Welcome to Dan Glaser’s Movie Podcast: The ONLY Podcast You Have To Read. In each episode I go with a different comedian to see a movie and then we head to the closest coffee shop to chat about it over the internet. Yes it is a podcast, you just have to read it instead of listen to it. As always, you can catch up on all the other episodes here. Even better, consider supporting the podcast by subscribing!
Matt and I made eye contact in the Regal Union Square Cinemas lobby at a criminally insane 10:20 am. The look we shared can only be described as “here we go!” After the Book Club adjourned, we walked over to Think Coffee on 13th St and 4th Ave to talk about what really matters: each other. Matt got a cold brew with almond milk and I got a cold brew with no milk of any kind at all.
Dan: Hi Matt! Thank you so much for joining me today on Dan Glaser’s Movie Podcast: The ONLY Podcast You Have To Read. I’d like to start things off by asking one simple question: In every friend group there is a Diane, a Vivian, a Sharon and a Carol…which are you?
Matt: Dan, thanks for having me. I was really trying to answer this question while I watched this film, but I quickly realized that none of the four women in this movie were actual people, per se. I will attempt an answer now to the best of my ability. I would say I am a Diane. Why do I say that? Because it’s the only character I can clearly identify because she was played by Diane Keaton and that’s easy to remember. Which one was Jane Fonda? I am as emotionally unavailable as her. Was she Vivian? I feel like the screenwriters would have named her Vivian because it’s….and I’m just gonna go for it…the sluttiest name of the bunch? How about you?
Dan: I feel like Diane Keaton definitely carried the majority of the weight in this movie and so as a reward they let her character just be named Diane. She is definitely the most natural of the four leads here and the only one who conveys humanity. Vivian is Jane Fonda, yes. Va-Va-Vivian is a nice mnemonic you can use in your everyday life to remember this. I’m definitely a Sharon in the streets (can’t figure out Spanx) and a Carol in the sheets (horny for Coach).
Matt: In my early twenties I was a Sharon (Candice Bergen, y’all) in that I drank way, way too much white wine because my dorm was across from a Trader Joe’s wines. I got over what was quite likely a Problem with White Wine very quickly though. Sharon has not. She drinks the shit like water. And, I don’t know, the entire Carol plot line made me deeply sad and I couldn’t really get into it. I felt that Mary Steenburgen wasn’t very convincing as someone who doesn’t have sex because you know Ted Danson is absolutely putting it DOWN. However, I do have to tell you, and you may be surprised to hear this…but I cried at the end of their plotline. I really cried three good solid tears. I prove that you can cry at movies that are not good and do not earn that emotional response!
Dan: Full Disclosure: I also teared up during Carol’s Big Dance Number. I also have some logistic questions about that scene but we can get to that in a bit. Before we get started on What Happens In This Movie I want to do an overview of the Four Horsewomen of the Bookpocalypse. Let’s start with character briefs. You do two then I’ll do two. Go!
Matt: Okay so first we have Diane Keaton’s Diane who I can only describe as being literally Diane Keaton in every single way and, for the uninitiated, that means a couple things: one, it takes her roughly 48 hours to get to the end of a sentence and two, Anne Taylor Loft makes fucking bank off dressing her. She is a widow who has two daughters, Alicia Silverstone and An Actress Who May As Well Be Mandy Moore Who I Actually Thought Was Mandy Moore For Her First Two Whole Scenes, who treat her like she will die at any second and are extremely poorly written. She is upset about the fact that they want to move her to Scotsdale so she can be closer to them when she dies. Will she find love again? Jane Fonda is Vivian in the film, and she is the Samantha of the whole story if we’re doing Sex and the City comparisons, which we……..are. She loves sex and hates intimacy which has, I think, never been explored in a film before. She is the character who suggests Fifty Shades of Grey for the Book Club that the four friends belong to. Will she submit to intimacy with Don Johnson, a flame from her past? Now you, Daniel!
Dan: Wow I get to do Sharon and Carol? I guess sometimes Men can have it all. Sharon (Candice Bergen) is a Candice Bergen type who is a powerful federal judge but also is quite sexless. She drinks a lot of wine at most times. She is 18 years divorced and is a powerful federal judge but also sexless. Carol (Mary Steenburgen) is a Mary Steenburgen type who is a powerful head chef but is also quite sexless. She drinks a lot of wine at most times. She is married to Coach and is a powerful head chef but is also sexless. Out of all our leading ladies, Carol is actually the horniest which you might not expect at first. She is also literally only seen Chef’ing in the opening character bio montage and never again. I had a lot of questions on how everyone in this movie is so rich (which, I know, it’s a movie) and why some characters bring up how other characters are rich and yet they all are?
(Update: after thinking about this for a bit, I admit that Carol plates a carrot wearing a chef costume one time in the opening and also fills some tomatoes with cream cheese a different time)
Matt: Jane Fonda is the most rich and the most important and we are frequently shown scenes of her character just getting off the phone being like “Let me call you back” and we are to assume she is ending important business discussions. We are told at one point she has a staff of 150. So, there is a hierarchy here. Diane Keaton is wealthy but appears to have no job and is without a staff. Candice is definitely wealthy and has an amazing den where she goes to pace around her laptop (she joins Bumble in the movie and it’s nerve-wracking) and we see that she has an assistant (that I probably should have played, TBH, this guy gave nothing to the camera LOL anyway……) but not a staff at all. And Carol doesn’t have a staff but she certainly has money. Her husband Craig T. Nelson is recently retired so you get the sense there is a pension happening. I should also say he does not have a staff and I mean that in two senses of the word: there are no people working for him AND he has a soft penis and this frustrates Carol, who wants to have sex with her husband! Penis joke.
Dan: That’s a great high level overview of the dynamic Book Club ecosystem and biosphere. I think there are few hierarchies in play here, not just wealth based! There is also a contentment ranking, sexual satisfaction ranking and love ranking that are all in flux throughout the film. One thing I want to say before we get into the movie in depth is I was CONSTANTLY confused as to which woman’s house we were sitting around drinking wine in. There is really no way to tell. I know Diane has a big garden. Carol has Coach who shows up sometimes. If the garden or the Coach is off camera there is no way to tell.
Ok here we go! The movie opens with an iPhoto quality slideshow and voice over narration. Matt this opening was insane to me. It even had the little iPhoto slideshow animations.
Matt: What I liked about the horrific iMovie quality slideshow that included poorly photoshopped old photos of the actresses together so that we, the audience, could understand that they have been friends for many years was that it was the movie telling us, “Hi, I am exactly what you thought I would be. Don’t take me seriously. Don’t.” And, you know, it’s important to establish a tone! That is so important in movies. Another thing I liked about the intro was the HARD CUT to a coffin to establish that Diane’s husband was dead while her voiceover energy was like “Ugh, I kno, right?”
Dan: The Photoshop job in that intro picture is so wild. The lighting is different on everyone’s faces. Some are blurry, some are noisy. I agree and I felt like the movie was saying: chill out idiots. If you can’t make it through this you are going to hate all our green screen reshoots coming up. During this intro we learn that these four friends have been meeting every month since they were first photoshopped together for a Book Club. The men have come and gone over the years but in the end (beginning of this movie) the Book Club still remains.
Is the first actual scene at a Book Club meeting? I can’t remember. How does this movie start in earnest? Also look this movie rudely pretends it’s about female friendship and happiness but actually everyone still needs a man to Win. Barf. Ok i’ll be nice now.
Matt: I believe that the first scene is the women all coming together to discuss a book that, for the purposes of this Podcast You Have To Read, we will call a Serious Boring Book. Basically, they all talk about how sad and old they are, how pissed Sharon is that her husband AND son are both moving on romantically while she is stuck. It is about this time that Jane Fonda suggests E.L. James’ seminal fuck book Fifty Shades of Grey as the subject of the next month’s discussion. It is, after all, on theme for the year. The ladies are reading Books That Were Turned Into Successful Movies. They take care to explain this to us as if it matters. The ladies all roll their eyes, hesitant, but clink the first of many glasses of Sauvignon Blanc together and we are off to the races, bitch. I believe this is when Diane stumbles into Jerry Garcia’s literal dick on a plane?
Also, so brave of this movie to center it’s plot around a book that everyone made every joke possible about literally 6 years ago.
Dan: Oh ya that first scene at Someone’s House was…really portentous. Every line was a quip and the pacing was really weird and circular and felt like a bad stage play. Lines being read at each other performatively rather than people, lifelong friends even, having a conversation. I was nervous about what the rest of this movie was going to be.
I also want to quickly say that I do actually like that the main thrust is that “Older” Women who are explicitly and implicitly desexualized by society and entertainment are given ownership of their wants and desires. That’s very good and it is certainly more valuable than any negative feelings I may have towards the weird Man As Solution throughline.
Matt: Cool, yeah. That’s very positive! And I agree. I do just want to say, quickly, as a sidebar that Candice Bergen was…………………bad in this? And she has never ever ever ever ever been bad in anything ever. She always makes it look like acting is very easy but this performance was very labored. She was working with a pretty bad script, though. I will say that I bought all of the women as friends. It’s everything else that felt fake. I did like Don Johnson as Jane Fonda’s old fuck buddy and I was sexually attracted to Jerry Garcia in this movie in a way I could never anticipate but it was a lot of up and down chemistry and I think that has to do with an uneven script. The meet-cute between Diane and Jerry Garcia was so fucking bad. She grabs his dick, like, on accident? Fully a handful of cock just, like, but without meaning it!
Dan: There are a bunch of Meet Cutes in this movie. Diane Keaton rubbing her ass in Jerry (Andy) Garcia’s face on the plane and then grabbing his dick was wild but it wasn’t the first. I think Don Johnson walking into Vivian’s hotel and then flirting on her is the first one. I remember because afterwards he says “I have to get back to this meeting” even though he was just walking through a hotel lobby. Re: Candice Bergen, she does a very rough “no, no that was stupid I’m sorry” look after every pseudo joke. It’s not great!
One thing that I learned in this movie, by reverse engineering what happens in it, is that women LOVE when a man is drinking a drink or something then says something sexy then slowly looks up over his drink and makes hard eye contact. Jerry (Andy) Garcia, Don Johnson and even lumpy ass Richard Dreyfuss do this move and it works every time.
Matt: This movie makes it seem like Richard Dreyfuss is a Sex God and good for him and good for it. I think you can see Dreyfuss’ side-ass in this movie and you just can’t say that about other movies. That is a spoiler; yes, Candice eventually fucks! But first, we should say, that the women all have strong reactions to Fifty Shades of Grey. Vivian predictably loves it because it’s been established that she is a horn dog who actually fucks instead of eats to survive. Candice is like “omg……..lol idk….” but you can tell she is sexually affected. Carol almost immediately is like, “wait, hold on, you can have sex from the BACK?” and is like on the phone asking all her friends if they’re ever even heaaaardd of such a thing. And then there’s Diane, who, actually come to think of it we never hear how she feels about the book but she definitely stumbles around and says she read it. She is kind of in a different movie, now that I think about it. She is pretty quickly swept off her feet by Jerry Garcia who, turns out, is a pilot! This is wild because she is afraid of flying despite doing it literally a thousand times in the movie back and forth between Arizona and LA. I truly hope she is accumulating points because bitch flies a LOT.
Dan: God I also love the montage of The Ladies reading 50 Shades as they go about their lives and how horny it makes them, can we talk about that for a sec before we go on? I wish that montage went on for 10 minutes. Also yes Diane is definitely in a different movie, maybe First Wives Club 2.
Matt: Yes. My favorite was Jane Fonda getting a massage and moaning “oh, yeah” and then there’s a reveal that she’s reading the book. So, we are left to think, “is she moaning in pleasure because of the MASSAGE or the BOOK?” And Dan, I think it was the book!
Dan: My favorite is when Carol is watering her plants while reading the book and she says “oh wow” and then the WET METER in the plant shows FULLY WET.
Matt: I forgot about FULLY WET. Yeah that was….that was comedy!
Dan: I also really appreciated when Diane was reading the book and the cover was folded under and we could see that the pages were blank.
Matt: Where was Props Department on that? Where was ANYONE on that?!
Dan: Elbow deep in some Pinot baby. Ok, so back to business. Diane is on a plane to Scottsdale to see her horrible children and she falls in love with Jerry (Andy) Garcia who is flying coach even though we later learn he is a pilot.
Vivian we covered, I think Candice’s first real scene is where we meet her vet and learn that she herself has a LETHARGIC PUSSY. Candice = Sharon, and we learn that her sad cat represents her sex life for the rest of the movie.
The four major threads of this film follow the four leads and they just kind of intersect once in a while, usually around the Book Club but also sometimes just to chat. They don’t really ever interact beyond just telling each other how to fuck or be mean to each other towards the end of the second act. Maybe let’s just go through each, one by one rather than try to recall the actual order of events?
Matt: It’s truly The Sisterhood of the Traveling Lethargic Pussies.
Okay so Jane Fonda and Jerry Garcia go on a date. They say they are going to get coffee but end up eating what appear to be blue Italian ices, which was a twist I liked. They end up getting into a filthy fountain together because Jane Fonda tosses a penny into the fountain and makes a wish. Jerry asks “what did you wish?” and she says “well I always wish for a cleaner Earth” and then he gets mock-enraged saying that a) that wish isn’t good because it’s global and not personal (??????) and b) that you can never tell anyone your wish. I would like to make clear, he says this right after he asks what she wished. They get in the fountain and end up splashing each other. The whole time I am freaking the fuck out about her cell phone in her hand getting wet which says a LOT about me, and eventually what appears to be a security guard on an electric scooter thing comes over and tells them to get the fuck out of the fountain. They ask him to take a picture of them and he obliges. This is maybe the worst and best scene in the film.
Dan: To Matt, all men of a certain age are Jerry Garcia.
Matt: Oh my god I just realized I have been calling Andy Garcia Jerry Garcia and also Vivian’s love interest is actually Don Johnson. I think all straight men look alike and are the same. It’s something I have to get past. It’s my bias.
Dan: I actually hated Don Johnson’s character in this movie. He acts like a spoiled shit and literally spends most of his time negging Jane Fonda, successful hotelier. This Italian Ice date also had a wild green screen component that was unexpected.
Matt: Yeah, I think at one point they just superimposed Versailles in the background.
Dan: The visual effects in this movie were Bar Mitzvah photo booth quality.
Matt: You haven’t been going to good bar Mitzvahs.
Dan: Not Yet 😎
So Vivian’s main deal is: she has sex with whoever she wants, whenever she wants, and men just slow her down.
Matt: Right, but we never see her do this which is disappointing.
Dan: And that life is great actually and I’m happy to say she is very successful and seems the most comfortable with herself and fulfilled out of all her friends. But then the movie decides, no. She is not any of these things. She DOES need a man!
Matt: Also, this movie lacks a Young Hot Guy. It is chock full of every other stupid trope, but they do not serve up the Young Hot Guy and this movie was screaming out for that.
Dan: Note to fans: I just nodded heavily in my chair and sat up straight to agree. Vivian should have a fucktoy on the hotel staff. There is NO REASON not to.
Matt: This would have been a great excuse for, like, Nick Jonas to be in a movie. And it doesn’t take advantage of that.
Dan: Literally have a scene of a pool boy eating her pussy while she sips Rosé.
Matt: Yeah! GO there.
Dan: And then her phone rings and she says, “Siri, hold my calls.” And the pool boy looks up and says, “Buy my name is Nick Jonas!” And she says, “yeah yeah, back to work,” and pushes his head back down.
Matt: You should have done re-writes on this. You should have script doctored.
Dan: Next time maybe. Ok, so Vivian just goes back and forth with Don Johnson throughout this movie. We should point out that 40 years ago he proposed to her and she said no and they haven’t seen each other since. Was this the weakest of the 4 threads?
We can analyze these threads from the perspective of the personal arc for Vivian as well as from a chemistry between Romantic Partners POV.
Matt: No, absolutely not because Carol’s plotline with her husband Coach is a thing in this movie. Towards the end it gets good, but the first half of the movie is her being frustrated that he has lost all interest in her sexually and it is not fun to watch. It is only sad. The direction of these scenes was pretty awful. They make her character apologize for acting “crazy” meanwhile she is understandably frustrated that her idiot husband can’t take any cues from her.
Dan: Yeah Let’s Talk about Carol.
Matt: They exchange gifts and she gets him dance lessons so they can do something fun together and he gets her earplugs that match his so that she can sleep and he can watch TV without bugging each other and that, friends, is that relationship in a nutshell. She cares, he’s a dumb man!
Dan: Yeah. Carol is the Happily Married one. The main thing they have her do in this movie is beg for sex from Coach and then apologize for acting crazy, like you said. I thought at the very least we would get an opportunity to talk about the fragility of male confidence and how sexual “dysfunction” can actually impact a loving, otherwise healthy relationship. Instead we get Coach tries to fuck his motorcycle.
Matt: Yeah, he’s the worst character in the movie for sure. At some point, they all agree that the next month’s book should be the Fifty Shades sequel, and they clink their 48th round of wine glasses again and it’s very “ooooohhhh boy, here we goooooo”!
Dan: We really can’t stress how much wine there is in this movie. It is not an exaggeration to say that any scene with a) a free hand or b) a surface has at least one glass of wine in it. On the bright side, the Carol / Coach thread also has Eastern European Dance Bitch!
Matt: And an extremely over the top actress playing the dance teacher taking her space. Sharon’s assistant should have taken some cues from her. This is a big dumb movie, be big and dumb. Again, I should have auditioned for this part. In terms of the wine, there is a lot and you have to imagine there were a ton of headaches that are never discussed. They also eat really irresponsibly. There is a tub of ice cream, pizza, milkshakes, etc. and that just doesn’t feel real to me. That can’t be Jane Fonda’s diet.
Like, she feels like someone who eats vegetables. And there is not one vegetable in this film. Vegetable Erasure!!!!!!!!!!!!
Dan: My inclusion rider demands vegetables, it’s the least i can do. Ok, so Vivian is doing her thing. Carol is doing her thing. Meanwhile, Sharon decides to go on Bumble because…she saw an ad for Bumble? Starring her ex husband? I was confused about what the fuck was going on with the bumble ad?
Matt: Yeah, also is this how Bumble is? Was shocked. I’m glad you’re in the same place as me re: Bumble. Wtf?
Dan: She like, went to a Bumble…website? And there was a video of how her ex husband…was…already matched with someone? Anyway Sharon is where we get all of our Old People Can’t Use Technology humor that you were waiting patiently for.
Matt: The movie’s bad. Anyway, she quickly gets more attention than she ever expected! We know that because her computer is making loud scenes during a Federal Judge meeting she is having. Side note: is it an Older Person Thing that no one uses vibrate on their phones? I haven’t heard my phone talk in many years.
Dan: Sharon spends the first half of the movie talking about how dry her pussy is and how sex is stupid and she isn’t interested. After she goes on a Bumble Date to Macaroni Grill with an befuddled and admittedly charming Richard Dreyfuss they raw dog it in the back of her car.
It plays out like this: “C-c-c-an I kiss you?” Smash cut to Richard Dreyfuss wiping his dick off on the plush oldsmobile leather.
Matt: I don’t know specifically how Spanx work but I don’t think they are THAT easily taken off…
So Sharon gets from that date and has 4 messages on Bumble and essentially says out loud to herself “Oh, shit. I’m gonna fuck THE WORLD.”
Dan: I was very happy for Sharon!
Matt: Yeah, me too. Also, simultaneously, Diane is fucking!
Dan: Oh hell yeah! It turns out that Andy / Jerry Garcia is EXTREMELY rich and a pilot who lives on basically a beautiful cult compound in Sedona.
Matt: She gets taken high in the sky by ANDY GARCIA (I’ve learned) and confronts her fear of both flying and also sex. They make love under the stars, under a blanket, with their clothes on, it appears.
Dan: I was going to ask you about that. Do people have sex with all their clothes on now? Do you think the actors asked for that or the director demanded that? It seems weird for a movie with this kind of message about late in life love and happiness to be so prudish about the human body. Not weird I suppose, just disappointing.
Matt: Well, all the sex I have had has been naked (lol thankkkksssss) but you can technically do it with your clothes on and so I guess we just have to believe the movie. And believe the women in this movie. I personally prefer naked sex but I’m not Diane Keaton.
Dan: This is also the time I want to talk about Wealth in this movie. At some point when they are swapping life stories Diane gets…mad…at Andy Garcia because he is “rich, [he] doesn’t have any sad stories.” But Diane lives in an insane house in LA? Also she is literally a Sky Club Platinum Member with unlimited travel budget.
Matt: Yeah, the movie’s bad. She is having the time of her life in what is essentially The Best Home Anyone Has Ever Had when suddenly Alicia Silverstone and The Actress Who Might As Well have Been Mandy Moore And In Fact I Thought Was Mandy Moore For Her Whole First Two Scenes barge in with the latter’s Dumb Husband because the police have tracked Diane’s cell phone (terrifying) to her exact location and they ruin all her fun. She is discovered canoodling with Andy on a swan pool float (a thing that he owns) and she tumbles out of the pool, humiliated, realizing that she needs to leave immediately because of her “responsibilities”. This movie is bad.
Dan: Yes! I am also contractually obligated to bring up how shitty and bad her adult daughters are! Also they…live together? What is their DEAL?! All they do is tell her how she is useless and helpless and how she needs to move in with them. I get that this is something that a) actually happens and b) older people, women and widows especially I have to assume, have to deal with regularly, but it is just written so over the top and unpleasantly.
Matt: It’s bad. The daughter who is TAWMAWHBMMAIFITWMMFHWFTS literally says to her one time “So, when you’re at home, you’re just…walking around? You’re gonna fall, mom! Ugh, your generation!” and she is the worst person anyone has ever met.
Dan: Oh yeah but then at the end Diane politely tells them off and they are like..Ok bye! Have Fun! It’s weird and unearned.
Matt: She should have gone much harder. I get that Diane is a pushover in the movie but here’s roughly what I would have told my daughters if I were in this situation:
“You two need to get bent. Do you fucking hear yourselves? Wash your fucking hair, bitches. I’m finishing this pizza and going to get fucked. Lose my number.”
Dan: Yes go off.
Matt: (They both had hair that like…..didn’t look washed, to me.) And we’ve seen what Alicia Silverstone’s hair can look like. It can look really, really good.
Dan: But also, Double Oh Yeah! In the Diane / Andy, henceforth Diandy, relationship forming scenes they go up in his custom built tiny plane and it’s really wild.
Matt: Total missed opportunity to connect the dots to Fifty Shades of Grey, too.
Dan: Do you remember when they got into the tiny plane and held hands and Paul Simon played and they just had a bunch of drone shots of the desert?
Matt: Yeah, and they superimposed a computer screen saver of a desert? Romantic!
Dan: More bad green screen! Not even green screen! It looked like they sat Diandy in an old VW Beetle chassis and put a scrolling desert sky on a conveyor belt behind them.
Matt: The movie’s bad. Also, it’s around this time that EVERY character’s life is falling apart. Candice runs into her ex-husband and his hot younger fiancé when she is waiting for her date, Wallace Shawn, who is decidedly not gonna be able to compete with the hot younger fiancé. Also, total missed opportunity for an Alicia Silverstone-Wallace Shawn reunion.
Dan: Wait for the Blu Ray deleted scenes baby.
Dan: Yeah it is about this time we are nearing the end of our second act. Let’s check in with everyone shall we? Diandy are in …a…fight? Because Diane has Family to figure out.
Matt: Responsibilities, yeah.
Dan: Sharon / Candice….quits bumble? Because Wallace Shawn…was a dork? Carol and Coach are in….a…..fight? Because Carol Viagra’d his beer and has been a real Crazy Bitch since he retired. (I hate this plotline)
Matt: It’s bad. I feel bad for Mary Steenburgen because she’s so charming and wonderful and the plotline is so horrible. Coach screams at Carol for trying to make their relationship work. Later, we find out that Coach feels lost after his retirement and carol just sort of says she understands and apologizes even more.
Dan: Yeah. The main humor in these scenes are a) look how horny / not horny these two are and b) look how much motorcycle talk sounds like sex talk.
Carol: “so, what should we do tonight?”
Coach: “I can’t wait to ram my rod into her butt pipe.”
For folks at home, the best part about this podcast is that I can just get up and leave to go to the bathroom mid conversation and no one even knows.
Matt: And Vivian, who has shared with Don Johnson over milkshakes that her favorite thing in the world is “arm tickles”, gets her arm tickled by DJ later on on a rooftop and….falls asleep with him! She tells her girlfriends later that she NEVER sleeps with men, she only fucks them! Obviously this relationship has gone too far. So, later, when he tells her exactly what any woman would ever want to hear in an idealized soundbite that contains the sentence, “You are my person,” Vivian tightly replies that she hopes he had a nice time at the hotel and goodbye. We get the sense that she is making a huge mistake, because she is making a huge mistake.
Dan: I fucking love that one scene earlier she tells the gals “I NEVER sleep with men. Just fuck em” and then the next time they meet up she says “Well I slept with him.” And everyone like, oh wow but you never do that.
The DJ love confession also includes a part about how when he got into radio (as….a DJ??!!!) it was to tell millions of people what’s up but really now he knows it’s more important to just tell the one person you love what’s up.
That’s beautiful I think and maybe you should figure out why you want to be on TV and in Movies and maybe it’s for the same reasons?
Matt: Yeah, that was the part that made me think and that is what films should do so maybe it’s really good, actually. JK, no, it’s bad because the next scene is at Candice’s son’s engagement party that she WASN’T INVITED TO until days before when she ran into her ex-husband and his girlfriend. And she just lets that slide!
Dan: At the engagement party she does a toast and I guess that’s her big moment. What even was her toast? I don’t even remember. I don’t remember the vibes of it or any specifics other than that she corrects her ex about a shakespeare quote? Is it just a generic love conquers all thing?
Also yes it is weird to not invite your mom to your engagement. Hi mom!
Matt: It was “It’s great that everyone has found love except me because everyone deserves that. Also, hi, I’m literally the mother of the groom.”
Dan: Oh yeah cool. So we are nearing our resolution but first a scene back at Book Club where everyone goes around in a circle and is mean to each other for no reason.
Like one person complains and then the next person says, “oh yeah like you can complain! I have a different problem!”
Matt: Yeah, and they’re like okay fine let’s read the third book. No mention of the content of the third book, which I believe involves the protagonist being stalked and almost killed by an ex-boyfriend. Not that I’ve read it.
Dan: Yeah that was weird! They are like, ok fine we’ll read this.
Matt: They are all extremely mean but that’s understandable because of the amount of wine they’ve consumed.
Dan: Also I think the whole movie has one actual 50 shades joke beyond just, “this shit is horny!” At one point Sharon or maybe Diane says, “She should have had a lawyer read that contract!” Do you think they wrote that joke before they even thought of this movie?
Matt: Yeah, they never discuss the part where they have period sex either. Which is discussion-worthy, I think.
In my Book Club, we’d bring it up.
Shar: “Vivian, what did you think of the period sex scene?”
Viv: “The last time I had my period, Marlon Brando was pounding me over the bussers station at the Brown Derby!”
Anyway after the last Book Club meeting, our denouement begins.
Matt: I love the resolution of this movie because it’s literally just them all telling each other “you’re making a mistake!” and they quickly are like “you’re right!” and they change their entire minds about everything.
Dan: Hell yeah.
Matt: Which is clean!
Dan: Vivian let’s Don Johnson leave to go back to New York but then feels bad and everyone wakes her up and says to go get him! There is a frantic getting dressed scene and a weird Uber ride to the airport but then she is too late. She gets back to her hotel and he is up on the roof in their special place and they make out.
Checks all the boxes.
Matt: Carol, who has decided that she will continue the dance lessons by herself, finally has her opportunity to show off her new skills at the Talent Show (never explained like…why there’s a Talent Show but….there is. It’s fine. It’s good!). She is about to begin her dance when the wrong song plays, which is crazy! How can she tap dance to Meat Loaf’s “I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)”. She’ll have to try! She is miraculously an amazing tapper now after taking months of ballroom dance classes. Her performance is great and then…Coach runs in dressed all in motorcycle garb. They dance…and Dan, this is when i cried.
I think it was the song, though. I love Meat Loaf. Sorry! I didn’t want to tell you or show you I was crying 😞
Dan: Matt this scene proves once and for all that like, no matter what is going on and how thin and 1-dimensional a character or a relationship is, music and dancing and Grand Gestures can get me misty eyed. Also great I can finally talk about the logistics of this talent show.
So Carol has some big number prepared but the music starts and it’s…the wrong song! It’s Meat Loaf.
Matt: The wrong song that is also perfect! Agh!
Dan: I was thinking a) obviously duh, Coach will show up and they do a duet, and b) huh, weird that this movie has never even bothered to establish that these two have a history with Meat Loaf or that when they were younger and into fucking more they used to raw dog in the back seat of his motorcycle at Meat Loaf concerts or anything.
But then Coach shows up and it’s clear that he didn’t pick that music either.
Matt: That would have been a fun callback. Unfortunately, the movie is bad. But they do slay the routine.
Dan: Why was Meat Loaf playing Matt?
Matt: Because they got the rights and I bet Whitney Houston was too expensive.
Dan: That was Phantom of the Opera shit. Someone is haunting the No Kid Hungry fundraiser. Well after the dance they go home to have fully clothed, through the zipper only sex.
Matt: They go home to have Ted Danson-Mary Steeburgen sex.
Matt: Yeah. Somewhere in here, Vivian is found face-down on the bed, crying, by her friends. Oh, wait. Did we discuss this?
Dan: Yeah we did this one. They make a big deal of giving her sunglasses to cover her hideous no makeup face. Then she is magically in her Uber in full makeup. NEXT!
Matt: Well, anyway, DJ and Vivian get together and it’s probably hot, hot sex.
Dan: Sharon’s big resolution is my favorite. She goes back to her Bumble….website (?) and clicks a big button that says “Reactivate account.” That’s it! That’s her character arc, tied up in a nice little bow~
Matt: Is that when the credits roll? I think that may be when the credits roll…..
Dan: Wait what about Diandy?
Matt: Oh, yeah. We should say Diandy is back on. They shut the door to go fuck with clothes on.
Dan: Yeah they are back, baby! Maybe they move in together and live happily ever after in his detox center.
Matt: The movie ends with Geena Davis showing up and being like “Girls, I’m back from vacation and I read the book!” and they all look at each other and say “Fuck!”
(No, it doesn’t)
Dan: A black helicopter lands on the roof of Vivian’s hotel while they are all toasting to Book Club and we see a big stiletto heel step out of the passenger’s seat. Slow tilt up to see Bette Midler take off her shades and say “Someone say Book Club?”
(No, it doesn’t)
Matt: BOOK CLUB: HERE WE GO AGAIN.
Dan: Wow we did it. Now that we’ve made it through, I want to do some rankings.
Matt: By “we did it” do you mean we saw this movie at 10 AM at Union Square Regal?
Dan: Matt, that was insane.
Matt: On a Tuesday?
Dan: Easily the earliest movie I’ve ever seen.
Matt: And watched two people fully walk out? TWO WALK OUTS.
Dan: Both MEN I should say.
Matt: Says a lot.
Dan: Two women to our left said after the movie, “I liked THEM but the movie was bad.” Matt, did you like THEM?
Matt: I did, actually, and that’s real. Here’s how I would rank the characters in terms of enjoyment:
Dan: Oh hell yeah, now that we’ve made it through, I want to do some more hierarchies. Let’s start with enjoyability. Love To Rank Women.
Matt: Number 1 for me was Candice Bergen because I liked that it involved social media.
Dan: I’m shocked to hear this. Her vet literally says “It seems like we have a lethargic pussy.”
Matt: Number 2 for me was Jane Fonda because I liked that it involved Don Johnson and I thought that the best acting in the movie happened when Jane Fonda was receiving his loving monologue to her. Jane Fonda is a legend and was committed the whole time.
Dan: She did a real good job of what I call “having emotions but trying to play if off like you don’t have emotions.” BTW Leslie Mann is the new queen of this. Move over Jane.
Matt: Number 3 for me was Diane because the brand was very strong and I appreciate a strong brand. She was so Diane Keaton and probably would be higher up if it weren’t for her dumbass daughters who are so, so, so dumb.
Dan: Don’t hate the daughters, hate the game.
Matt: Number 4 for me was Mary Steenburgen because I felt that the movie was emotionally abusive towards her but this is a hard one because she made me cry. I was disappointed in the plotline because the actress deserved better. But these are close rankings.
Dan: Wow a photo finish. Ok next hierarchy: amount of skin shown.
Matt: Jane’s first scene was like…………her rocking a skirt that had a zipper in the front that was pulled up to suggest her vagina. She had the least Lethargic Pussy, was the message there.
Dan: 1) As crazy as it sounds, up until the end when everyone is getting her dressed, Jane ‘ Vivian was surprisingly subdued, other than maximum cleavage. But she is #1
2) Is a surprise showing from Sharon / Candace. Lots of spanx shots plus back seat banging. I applaud her.
Matt: 3) has to be Mary but only because she performs and often performance outfits show skin.
Dan: Yes. 3) Has to be Carol / Mary if only for her sexy waitress number and her sexy dance number.
4) Is Diane who does get points for both most and gentlest smooches on screen. Matt how gentle were those smooches???
Matt: So gentle. Diane obviously took the advice of her daughters and does everything gently. She could break at any time!
Dan: Ok last hierarchy: lessons learned / character evolution? Then I want to talk about the MEN before we close things out.
Matt: 1) Diane, right? She was in a prison before this.
Dan: Yes Diane is the Hero who has the biggest Journey. She learns / is told that “you are allowed to be happy.”
2) Is Vivian, who learns that she actually needs a man.
Which is the exact opposite of how she started the movie.
Matt: Can’t say she didn’t change! I would say
3) Sharon because she starts not on Bumble and she ends on Bumble and also she has sex and she has made it clear earlier in the feeling that she lost literally all sexual feeling and motivation so to go from 0 to 60 in this way is monumental. It’s a RocknRollerCoaster featuring Aerosmith narrative.
Dan: So 4) is Carol, who learns that…she should really BACK OFF. She is like The Guardians of the Galaxy taking over the Tower of Terror when really please just chill out and let us enjoy a classic.
Matt: Thank you for that, Dan.
Dan: Let’s talk MEN. I think the main message about these men, FOR the men watching is…BE PERSISTENT. What a good message. Literally bother women until they need you.
Matt: Yeah, be overwhelming and, in the case of Andy Garcia, accept accidental sexual harassment and respond by stalking women.
Dan: Love To Rank Men.
Matt: Here’s the hierarchy I propose: Would A Person Act This Way? Rank in terms of believability as human beings.
Dan: Wow. I am going to do my process “out loud.” At first, I would say Richard Dreyfuss seeeeems reasonable. Except he is like super forward and charming for such a lame-o.
Don Johnson is actually pretty realistically what a shitty 68 year old dude who is used to getting what he wants would be. Even though I hate him, I can see a dude like that, and have.
Matt: Yeah, he felt real.
Dan: Andy Garcia was certainly charming, but really the most Fantasy Man out of all of them. He definitely felt Natural, but Real?
Matt: Manic Pixie Rich Older Man. He had an easy way about him that was very Andy Garcia. Also, apparently being a pilot is LUCRATIVE, honey.
Dan: Teach me to embrace life, daddy. Coach also like could be real. In his defense. Coach? Defense? get it?
Matt: Oh! Funny!!!!! But he fucking sucked.
Dan: Ok, here is my list:
1) Don Johnson
Take it or leave it.
Matt: I switch 2 and 4 but that’s only because I hate that men might treat Mary Steenburgen that way.
Dan: Like, Don Johnson NEVER felt natural on screen. And the chemistry with Vivian never felt natural. But like, I almost believed that a guy like that exists, who is never natural in person and just feels annoying and forced.
Matt: Wow, I disagree, I loved* him! * = was tolerant of, was the only one I’d fuck tbh.
Dan: Fuck / Marry / Kill?
Matt: Oooohhhhhh. Fuck Don. Marry Jerry. Kill Craig T.
Dan: Fuck Don. Marry Andy. Kill Coach.
Matt: Kill Coach. Gotta kill Coach. Because you literally can’t fuck him. As the movie establishes.
Dan: Easiest FMK since Yakko Wakko and Dot.
Matt: That’s actually hard for me, but okay.
Dan: Well Matt we did it. We finished Book Club! Is there anything you think we missed? Plot points, jokes, themes you want to discuss before we move to closing questions?
Matt: I don’t think so…..Oh! My breakfast was pretzel nuggets with melted cheese!
Dan: Yeah you came in with a hot bowl of what I call Working Man’s Cereal.
Matt: Non, je regrette rien.
Dan: Also it unfortunately doesn’t have to be said because duh, but it does have to be said, this movie was Very White. And Very Straight.
Matt: Yeah, like……..exceedingly white!
Dan: This movie had Strong Family Values.
Matt: Honestly brave for it to be so white! Nary a POC love interest, even. Because can we count Andy Garcia? I guess we can…
Dan: Good point. Actually…yes. Andy had traces of an accent from time to time but he is luckily very rich so that is allowed. Andy is one of the Good Ones.
Matt: Sharon’s assistant could have been gay and could have been me. Isn’t it sad that I am watching this movie and feel shafted that i didn’t get a shot at the Assistant with 5 lines?
Dan: He really was useless. I agree fully that every side character in this movie should have POPPED.
Matt: The police officer who pulls Coach over when his boner causes him to drive wildly had a great one-liner and that was a good Carol moment as well. She popped. She booked it. That’s a character you see and you turn to your friend and say, “Booked it.”
Dan: That is another example of how White this movie is by the way. Sorry to Get Real. I hate when cops are nice and or fun in movies. It is propaganda and I will not participate.
Matt: She was overly mean at first. So she had an arc. Joseph Campbell would have cum.
Dan: This movie bravely has a cop send the rich white couple home to fuck.
I want to mention one last thing, and that is the fact that Jerry (Andy) Garcia is a pilot who invented a new way to make jet engines and is a lifelong bachelor and falls in love with Diane after she grinds her ass on his face one time on a plane. I think Diane is great but it is weird that he moves so fast on her.
Imagine if we met on a plane and then I drove 3 hours to see you after I tricked you into giving me all of your personal info.
Matt: Yeah that would be so weird lol………………..that would be like….crazy lol. I’m single, FYI.
Dan: Famously. You need to get on Bumble.
Matt: Oh no.
Dan: For context, I was on bumble and I went on 2 dates.
Matt: I don’t think Bumble is FOR ME if you know what I mean.
Dan: That’s heterophobic.
Matt: And that exists!
Dan: Both dates were…ok! That’s MY bumble ad.
Matt: Did you get laid on them? I am gay this is how I measure success.
Dan: Nope. And same success metrics, ergo Bumble is a bad app.
Matt: I find that Tinder got me laid less than OKCupid.
Dan: Let’s do a hierarchy:
This is in accordance to how much we got bullied on them, right?
Dan: Bully me, daddy.
Matt: You’d be shocked how much that gets said. On…GRINDR. Am I allowed to bring that up?
Dan: I have to check with our sponsors. We have Strong Family Values here at Dan Glaser’s Movie Podcast.
Matt: Swipe left.
Dan: Ok, I just have a few more questions and then we can go get wine drunk. First, what were your 3 favorite things about Book Club?
Matt: 1) The fact that everyone looked really comfortable the whole time.
2) The fact that Alicia Silverstone is at least working.
and 3) …….Los Angeles, baby. 🙂
Dan: For me:
1) I love seeing Diane Keaton in a big floppy hat. The big hat on the big screen baby!
2) I always wondered how running a hotel works and now I know thanks to Vivian floating around her hotel drinking wine and showing titty.
3) I think Coach talking about fucking his motorcycle is my favorite brand of contemporary humor!
Matt: A Mark Twain Prize For Humor contender, here. Watch when jane Fonda legit gets a Golden Globe nomination for this, btw.
Dan: Ok next question, if you could change one thing about this movie, what would it be?
Matt: I would have made Sharon’s ex-husband’s younger new girlfriend role a bigger comic part and cast Anna Faris to make up for the bullshit that was Overboard.
Dan: For me, I would have loved a scene where The Gals all go out to a bar together. You’re telling me you wouldn’t watch Jane Fonda prowl the scene for some young cock? Diane could spill a vodka martini on a hot British guy and like napkin his bulge. Sharon would accidentally take a selfie up her skirt on the dance floor and post it on facebook. Matt this is just a FIRST DRAFT! This scene writes itself.
Matt: I really needed some Young Guns up in here. that’s my note: the movie needed to be YOUNGER!!!!!!
Dan: Ok, final question! If you were given the chance to rename this movie, what would you call it?
Matt: Sexless And The Other City
Matt: I mean, come on.
Dan: I would go with: Thirst Wives Club.
Matt: Woooooowwwwww. Two comedians.
Dan: Honestly. The two BEST and FASTEST answers. Usually this part takes 10 minutes.
Matt: Y’all have no idea how fast. Bring back @Midnight.
Dan: Points. Well MAtt this was truly a wild morning. I’m very thankful you could make it out to join me today and experience what I would call the earliest movie of the year. Any last words for our fans?
Matt: Yeah, you guys, don’t eat melted cheese before 11 AM, don’t go see Overboard and DO listen to my podcast Las Culturistas. 😉
Dan: Same. And I just want to say I can’t wait to go home, lube up her piston hole, slap a saddle on her ass and plug my motorcycle until I bust.
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Matt Rogers is a comedian, writer, actor and host based in NYC. He is the co-host of both the LAS CULTURISTAS podcast and the variety show GAYME SHOW and was selected as one of Just For Laughs’ New Faces of Comedy last year.