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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>
Director Lawrence Kasdan says the title, "The Big Chill is about a cooling process that takes place for every generation when they move from the outward-directed, more idealistic concerns of their youth to a kind of self-absorption, a self-interest which places their personal desires above those of the society or even an ideal." See more »
The fog completely disappears after Harold's brief close-up shot when he and Nick are jogging through town. See more »
[Sam enters a room where Nick is up late watching TV]
I'm not sure.
What's it about?
I don't know.
[Sam shakes his head, pats Nick on the shoulder, then sits in a nearby chair]
I think the guy in the hat did something terrible.
[shot of TV shows a man being thrown through the glass window of a door; all the people on the TV screen are wearing hats]
You're so analytical! Sometimes you just have to let art... flow... over you.
[Sam rolls his eyes]
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Nostalgic, elegantly handled and brilliantly done feel-good drama.
"The Big Chill" is often regarded as the best Hollywood movie to demonstrate ensemble acting. A problem that can affect similar films is the unequal division of time that each character receives, but "The Big Chill" avoids this problem. It certainly is a moving cinematic experience that isn't easily forgotten. OK it doesn't really lead anywhere, but as it goes on, the nostalgic charm sets in and the core isn't hollow.
Terrific performances from the ensemble cast who work well as a group. It's ironic how Kevin Costner had the most successful career yet if you blink you'll miss him. Some of the careers of the talented cast bloomed after this- Kevin Kline won an Oscar for "A Fish Called Wanda", Glenn Close got 5 nominations (this film included) and got a status in Hollywood, Jeff Goldblum got success in the likes of "Jurassic Park" and "Independence Day". Others didn't- Meg Tilly sort of disappeared, JoBeth Williams went on to flops such as Stop Or My Mom Will Shoot, Mary Kay Place had small parts in Girl Interupted and Being John Malkovich but went by un-noticed.
"The Big Chill" is a complex and often brilliant story of the need for companionship. The soundtrack greatly adds to the nostalgic and uplifting feel to the movie. Great performances, splendid direction and an engaging script make this a deserved (if not slightly dated) classic. My IMDb rating: 8.0/10.
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