When one thinks a little better, graduation anniversaries are actually interesting social experiments. After five, ten, twenty or forty years, people who once, in their youth, may have been close, have gathered, and life has separated them in the meantime, and everyone has gone their own way. Only a few stayed in touch, others are mostly seen only on those rare anniversaries where usually after a classic chat, talking about families, very quickly retelling events from his youth, recalling some memories, almost forgotten anecdotes, and spiced it all up, of course, copious amounts of alcohol. The company from another film written and directed by one of the most commercially successful directors, and especially the screenwriter of the eighties Lawrence Kasdan, will come together after a long time for a much, much sadder reason.
After a member of their former college team killed himself, a group of friends gathered at his funeral in South Carolina that had mostly not been seen for years. They all decided over the weekend to stay on the property of colleagues and friends who were the only ones in contact with Alex, spouse Sarah (Glenn Close) and Harold (Kevin Kline). The others arrive at the funeral slowly. There’s Sam (Tom Berenger), today a successful television actor who has always sympathized with Karen (JoBeth Williams), a writer unhappily married to some bureaucrat who was in a relationship with Nick (William Hurt) during his student days. He, on the other hand, is today an outraged Vietnamese veteran who is impotent and addicted to drugs, while Michael (Jeff Goldblum) is a journalist and a rather selfish guy who thinks exclusively of himself. Meg (Mary Kay Place) is a real estate lawyer, and the weekend with this old team will be spent by the much younger girlfriend of the late Alex, Chloe (Meg Tilly).
Kasdan gathered in “The Big Chill” a fine cast of then extremely potent actors and actresses of that generation, and it is clear that they all have a mutual past. Some secrets that some know, others do not, some have settled and some unsettled lives and they are all in different phases of their lives. All of them studied obviously in the late sixties and early seventies, at a time when the world was changing before their eyes, and practically all those then rebellious kids apparently turned into people in their late thirties, in the forties they rebelled against in their youth. .
For most of them, life did not unfold as they had assumed when they were in their twenties, and among them, much remained unsaid throughout those years. They will try to turn back time and be as close as they were ten or more years ago, but it is clear that this is no longer the case and that they have all changed over the years. Kasdan, who is also from that sixty-eighth generation, managed to break this story with humor, warmth and charm, but also relatively accurately (at least according to the critiques of 1983 when the film appeared) show the state of mind of Americans in their mid-thirties, people who dreamed world, and it was only when they finally met again that they realized they were living in a completely different time and circumstance than the ones in which they had split up. Rating 8/10.
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