By Tracy Wang
With this year’s Mother’s Day already over on May 13, we are ready to tuck away our presents or memories, but ‘Book Club’ may just be the best present for a mother this Mother’s Day.
‘Book Club’ has four of the most prestigious actresses, Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen coming together, and gives us a taste of what it is like to be grown women with adult children.
Diane, Vivian, Sharon and Carol have been friends forever, and to make sure they have time for each other, they started a book club when they were young. Every month, one of them gets to choose what to read, and this tradition continues as they grow old together. Now considered as old in society, they all live with some imperfections and limitation in life.
One month, Vivian, the ever-charming one who owns a hotel, brings Fifty Shades of Grey into their book club. Completely appalled at first, they all start to be immersed in the book, and just when they are falling in love with Christian Grey and the love story, some of their old romances come back, and some of them seek new romances. But the question remains: will they be able to embrace their age and their next chapter, when everyone else thinks that their lives are already pretty much over?
When it comes to romance, we almost always only get romances that range from teenager to forty something. We rarely see any film that is only on romance in the sixties or seventies category. This trend normalizes the idea that romance is solely for the young, for the children, and for the next generation, and the generation that dedicated everything for their children and for their grandchildren is rarely being seen. Their lives seem to have stopped, when their duties to their families are over, or when their children are now capable of taking care of themselves.
‘Book Club’ wittily sheds light on this ‘invisible’ generation, allows us all an opportunity to be the ones who society has so harshly judged and neglected, and asks us some essential questions. Who is entitled to romance? What is the fine line between protecting your parents and overstepping your right as a child?
With these four gorgeous and strong women who have all forgotten from time to time what they are living for or what their lives could be if they are just open to embrace them, we get four very unique personalities in the room. A wife who thinks her husband no longer desires her, a federal judge who has been single for 18 years, a hotel owner who cannot seem to trust enough to love, and a mother who has two overprotective kids give the film more than enough energy and personalities, and make everyone in the audience easy to project himself or herself onto the characters.
But what makes this film even better than just romances in the sixties or seventies are its numerous references to the series Fifty Shades of Grey and its plenty comedic moments throughout the film. A romance series that is not taken as literature, Fifty Shades of Grey just about sums up what this entire film is about. Romance and girl power are the common themes in both the film and the book series. The theme that is not so much about sex, but about a woman finding out what she wants in life, and her courage to embrace what she wants, runs through both of them. Thanks to the book series, the four women are now bolder, wilder and wiser in taking their lives into their own hands.
Even though Mother’s Day is already over, ‘Book Club’ is surely going to be the best present ever for a mother. If you are a mother, this will be the perfect gift for you, but if you are a daughter, then this will be the best lesson you need to learn. In the end of the day, no matter your gender, age or ethnicity, ‘Book Club’ is encouraging you to always embrace your life, and live life to the fullest.