Review (Scott Mc Cutcheon 12th May 2023)

The Book Club made $104.4 million when released in 2018 so it’s not a surprise that the quartet of sprightly pensioners are back for another outing and with a subtitle of The Next Chapter the odds are on this not being the last one.

The Book Club (2018) with its characters referencing the sexual goings on in author E.L James Fifty Shades it was at times a bit of an cringe fest, a bit like your mother discussing sex at the dinner table with your father type of cringe.

Thankfully director Bill Holderman, who also directed the first outing, thankfully tones down the innuendos, of which there are still enough to fill your average Carry On film, and Book Club: the Next Chapter is all the better for it.

The story begins in the midst of the COVID pandemic forcing the book club to go online. During the brief reintroduction to the characters we find out that Diane (Diane Keaton) is still in a relationship with Mitchell (Andy Garcia), Carol (Mary Steenburgen) has lost her restaurant, Sharon (Candice Bergen) is a retired Judge and Vivian (Jane Fonda) is engaged to Arthur (Don Johnson).

With the pandemic out of the way the quartet decide to head on a bachelorette trip to Italy in order to celebrate Vivian’s upcoming wedding.

Needless to say things don’t go so well for them as they lose their luggage to opportunistic thieves, get arrested by the police and meet up with old lovers.

It’s fairly obvious that the four stars are having a ball, I’m almost certain that the concept was sold to them with a free trip to Venice thrown in as an enticement. As for the audience The Book Club: the Next Chapter is never going to win any awards and it’s a film that would be easy to knock but taken in the spirit of things it’s a lot of fun and certainly a lot better than the first Book Club.


Book Club: The Next Chapter

Director: Bill Holderman
Cast: Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen, Craig T. Nelson, Giancarlo Giannini, Andy Garcia, Don Johnson

UK/US Release: Cinemas 12th May 2023