Slow but great music throughout and an excellent plotline. I would not want to watch this again but it was good to see so many great actors in this!
Marty P. from WILLIAMSBURG, VA Reviewed on 10/15/2009...
A great movie - very nostalgic for us! But with such an incredible cast - it really typifies the angst that my generation has carried for 30 years. But there are glimpses of hope in the midst of the despair. And what an incredible soundtrack!
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Boom Boom...Boo Hoo
Robert Morris | Dallas, Texas | 10/09/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Since this film first appeared about 20 years ago, it has become a favorite of those who comprise what is referred to as the "Baby Boomer" generation" but its appeal is by no means limited to that age group. So many of its themes (e.g. nostalgia, disenchantment, sexual frustration, egocentricity) are common to all generations. As is often the case, a reunion of friends occurs because of a death, in this case Alex whose corpse is being formally dressed for burial as the film begins. (It is Kevin Costner's body but his head is concealed, with the balance of Costner's appearance lying on a cutting room floor.) Sarah and Harold Cooper (Glenn Close and Kevin Kline) serve as unofficial hostess and host. After the burial, their friends return with them to their home where accommodations are provided. Their extended celebration of both Alex and themselves begins, during which Kasdan (who also wrote the screenplay) carefully reveals the strengths and weaknesses of each central character. The Coopers seem to be the strongest, happily married and prosperous but also generous and caring. Nick (William Hurt) is a confused and self-absorbed veteran (in some respects a survivor) of the Viet Nam war. The group includes one celebrity, Sam (Tom Berenger) who stars in a television series. Karen has always been in love with Sam. Now a somewhat unhappily married woman, she struggles with her conflict of emotions (obligations to husband and children juxtaposed with her enduring attraction to Sam). Mary Kay Place is a successful attorney who yearns for parenthood but not necessarily marriage. For me, the most interesting character is Michael (Jeff Goldblum) who comes across as a smarmy, almost desperate social misfit. Although claiming to be secure as a journalist with People magazine, he is obviously desperate to be accepted, to make favorable impressions, and if nothing else, taken seriously. His vulnerabilities are almost palpable.Kasdan and his associates have created in this film an especially effective portrayal of certain values during the period in which the action (such as it is) occurs. For example, most of the characters are almost wholly preoccupied with what they want but do not have. There is a strong element of codependency among them as they struggle to absorb and digest the reality of Alex's death. They are mutually devoted but, at the same time, several seem (to me) to be asking the same question once posed by Peggy Lee: "Is this all there is?" Much of the appeal of this film is explained by how seamlessly Kasdan coordinates the plot with the soundtrack which continues to be a bestseller. For example, it is an especially appropriate touch that he includes the Rolling Stones' "You Can't Always Get What You Want" early on during the funeral service for Alex. Other selections on the soundtrack include "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" (Marvin Gaye), "My Girl" (The Tempations), "Good Lovin'" (Rascals), "The Tracks Of My Tears" (Smokey Robinson and the Miracles), "Joy To The World" (Three Dog Night), "Ain't Too Proud To Beg" (Temptations), "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" (Aretha Franklin), "I Second That Emotion" (Smokey Robinson and the Miracles), "A Whiter Shade Of Pale" (Procol Harum), and "Tell Him" (Exciters)."
Get CHILLED Again ... But DVD is Whiter Shade of Pale
Matt Howe | Washington, DC | 11/09/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I saw THE BIG CHILL in high school. I loved it. Strange, considering my age, but it helped me imagine my high school friends and I getting together at age 30 and having a good time. I just watched it again this weekend on DVD, and still consider it a good movie. Don't let the big budget and big names fool you. It's a small film about interesting characters. The only "action" is when Sam tries to jump into Nick's car "J.T. Lancer"-style. Mostly, it's character study. And Mr. Kasdan cast an incredible group of actors. It's a good film.Now ... for the DVD ... I think the picture is good. For instance, this is the first time I noticed the mint-green walls of the church in the opening scene. But, the rest of the DVD pales in comparison to others on the market now. Like another reviewer said, the "Trailer" included is for SILVERADO (? ). Where's the BIG CHILL trailer ? The documentary is very well done -- lots of current interviews with cast members (Glenn Close reveals a lot). The cut scenes are interesting too. ** BUT where are the flashback scenes filmed in Atlanta of the cast in their 60's clothes ? I thought for sure we'd get to see those! Nowhere to be found ... Disappointing."
This is the film that lent it's name to a generation.
(4 out of 5 stars)
"THE BIG CHILL is one of those films (like AMERICAN GRAFITTI) that people of a certain age will watch and experience a sense of generational identification. The film is an enjoyable (if somewhat surface) treatment of a generation's coming to terms with the compromise and loss of its youthful ideals. The real treats of the movie are the performances of its ensemble cast and the soundtrack, which is filled with great Motown (and other) hits of the era. This DVD is the best video version yet of this film. The colors are warm and autumnal and the soundtrack is crisp (it practically begs to be pumped up during the songs). This is a special edition which contains deleted scenes (which, unfortunately, do not include the scenes with Kevin Costner) as well as a 55-minute documentary on the making of the film. This features current interviews with the cast and crew reflecting on their experiences making the film and what it has come to mean to them. For those who have a wide-screen TV, this film is enhanced for the 16:9 screen ratio. All in all, this is a first-rate presentation of a fine film."
Nostalgic Boomer Essential....Stands The Test Of Time
L. Shirley | fountain valley, ca United States | 07/13/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This review refers to "The Big Chill" (VHS)
More than 20 years after it's release I still feel the need to pop this video in my player on occassion. The story has stood up well, and continues to make me smile with each viewing.
They were an anti-establishment, non-comformist, group of friends back in their college days in the 60's. They were a close knit group, that although not in regular communication with each other, kept up with each others lives. The suicide of one, bring them all back together for an eye-opening weekend. Now 20 years after college, with a new set of values, most are now part of the working class establishment. Sucessful and set in their lives, raising families of their own. Spending the weekend together in one house, brings back memories, reveals new insights into each other's lives, and renews the group's closeness.
The film is both funny and dramatic,and a wonderful piece of nostalgia. It would not only appeal to the boomer generation especially, but also to those who can relate to friends and close ties made during the college days. The remarkable ensemble cast, that have all remained great stars, make it a joy to watch by all. The friends are: Glenn Close, Tom Berrenger, Kevin Kline, Jeff Goldblum, William Hurt, Jo Beth Williams, and Mary Kay Place. A young Meg Tilly adds her wonderful talents as well. If that's not enough, the soundtrack with all the familiar great tunes from the 60's, will have you 'groovin' once again.
If you loved this film, the first time you saw it, but it's been a while, watch it again and you'll remember the wonderful effect it had on you. If you havn't seen it, it is absolutely worth checking out.
Remember when...and enjoy...Laurie
also recommended for more great ensembles films: Empire Falls (Every Small Town Has a Big Story) Vol. 1 Empire Falls, Volume Two Primary Colors The Chase
Classic Movie with an awesome oldies soundtrack!
L. Shirley | 09/19/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Aaaa...what a great movie. There are two main ways to view The Big Chill....
1. as a mindless, pointless showing of 7 drug-using former hippies from the University of Michigan(plus the clueless girlfriend of their suicidal friend) hatched up in a Southern plantation house for a few days, remembering their dead friend Alex after they reunite from various areas for his funeral.
2. As a fun, surprisingly-realistic look at REAL friendship and how, if you dont keep it up, it can drift slowly away. At how love and friendship are the most important things in life, and may be the key to happiness. At how true friendship never really disappears, and how it can be triggered once again, after a few days of getting high and singing and dancing to oldies with college friends. :)
I sure hope 6 of my best friends and I can someday hang out in a plantation house together for a weekend.
The soundtrack to this movie is GREAT and is ALL oldies, including Marvin Gaye, Three Dog Night and The Temptations. A Fun, worthwhile movie with some funny one-liners."