"In a cold world, you need your friends
to keep you warm! Spend some time with a few good friends."
Synopsis: A friend's suicide prompts reflection
and closeness among his college friends, now middle-aged, pondering
why Alex had done such a thing, and what had happened to their
own idealism, and how they wound up where they were today.
After the suicide/ funeral of their mutual
friend, Alex, a group of his 7 mid-thirties friends from college,
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, have a week end reunion
at the Cooper's Georgia home, where they evaluate what had happened
to Alex and their own ideals they had once held so dear in their
Sam Weber (Tom Berenger), who had been interested
in making a difference in society, had become a TV star, playing
a private detective. Sarah Cooper was a medical doctor and mom,
Harold Cooper (Kevin Kline) was a family man, who ran a chain
of shoe stores. Meg (Mary Kay Place), who had started off being
a defense attorney, is now a real estate lawyer, who wants to
have a child. Michael (Jeff Goldblum), who wanted to be an investigative
reporter, was now a writer for People Magazine. Nick (William
Hurt), who had been a psychology major, was currently selling
illegal drugs for a living. Karen Bowe (JoBeth Williams), who
was a talented poet in college, was a mom, and married to an
emotionally cold, controlling husband, Richard.
Plus, there is Chloe (Meg Tilly), who was in
her early 20's, and was Alex's last girl friend that he was
living with in the house he was rennovating, on a big property
owned by the Coopers. She was the one who found Alex, dead in
the bathtub, after cutting his wrists. Alex was brilliant and
the best of them, who could've been an excellent research scientist,
but he made another choice and never achieved much in his life,
as he wandered from job to job.
Some of these characters also explore possibilities,
opportunities that they had missed, relationships that didn't
happen, and other regrets. This serious exploration is peppered
with humorous situations, witty dialogue, and great music from
the sixties, which flows through the length of the film, offering
great background ambiance and symbolism to the montages and
various parts of the story.
The opening montage, with the song, "I
heard it Through the Grapevine" as background music, shows
each college friend of Alex's finding out and reacting to the
news about his death, inter spliced with scenes of the mortician
dressing Alex's body in his funeral clothes.
The cast does a terrific job, both in their
individual performances and their ensemble work. This film enhanced
many of their careers. They got into the spirit of the movie,
by spending a lot of time together during the filming of the
movie, talking and getting to know each other. The quality of
their acting and ensemble efforts shows the great result of
this closeness. The direction, by Lawrence Kasdan, is inspiring,
leading the storyline along in a great balance of drama and
A favorite mix of humor and drama is the scene
where Meg tells Sara in the kitchen, the problems she has had
with dating men, and how hard it is to find a decent guy. Her
monologue is quite hilarious, but sad at the same time. Favorite
scenes include: the unique dancing kitchen clean-up scene, various
conversations between cast members, time-elapse montage of breakfast
after their first night together, jumping in the car scene,
football montage, and last twenty minutes of the film.
The over seventeen crowd will enjoy this movie,
but people in their 30's, 40's and 50's will really relate to
the movie's musings of what happens to our youthful idealism,
and why people make certain choices in their lives. It is an
interesting study of human nature.
Directed by: Lawrence Kasdan. Written by: Lawrence
Kasdan and Barbara Benedek. Executive Producers: Marsha Nasatir
and Lawrence Kasdan.