A seminal Thirty-Something movie in which a group of old college friends who are now all grown up and hardened by the big wide world come together for the funeral of Alex, a barely glimpsed corpse, who was at one time the brightest and the best of them, and yet who never managed to achieve half as much as any of the others. The friends use the occasion to reacquaint themselves with each other and to speculate as to what happened to their idealism which had been abundant when they were younger. Written by
Mark Thompson <email@example.com>
The name of the American higher educational institution in the USA that the seven friends had attended during the 1960s was the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. This campus that the characters in the picture attended, Michigan University, was the same tertiary educational institution that director and co-screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan had studied at. See more »
They're either married or gay. And if they're not gay, they've just broken up with the most wonderful woman in the world, or they've just broken up with a bitch who looks exactly like me. They're in transition from a monogamous relationship and they need more space. Or they're tired of space, but they just can't commit. Or they want to commit, but they're afraid to get close. They want to get close, you don't want to get near them.
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"The Big Chill" is about my peers. When first released in 1983, I, like the characters, was in my early thirties, a former rebellious collegian from the '60s. After a decade in the work-a-day world, being a family man and raising babies, watching "The Big Chill" was like a fantastic time machine and took me back to places long forgotten. It really connected with me on a visceral level and I loved it.
Now, almost twenty years later, I've watched "The Big Chill" again. Same effect? Not exactly, although a lot of this may be due to the effect of viewing any movie a second time. My views of the 60s are not so gilded as they were then either. "The Big Chill" is still a very good movie; you have to love it for the ensemble acting. So many of the actors in the movie went on to have respected careers in the 80s and 90s. It's one of those rare movies like "American Graffiti" and "Diner" that served as a launch pad for acting careers. And the soundtrack is perfect, capturing the breadth of late '60s pop music. I really wish Kasdan had done with these characters, what Updike did with his "Rabbit" novels, that is, show the characters at ten year intervals through their lives.
This is one of the better movies of this type and is highly recommended even for the gen-x'ers.
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