marți, 18 aprilie 2017

The Big Chill, written by Lawrence Kasdan and Barbara Benedek

The Big Chill, written by Lawrence Kasdan and Barbara Benedek

A different version of this note and thoughts on other books are available at:

The Big Chill is one of my favorite films.
It benefits from all the necessary ingredients.

The writing is superb, the director Lawrence Kasdan, who is also one of the writers is stupendous.

And let me list the cast and the characters they interpret, which might make it easier when I try and savor the story again, here...

-          Kevin Kline is Harold, the host of a rather large party of friends that come to the funeral of Alex, who has committed suicide.

-          Glenn Close is Sarah, Harold's wife, a woman so open that is willing to involve her husband in a strange, if really limited ménage a trois.

-          Tom Berenger is a famous actor, who is not so happy with his life and complains about Hollywood and the insincerity found there

-          Jeff Goldblum has the role of Michael, a journalist for Life, willing to change his career and become the owner of a club. He is well known for trying to have sex with most-all?- women he meets with

-          William Hurt, one of my favorite actors portrays Nick, who has returned from the Vietnam War somewhat cynical, haunted and probably depressed.

-          Meg is the friend who wants a baby, asks Sam to be the father and is refused. Michael on the other hand is very willing, only Meg does not feel like he should be the father of her child, even if the arrangement she has in mind is just get me pregnant and that is all.

-          Chloe is another intriguing presence and the only outsider. She had not been part of the original group and is much younger, but she had lived with the late friend.
                Her lines are awkward and funny.

Early on she says

-          I wish I were there in front...
-          Driving ahead is the hearse, the car that takes the casket to the cemetery

And then she adds:

-          I never drove in a limo

Karen came with her husband Richard.
But she wants to separate and live with Sam.

When talking about her husband she says

-          I know he will never sleep with another woman
-          That is good, says a friend, he is faithful
-          He is afraid of herpes...concludes Karen

The atmosphere is vibrant, sparkling.
All the cast is really magnificent.

It is a rare treat to have so many actors sharing this stage, in this fabulous production.

I am thinking about Glengarry Glen Ross.
There is no other film that I know of to have a similar impressive number of exceptional actors and all doing a 'real horror show' of a job.

I may stand corrected in one way.
There is a tendency to have a few actors that had been good in the same movie.

But they are past their prime.
The script is lousy.
And the result is only doing harm to their reputation and legacy.

I for one regret that Robert de Niro, after Raging Bull, Taxi Driver and so many other chef d'oeuvres acts in The Intern and other lamentable productions.

I may be wrong and there is always the money issue and they also say that it is good for the happiness level to remain busy, preoccupied, engaged in activity and not just retire.

The Japanese on the island of Okinawa live to and past 100 in numbers not seen elsewhere.
One reason is the...sweet potato.

Another is...ikigai.

They do not have a word for retirement.
And they never retire...

And if scripts like The Big Chill are rare, what can de Niro do?

Become an intern again...

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