After Alex commits suicide, his old friends from college get together for a weekend after his funeral. They discuss the past few years, what they do, what they wish they did and where they wish they could be. Some have families, others prestigious careers and some haven’t amounted to much. They discover that what they really need is just each other.
Yes, that is so vague and yet it seems like I’ve given away the ending. This film is so full of rich characters and ideas that I’ve given away nothing. At times it’s like the Breakfast Club’s twenty year reunion, but there’s more to it than that.
Most people have a group of old friends that try to get together now and then but slowly drift apart. This one includes Jeff Goldblum as a journalist for Time Magazine, Tom Berenger as an actor in an action television show, Mary Kay Place as a disenchanted lawyer, Glenn Close and Kevin Kline are a happily married couple and William Hurt as a former talk radio personality. Like a whole fruit basket from one college. Throughout the weekend, new motives are revealed and old histories spark new life.
The topic of their late friend is touchy. There are slight images of how each of them grieves their friend, whether crying alone or making a joke they immediately regret. Eventually, they’re able to talk about him and bring new life on to themselves at the same time.
The soundtrack to this movie is wonderful. Just a few artists featured are The Temptations, Three Dog Night and Aretha Franklin. Maybe I’m going on about the music since I’ve been watching films from the ‘30’s lately. Still, I don’t know anyone who hates good old classic rock from the ‘60’s.
On the surface, you could think this would be a great movie for when old friends get together, but you might just end up questioning which of your group will off themselves first. No, it’s hard to suggest a good setting for The Big Chill, but I encourage you to give it a try. Sorry to keep it so brief, but this is a difficult to review without revealing too much or getting all over analytical.
“Amazing tradition. They throw a great party for you on the one day they know you can’t come.”