The Big Chill.
I watch films alone most of the time so I have to force myself to re-watch these character driven, relationship focused films. But when I do this, it usually comes out the most rewarding.
This film is starts out a little slow. You sit there not entirely understanding the tone of the film until about 20 minutes in. But this isn’t a bad thing, and the reason is because the story’s characters, who are all seeing each other for the first time in many years, are coping with the suicide of their best friend. And just like you would be in this kind of situation, the characters are in a very gray area emotionally and existentially. Now, put eight old friends in one house after a funeral, and you receive the premise followed by an amazing human experience.
The characters in this tale live in many different places throughout America, and all are extremely different people. But, they used to be so close in friendship. This is something that we can all touch upon. The idea of when things were easier, and more pure. When the hurt really hurt. And you could say you were happy a majority of the time. There is a moment where one of the characters discusses how he thought everything was going great until he back and saw everyone. And saw himself for what he had become. It’s a fascinating thing when these moments occur in cinema because the mirror is turned to you as viewer and you get the chance to look at your own reflection. If you so choose.
The brilliant thing about this film is the actor’s really become these people. Not everyone likes each other. Everyone has a different agenda. No one actually wants to be there, but oddly enough they do. It’s kind of like an existential black hole that you didn’t know existed until you were forced into a dramatic situation.
I could go on and on about this film, but I’d really like you to see it for yourself. Kevin Kline, and one of my all time favorite actors, William Hurt are at their best. Jeff Goldblum plays the douchey LA “journalist” to a tee. And everyone feels so real. SO REAL. Please check it out and let it simmer. Because there beneath the hilarious dialogue and highly original situations, The Big Chill speaks deeply about human nature’s issues with leaving your pack and stepping in line with society.