The Big Chill 1983 *****

The perfect example of a talkfest movie, Lawrence Kasdan’s 1983 movie saw the writer director graduate from his Indiana Jones scripting to direct this thoughtful portrait of a group of friends reunited for one weekend after the death of their estranged friend Alex (a barely seen Kevin Costner). There’s at least on direct Raiders call-back, with a character singing the theme song as he battles a bat, and tv actor Sam Weber (Tom Berenger) appears to have been based on Tom Selleck, who famously passed on the role of Indy. Glenn Close, Kevin Kline, Jeff Goldblum and William Hurt all convey a convincing rapport as the group, and Kasdan’s gift for dialogue peppers the script with smart one-liners mixed with hidden melancholy. The soundtrack looks back to the 60’s, but The Big Chill’s portrait of baby-boomers reassessing their lives is a timeless, joyful slice of Americana; it’s The Breakfast Club for grown-ups.


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