TBTo the Screen

"The Big Chill" (1983)

From “Natural Woman” to “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” each song is used perfectly to tell the story of eight college friends who reunite for a funeral of their mutual friend Alex. Alex also committed suicide and had a girlfriend, Chloe (Meg Tilly) who blends in with the group of friends.

The use of humor to detail death was wonderful with the script by Lawrence Kasdan and Barbara Benedek. As Nick (William Hurt) parallels picking socks in the morning to choosing whether or not someone should commit suicide was cringe-worthy with a chuckle. The film is a dry character study and reflection. All of the friends appear loyal to each other but do some sneaking around. Sarah (Glenn Close) allows her friend Meg (Mary Kay Place) to sleep with her husband Harold (Kevin Kline) so Karen can have a baby. It is jaw-dropping yet sweet and interesting without being too complicated.

It is amazing to see Kevin Kline, who is still so brilliantly sarcastic, in the early stage of his career. Tom Berenger and Jeff Goldblum are also in the film as a TV actor and “People Magazine” writer, respectively. This is a strong film with its cast as well as location inside not just any ole house but a plantation house and its breathtaking landscape.

Side note: Glenn Close and Malin Ackerman should star as mother and daughter in a film. It is uncanny how much Glenn looked like Malin in this film.