This 2018 film features a stellar cast as four women go on a journey to rediscover their inner goddesses – with the help of the book Fifty Shades of Grey.

It is a fact that sometimes it feels as though Hollywood doesn’t make the most of talented and experienced actresses and offering films that allow them to break down stereotypes or the age barrier – step forward the 2018 film Book Club.

Using a book club session to set the scene, Diane (Diane Keaton), Carol (Mary Steenburgen), Vivian (Jane Fonda) and Sharon (Candice Bergen) have selected Fifty Shades of Grey as their book of the month. As they read it, they each go on their own journey of discovery in terms of how to view personal relationships.

Warm, funny and with hints of naughtiness, the film highlights some of the issues that affect women in their later years with regards to romance and happiness. The stories that I found myself most invested in are that of Diane whose daughters are trying to make her downsize because of her ‘age’ but instead she finds romance unexpectedly with pilot Mitchell reminding her how its possible to be happy and Carol’s who is trying to reignite the romance in her relationship with her husband.

Directed by Bill Holderman, it is a film that has plenty of sincerity – particularly when all four friends sit and discuss the direction that their romantic lives have taken. Some might feel that it is overly sentimental, but actually it comes across as reflective and sincere, highlighting the strength of the friendship between them all.

Throughout Erin Simms and Bill Holderman’s script, it is possible to see the characters developing and expanding their outlook on life – in particular Jane Fonda’s character Vivian who has a very casual approach to sex, yet as the plot unfolds she is also completely vulnerable and we get a sense of her loneliness. Yes, there are at times a few too many innuendos that are in danger of overwhelming the film in places – but it can’t be denied that its intentions are good.

It is a gentle and entertaining film that is perfect viewing if you are in need of some female laughs or reminding that it is never too late to re-evaluate and changing the path your life is on.

By Emma Clarendon

Book Club is available to watch on Netflix now.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐