Tuesday, September 7, 2010

#181 The Big Chill (1983)


Director: Lawrence Kasdan

Cast: Tom Berenger, Kevin Kline, Glenn Close, Jeff Goldblum, William Hurt, Meg Tilly, JoBeth Williams

Seven U of M college grads of the 60s are re-united again under one roof when one of their former buddies unexpectedly commits suicide. Harold, Sarah, Michael, Karen, Meg, Nick, and Sam have all reached their mid-life crises-- divorced, bored in marriage, drugs, adultery, lonely, childless-- you name it, one of them is dealing with it.

They haven't seen each other in years, but it's obvious they have some unfinished business with one another: arguments to resolve, sexual tension to extinguish, truths to be told. Without a flashback and with minimum sentimental reminiscing, this film manages to express the ache of nostalgia in a simplistic way.

At times it is humorous and other times tragic (but isn't that how nostalgia itself works as well?), the film brings to life some interesting ideas about what to do once you realize you've left your youthful happiness in the dust.

This is something that I, personally, have been dealing with already only having graduated from college a few months ago. I have to imagine how one day much later, after I've married my own corporate suit and produced babies, it would hurt very much to suddenly be walloped on the head with a reminder of my more carefree past.

It was a nice, albeit pointedly 80s film-- some parts dragged, some characters' stories seemed a bit... much. But I appreciate it nonetheless, and that includes its 60s soundtrack.

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