Synopsis by Karl Williams
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).
friendship, reunion, house-party, ideals, yuppies, mid-life-crisis, biological-clock, death, generation-gap, regret, funeral, suicide
High Artistic Quality, High Historical Importance