3 Stars - Thought-Provoking
I have to admit that going to see a movie about mature women getting turned on by sexy literature is a dangerous subject for men to write about. Having watched the reactions on television of women wanting to see the film "Fifty Shades Of Grey" was a bit disconcerting, since I could only imagine what the reactions would be if men in this day and age went on TV and lusted openly about wanting to be drooled over by a beautiful young lady while being handcuffed to the bed!
Nevertheless, I (Hal) along with my wife and two other women reviewed the Book Club and we all came away laughing and having a good time. First of all, it is a good comedy with a great cast of characters - both women and men. Witnessing Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen reacting to their group reading a steamy novel and then trying to make sense of their reactions was hilarious.
Each of them brought a host of baggage to the table, and as often happens in our lives, we either deny its existence or rationalize it away. In their unique reactions as members of their small book club each brings insight as to whether they should, or should not, read this book.
Their book club rules were simple: Each month one of their members got to choose the book and the others were obligated to go along with it. In this case, Vivian (Jane Fonda) chose a titillating novel "Fifty Shades of Gray" and another member chose its sequel. In her life she had always been the unmarried, highly successful and beautiful career woman that lived the "sex and the city" lifestyle.
Each of the others had been or were still married, and found the book to be too provocative to talk about. It didn't take long, though, for each of them to get hooked on the salacious subject matter and dialogue, and the book club discussion became first the place for the unveiling of their fantasies, and then, the place for facing either their fears or the realities of their own lives.
We won't give away the twists and turns of the story, but Book Club is deeper than it looks. Each person had to take a look at their inner motivations and what "love" actually meant in their lives: What kept each of them from truly being happy? What choices did each of them have to make in order to bring real happiness back into their life?
We all might not choose a sexy novel as the catalyst for healing our emotional self, but we also shouldn't be afraid to ask and explore the questions that this film brings up. Being fulfilled in our soul - and in our self - gives us the freedom to truly reflect the love that God instilled in our innermost being.
- Would you read a book about sexual bondage practices? Why or why not? Would you discuss such a book with your best friends if they did?
- If sex is God’s created method for procreation and pleasure, and often defines his own relationship to us using this intimacy as an analogy, why do you think it so often causes problems rather than fulfillment?
- What do you think about reading a book that is popular in our culture but could be described as “soft porn”? In what way does your faith inform your choices in what you read and expose yourself to?