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Film Reviews by Lisa Blanck
Book Club: The Next Chapter
| Friday, 05.12.2023, 08:44 PM |   (307 views)

Book Club: The Next Chapter

Anything is sexier in Italy.  

It's an obvious truism stated in Director Bill Holderman's new film, Book Club: The Next Chapter.  After 2018's Book Club earned $115.3 million worldwide for Paramount, Focus Features took a look at that box office and decided to put the reins back in Holderman's hands for the 2022 version.  

Filmed primarily in Rome, the film again follows the lives and loves of four wealthy women, Diane Keaton (Diane), Jane Fonda (Vivian), Candice Bergen (Sharon) and Mary Steenburgen (Carol), who have been best friends for decades.  One of them, Vivian, has become recently betrothed to Arthur (Don Johnson), her long-time sweetie.  Viv was holed up in Arthur's expansive home during covid.  He popped the question, she said yes.  

Her gal pals are all ecstatic for her, but somewhat surprised, as Viv has long-held that she would never marry.  But since covid travel restrictions were lifted, the quartet are  all itching to leave their isolation quarters, and what better destination to have a bridal shower, go shopping and flirt with handsome men who love to flirt than in the most romantic place in the world?  

Italy remains a country as well-preserved as the four actresses.  In fact, they actually joke about how much work they've all had done on their faces.  In Focus-Magazine can't say that most audiences will find their characters relatable as they emerge from every potential misfortune relatively unscathed.  This includes being arrested, berating the local constabulary, getting a flat tire in the middle of nowhere, handing all their luggage over to thieves, propositioning law enforcement, hooking up with past loves, etc. 

Ludicrous?  Of course.  Will the wedding come off, or won't it?  Who knows.  It's all a fantasy.  But these women don't care because they are certain that they can flirt, or bully, their way out of every catastrophe, without speaking a lick of Italian.  That including being busted for having sex on a boat in Venice's Grand Canal.  

Book Club: The Next Chapter is all in the name of harmless good fun, con tanto amore among gente meravigliosa, and gives a boost to travel in Italia.  Va bene, ciao! 

Lisa Blanck is the Associate Editor and Movie Reviewer for In  Her background includes 30+ years of digital editing for WESH2 News and WKMG News.  She also edits on-air promotional spots for Matter Of Fact, a highly-rated nationally syndicated news and information program.  For more than 30 years she has covered the Florida Film Festival and the World Peace Film Festival, with additional experience in advertising, marketing, promotions and live special events at MTV Networks.  She was previously a columnist for the Focus In Newspaper.

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