New to home theaters: 'Book Club unites four women struggling with life

Paramount Pictures

Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen, Jane Fonda and Mary Steenburgen in “Book Club.”

A lighthearted look at how one book helps four women navigate the ups and downs of their lives is the backdrop for “Book Club,” which hit home theater outlets this week.

Packed with a high-profile cast, the show stars Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen, Jane Fonda, Mary Steenburgen, Andy Grcia, Craig T. Nelson, Don Johnson, Richard Dreyfuss and Alicia Silverstone.

In the film, Diane (Keaton, “Annie Hall” and “Something’s Gotta Give”) finds herself widowed after 40 years of marriage.

Vivian (Fonda, “Barbarella” and “Monster-in-Law”), likes to have fun with the opposite sex as long as she can maintain her freedom, Sharon (Bergen, “Miss Congeniality” and “Bride Wars”) continues to navigate the ups and downs of divorce years later and Carol’s (Steenburgen, “Parenthood” and “The Butcher’s Wife”) marriage seems to be in a slump after 35 years.

The four have attended a monthly book club for 30 years, and after the club reads the novel “Fifty Shades of Grey” by author E. L. James, the crew makes the decision to live life a little more care-free and chase pleasures that they never had the courage to chase before.

Under IMDb’s trivia, Don Johnson’s daughter Dakota Johnson starred as Anastasia Steele in the “Fifty Shades of Grey” movie trilogy, and Keaton, Fonda and Bergen have each dated Warren Beatty at some point in their lives, as has Don Johnson’s ex-wife Melanie Griffith.

Also, E.L. James and her husband can be seen walking their dog in the scene where Steenburgen and Nelson are arguing in the front yard.

On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of just 53 percent, based on 141 reviews, and critics seem to have had mixed reviews on the film.

“In an industry that defines ‘mature audiences’ as anyone old enough to vote, a movie centered entirely on women over 65 — a sex comedy no less — feels like some kind of smash Hollywood miracle,” said Top Critic Leah Greenblatt with “Entertainment Weekly.”

Adam Fresco with “Flicks” said, “were it not for a stellar cast, it could well be mistaken for a big screen verson of a cosy TV sit-com aimed at an older demographic.”

The film is rated PG-13 for sex-related material throughout and for language.

Other films released to home theaters this week include:

n “Deadpool 2,” directed by David Leitch and starring Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin and Julian Dennison. In the sequel, irreverent warrior Deadpool recruits mutant fighters Domino, Bedlam and Shatterstar to form an alliance he names the X-Force. The mission is to protect a teenage boy from the wrath of the forceful Cable.

This film is rated R for brief drug use, language, sexuality and violence.

n “Tag,” directed by Jeff Tomsic and starring Ed Helms, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner and Isla Fisher. The film is based on a true story about five childhood friends who have been competing in the same game of tag for 30 years.

This film is rated R for brief drug use, drug use/content, language and sexual situation.

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