Big Chill

The Big Chill

4.2 5
Director: Lawrence Kasdan

Cast: Kevin Kline, Glenn Close, Jeff Goldblum

     
 

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Embraced by the Baby Boomer generation and spawning countless imitators, the sophomore film of writer-director Lawrence Kasdan was a successful comedy-drama with a best selling soundtrack of Motown hits. Kevin Kline and Glenn Close star as Harold and Sarah Cooper, a couple whose marital troubles are put on hold while they host an unhappy reunion of former college pals

Overview

Embraced by the Baby Boomer generation and spawning countless imitators, the sophomore film of writer-director Lawrence Kasdan was a successful comedy-drama with a best selling soundtrack of Motown hits. Kevin Kline and Glenn Close star as Harold and Sarah Cooper, a couple whose marital troubles are put on hold while they host an unhappy reunion of former college pals gathered for the funeral of one of their own, a suicide victim named Alex. As the weekend unfolds, the friends catch up with each other, play the music of their youth, reminisce, smoke marijuana, and pair off with each other in unexpected combinations. Included are Michael (Jeff Goldblum), a smarmy journalist; Sam (Tom Berenger), a TV star; Karen (JoBeth Williams), unhappily married and pining for Sam; Nick (William Hurt), a drug-addicted Vietnam vet; and Meg (Mary Kay Place), a single career woman who wants a child. Joining the group is Alex's bizarre girlfriend Chloe (Meg Tilly), who finds new love with Nick. As they learn to deal with the truth about the loss of idealism in their lives and Alex's sad demise, the friends find their bond still intact, while the marriage of Harold and Sarah is healed in an unusual way that's in sync with the era of their youth. Cut from the release of The Big Chill (1983) was the brief appearance of young actor Kevin Costner as Alex. Kasdan promised Costner a role in his next picture, which turned out to be a star-making part in Silverado (1985).

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
A seminal baby boomer angst session, The Big Chill proved enormously popular with audiences who saw their own thirty-something anxieties brought to life with the aid of an impossibly catchy soundtrack. The film eulogized the lost ideals and enthusiasms of the 1960s and pondered what, if anything, had taken their place. The film begins with the funeral of Alex, long considered the best and brightest of the group of friends, whose death and burial symbolize the collective death of a relentlessly mythologized, sentimentalized era. The survivors are left to scratch their heads, smoke some pot, and dance around the kitchen in an effort to figure out what happened, and why. It is a testament to Lawrence Kasdan's strengths as a writer and director that, while the film does dip its toe repeatedly in the collective pool of nostalgia, it tends more towards melancholy reflection than sentimental excess. The friends question what happened to the promise of their youth, but they do so with an eye towards explaining their present state, rather than trying to recreate their past glories. It is little surprise that this sort of reflective meditation hit such a chord with its audience, many of whom were easing into the same sort of complacent, suburban lifestyle that they may have once claimed to abhor. Composed of equal parts mourning and acceptance, The Big Chill became an anthem for a generation trying to accept the fact that their present was not the future they had hoped it would be.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/29/2014
UPC:
0715515118910
Original Release:
1983
Rating:
R
Source:
Criterion
Region Code:
A1
Time:
1:45:00

Special Features

New interview with Kasdan; Reunion of cast and crew from the 2013 Torontro International Film Festival, including Kasdan and actors Tom Berenger, Glenn Close, Kevin Kline, Mary Kay Place, Meg Tilly, and JoBeth Williams; Documentary from 1998 to the making of the film; Deleted scenes; Trailer; Plus: A booklet featuring an essay by writer and filmmaker Lena Dunham and a 1983 piece by critic Harlan Jacobson

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Kevin Kline Harold
Glenn Close Sarah
Jeff Goldblum Michael
William Hurt Nick
JoBeth Williams Karen
Tom Berenger Sam
Mary Kay Place Meg
Meg Tilly Chloe
Don Galloway Richard
James Gillis Minister
Ken Place Peter The Cop
Muriel Moore Alex's Mother
Patricia Gaul Annie
Kevin Costner Alex (uncredited)
Jacob Kasdan Autograph Seeker
Craig Dunaway Tight End
Jon Kasdan Harold and Sarah's Son
Meg Kasdan Airline Hostess

Technical Credits
Lawrence Kasdan Director,Executive Producer,Screenwriter
John Bailey Cinematographer
Lou Barlia Camera Operator
Barbara Benedek Screenwriter
Gene S. Cantamessa Sound Mixer
April Ferry Costumes/Costume Designer
George P. Gaines Set Decoration/Design
Michael Germain Makeup
Michael Grillo Asst. Director
Meg Kasdan Score Composer
Carol Littleton Editor
Marcia Nasatir Executive Producer
Wallis Nicita Casting
Barrie M. Osborne Associate Producer
Ida Random Producer,Production Designer
Mickey Scott Makeup
Michael Shamberg Producer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Big Chill
1. The Call [6:02]
2. Reunited by Loss [2:22]
3. Remembering Alex [4:38]
4. Favorite Song [6:41]
5. The Reception [4:06]
6. Staying the Weekend [4:22]
7. Past and Present [6:32]
8. Richard's Opinions [3:11]
9. Useful Information [2:04]
10. A Few Minidramas [3:48]
11. Hopes and Dreams [5:50]
12. J.T. Lancer [2:48]
13. Dinner and Dancing [4:17]
14. Truthful Talk [6:02]
15. Gifts from Mr. Cooper [4:12]
16. Sam the Sham [2:52]
17. Game Time [3:15]
18. Fantasy and Reality [7:06]
19. The Biggest Mistake [5:13]
20. The Real World [6:49]
21. Acts of Love [5:39]
22. Plans for the Future [3:57]
23. End Credits [3:15]
Disc #2 -- The Big Chill
1. Original Impulses [9:34]
2. Creating an Ensemble [9:25]
3. Miles Away [6:14]
4. Important Elements [6:32]
5. Key Scenes [8:37]
6. Music [3:47]
7. Memorable Moments [7:25]
8. The Flashbacks [4:23]

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The Big Chill 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
about how their lives didnt turn out as expected when they got into the real world. the music is good but when i get rich then i can whine and complain too
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite movies. Anyone who made great lifelong friends in college will appreciate this one.
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