Last night, Dear Husband and I were talking about what we might do this weekend. (We still haven’t seen Black Panther, which is a stain on our character, and that is probably what will happen.) But then he brought up Book Club.
I’m not sure if my eyes dropped out right then or a few seconds later, but my first thought was: He might be the only heterosexual male in the world to suggest that we go to this particular film. Then my second thought was, Oh, right, he likes Candice Bergen and Murphy Brown so OK.And then I thought: He doesn’t know how bad this movie is going to be.
Technically, neither do I. I’m in the dark. Maybe I saw a trailer. What I do know is that I’ve seen the poster, and that’s all I really need to see. I tried explaining all of this over dinner, but I wasn’t getting through. So we’re not going, but it occurred to me that I’d like to continue my rant elsewhere.
So here’s my inaugural Reasons This Movie Will Stink, Based Solely on the Poster. Enjoy:
1) Book Club may not stink in the way that legendary stinkers have stunk; this is no Battlefield Earth or Gigli. It’s not even Twilight. This movie is going to stink because it is an interchangeable Ephronesque bland piece of tripe with a story that really could plug and play in about 721 other settings. If they’d called it Tea Shop or Swimming Class or AA Meeting my guess is all the lines would still work, along with the “arcs” and “bonding” moments.
2) If it fails, it will also be used as yet another example of why people don’t want to see older women in movies. Such star wattage! Such failure! No more old ladies, unless they’re grandmothers or dying. If it succeeds, Hollywood will decide to make 721 other versions of it. No one wins here.
3) The title alone tells you that no original thought went into making it. What if they’d called Space Cowboys something like Rocket Ship or The Bucket List something like Guys Doing Stuff Before They Die? There was no metaphor or even trite cliché that might have worked better? Between the Pages or Our Story or anything else really in the whole world?
4) Diane Keaton is speaking in the poster. Everyone else is looking at some spot on the wall directly past her. Cannot be unseen. I question whether any of these ladies were actually in the same room with one another when the photo was taken. Maybe they filmed their scenes entirely separately. Also, the Photoshopping is so full-on they look like pop-eyed ghouls. We can handle the lines. We can handle the truth. These are beautiful women. I want to see that, not the Airbrush Olympics.
5) Speaking of No. 3, you note how old guy films, which I happen to like, are about them out having adventures? Going into space? Clearing out their bucket lists? Riding motorcycles? Women, when they are older, apparently only stay at home and read books. Which I thoroughly and enthusiastically endorse as a means of enjoying yourself. But when you get this much talent together and insist they have no active adventures – that they must only see themselves through yakking and books that make them horny – I cry foul.
6) Apparently this is a Whites Only Club. Come on, people. Girls Trip was one of the biggest-earning movies of last year, and actually showed women having adventures. And it was full of beautiful black ladies of varying ages.
7) There is one book on the poster (and it appears to be Fifty Shades of Grey, God help us). (No, I am not counting the fact that Keaton may have an e-reader.) I had thought there were two books at first, but it was just some kind of trendy granite platter on which one of the three salads (three salads!) they are eating rests on. And it is hidden behind some plates. And no one is reading it. I do not trust these “readers.” Especially since that seems to be water in their wine glasses.
8) There are no books on the shelves. Admittedly, this photo is apparently taken in a giant living room/kitchen setup, but when you have that much space on your shelves and none of it is given over to books, I cry foul. A further failing for actual readers.9) The truth is no one wants to watch people reading books. They’re fine with people having read books, but reading books is a passive activity. I know a writing retreat owner who still thinks he can create a reality show based on authors getting picked up by agents and published. The only thing more boring than watching someone read is watching someone write. So, the premise is already a lie.
In the end, Book Club may not stink. I actually suspect there are a few clever lines, delivered effortlessly by these veteran actresses, and it will be a movie you can see with your mom or grandma because you know nothing will be too racy or too extreme or too outside the lines. It will be eye-oatmeal: in theory, nourishing and belly-filling; in reality, dull as shit. You can probably write half of the script right now: Wine will be drunk (despite deceptive movie poster glasses), sex will be giggled at, husbands will be jerks (except for one saint), someone will throw something in anger, hugs will be doled out, friendships will Change Forever, and houses will be ostentatiously impossibly large – except for one quirky character (Keaton, of course because of typecasting/she has on a denim jacket) who will have some kind of enormous “cottage” with all kinds of eccentricities in it.
One thing is certain: Very little reading will actually get done.
Of course, I’m willing to be proven wrong.
Projected Grade: C+