Book Club: The Next Chapter has all the hallmarks of a Hallmark movie, with a few differences: the cast is older and better known, the budget is bigger and the script is more risqué. It’s rated PG-13 so you can take your mom but not your church group.
“White women drinking wine in gorgeous locations while talking about men” could be the slug line for several Hallmark Channel movies. It also describes Book Club: The Next Chapter.
The white women are Vivian (Jane Fonda), Sharon (Candice Bergen), Diane (Diane Keaton) and Carol (Mary Steenburgen). The gorgeous locations are Rome, Venice and Tuscany. The wine keeps being poured and consumed throughout the film.
The men they talk about are Don Johnson (Viv’s fiancé) , Andy Garcia (Diane’s boyfriend) and Craig T. Nelson (Carol’s husband). Sharon, whose personality is similar to that of Murphy Brown, does not have a regular guy but that fact lets her cast her net toward a handsome gent she meets in a bar. And one of the gals runs into an old boyfriend from back in the day and spends part of the evening with him in his van.
Would you believe that the movie’s climax features a wedding? And that there are a few last minute surprises just before the “I do’s”? Well, that’s another Hallmark hallmark.
As mentioned, Italy is gorgeous. And the women, despite their advanced ages (70, 77, 77 and 85), look pretty good, too. Well, the current version of Jane Fonda looks more like the latter day Mary Tyler Moore than the beautiful Jane we remember but, hey, give her credit for hanging in there.
The wardrobes are fun, too. Despite luggage issues, the cool outfits just keep on coming. On a visit to a bridal designer, all four try on wedding gowns. And where does Diane keep getting all those hats?
Oh, the book the group refers to on several occasions is The Alchemist, a novel by Paulo Coelho. The author is from Brazil. The English translation was first published in 1993, per Wikipedia.
Book Club: The Next Chapter is a big dollop of gooey fluff with a few laughs along the way. If you’ve been to Italy or fantasized about traveling there, add BC:TNC to your Italy movie list. This one will stream in a few weeks but looks better on the big screen.