S. I-35, Round Rock, 512/244-3549, www.flixbrewhouse.com/round-rock

Mon., May 21

CC 10:45am, 2:15, 5:30, 8:30

Tue., May 22

CC 10:45am, 2:15, 5:30, 8:30

Wed., May 23

CC 10:45am, 2:15, 5:30, 8:30

Thu., May 24

CC 10:45am, 3:00, 6:15, 10:20

Gateway Theatre

9700 Stonelake, 512/416-5700

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Mon., May 21

CC/DVS 11:45am, 2:30, 5:10, 7:45, 10:30

Tue., May 22

CC/DVS 11:45am, 2:30, 5:10, 7:45, 10:30

Wed., May 23

CC/DVS 11:45am, 2:30, 5:10, 7:45, 10:30

Thu., May 24

CC/DVS 11:45am, 2:30, 5:10, 7:45, 10:30

iPic Theaters Austin

3225 Amy Donovan Plaza, 512/568-3400, www.ipic.com

Mon., May 21

1:15, 4:30, 7:30, 10:45

Tue., May 22

1:15, 4:30, 7:30, 10:45

Wed., May 23

1:15, 4:30, 7:30, 10:45

Thu., May 24

12:00, 3:00, 6:15, 9:15

Sat., May 26

11:15am, 2:45, 6:00, 9:15

Sun., May 27

11:15am, 2:45, 6:00, 9:15

AMC Lakeline 9

11200 Lakeline Mall Dr., Cedar Park, 512/335-4793

Discounts daily before 6pm.

Mon., May 21

CC/DVS 10:45am, 1:15, 3:40, 6:30
CC/DVS, recliners, reserved seating 10:45am, 1:15, 3:40, 6:30

Metropolitan

901 Little Texas, 512/447-0101

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Mon., May 21

CC/DVS 12:00, 2:00, 4:40, 7:20, 10:00

Tue., May 22

CC/DVS 12:00, 2:00, 4:40, 7:20, 10:00

Wed., May 23

CC/DVS 12:00, 2:00, 4:40, 7:20, 10:00

Thu., May 24

CC/DVS 2:00, 4:40, 7:20, 10:00

Moviehouse & Eatery

8300 N. FM 620, Bldg. B, 512/501-3520, www.themoviehouse.com/austin/

Mon., May 21

10:45am, 1:35, 4:25, 7:10, 10:35

Tue., May 22

10:45am, 1:35, 4:25, 7:10, 10:35

Wed., May 23

2:10, 4:25, 7:10, 10:35

Thu., May 24

10:45am, 1:35, 4:25, 7:10

ShowBiz Cinemas 8 Marble Falls

2600 Hwy 281 North, Marble Falls

Call theatre for August 22-23 showtimes.

Mon., May 21

2:00, 4:30, 7:00

Tue., May 22

2:00, 4:30, 7:00

Wed., May 23

2:00, 4:30, 7:00

Thu., May 24

2:00, 4:30, 7:00

Sky Cinemas

13201 US-290, 512/457-0700, www.skycinemas.com

Mon., May 21

11:50am, 1:25, 4:00, 6:35, 9:10

Tue., May 22

11:50am, 1:25, 4:00, 6:35, 9:10

Wed., May 23

11:50am, 1:25, 4:00, 6:35, 9:10

Thu., May 24

11:50am, 1:25, 4:00, 6:35, 9:10

Starplex 12 San Marcos

1250 Wonder World Drive, San Marcos, 512/805-8000

Mon., May 21

11:15am, 1:50, 4:25, 7:05, 9:40

Tue., May 22

11:15am, 1:50, 4:25, 7:05, 9:40

Wed., May 23

11:15am, 1:50, 4:25, 7:05, 9:40

Thu., May 24

11:15am, 1:50, 4:25, 7:05, 9:40

Westgate 11

4477 S. Lamar, 512/899-2717

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Mon., May 21

CC/DVS 10:00am, 11:15am, 1:45, 4:15, 6:45, 9:25

Tue., May 22

CC/DVS 10:00am, 11:15am, 1:45, 4:15, 6:45, 9:25

Wed., May 23

CC/DVS 10:00am, 11:15am, 1:45, 4:15, 6:45, 9:25

Thu., May 24

CC/DVS 10:00am, 11:15am, 1:45, 4:15, 7:30, 10:00

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Book Club, Bill Holderman, Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen, Craig T. Nelson, Alicia Silverstone, Andy Garcia, Don Johnson, Ed Begley Jr., Richard Dreyfuss, Wallace Shawn

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