The Big Chill

A couple of months ago I watched The Big Chill again for the first time in ages. It came out in 1983 and I remember liking it then and it held up for me, although I think a young person watching it today would lose their mind over an admittedly ridiculous plot point that I am still willing to give a pass to.

It’s a 30-something ensemble movie about college friends who are reunited when one of their group commits suicide. The wiki article says this film was the inspiration for the TV series 30-something. I did not know that.

The movie has a great cast including Glenn Close, William Hurt, Kevin Kline and Jeff Goldblum, who were all in their 30s when it was made plus Meg Tilly who was 23.

What was interesting for me watching it now vs. watching it 30 years ago, is how after having a bunch of years of life behind me, I now appreciate what it means to have those kinds of friendships. People that you are incredibly close to at one point in your life and years later you get together and they still get you. And also the intensity of your emotions in your twenties and the connections you make. I still remember how dramatic everything was back then. I’m not sad that life is flatter these days.

It was also funny seeing a different time. No seat belts. The smoking. There’s a scene where Mary Kay Place’s character is smoking in her office. I remember my first 2 jobs out of college I sat next to chain smokers. Remember when people smoked in restaurants? Do not miss that.

Bob and I were trying to come up with similar movies since 1983. We came up with ensemble movies with a particular time and place: Slacker, Dazed and Confused, Reality Bites, St. Elmo’s Fire. But none of those are post-college people who have settled into grown-up life and then are brought back together.

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