Stinkers: The Big Chill

The Big Chill (Lawrence Kasdan, 1983)

With Tom Berenger, Glenn Close, Kevin Kline, Jeff Goldblum and William Hurt.

The Big Chill was nominated for three Oscars in 1983 and (as you can see) it sports a very impressive ensemble cast.  The movie revolves around a group of college friends that have become out of touch, until one of their friends commits suicide and they reunite at his funeral.

As one of those “plotless” movies, it is heavily reliant on the depth of its many characters and the quality of their conversations.  Kline and Goldblum have some funny lines, but the rest of the characters come off across very vanilla.  Not enough information is revealed about any of them, and I never felt any reason to become emotionally invested in their chatter or relationships.

By the end of the film, I felt like I had wasted my time because everything seems set to return to “normal” after this little reunion.  The music was good, though.  So there’s one plus… but I’m assuming you already have a iPod (or CD player, radio, 8-track, whatever) if all you wanted to do was listen to some good tunes.

Rating: 5/10

RIYL: Before Sunset, Reality Bites, Garden State. (Watch these instead!)

4 Responses to “Stinkers: The Big Chill”
  1. The film contains one of the best opening titles ever. I’m not sure how much more depth you would want from the characters because it is a very heavy character study about life’s responsibilities and it’s growth. The film brings these people back together after the death of one of their friends, and they all see each other, and none of them are what they expected to be. It is an extremely mature film, unlike “Garden State” which you recommend over this film. William Hurt delivers the third best performance of his career that is the most complex character in the story, and he should have been nominated for Best Supporting Actor. But obviously we don’t see eye to eye on this, so I’ll just let sleeping dogs lie.

  2. I just felt like I never really got to know any of them. I wouldn’t really call it more mature than Garden State, either. Sure Garden State might be a little more quirky, but that doesn’t really mean it is less mature. I saw a lot of similarities between Braff’s character and Berenger’s character in this movie.

    I’m probably being a little harsh on The Big Chill, but I really felt unfulfilled by it after it started out so strong. It might have been “cool” at the time, but it has not aged well.

  3. A 5 is just a tad harsh.

  4. Peyton says:

    Both of you are wrong.

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