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Book Club: The Next Chapter – A Disappointing and Cringeworthy Comedy Sequel


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In the much-anticipated sequel to the 2018 romantic comedy “Book Club,” the four leading ladies – Viv (Jane Fonda), Diane (Diane Keaton), Sharon (Candice Bergen), and Carol (Mary Steenburgen) – embark on a journey that can only be described as an excruciating and cliched travelogue. The film follows these lifelong friends as they indulge in a hen party trip to Italy, where their love for books takes a backseat to the comedic misadventures that unfold.

The story picks up five years after the events of the first film, with the ladies reuniting after a pandemic-induced hiatus. They discover that Viv, the self-proclaimed singleton of the group, has finally agreed to tie the knot. What better way to celebrate than with a trip to Italy? However, what could have been a promising premise quickly turns into a cringeworthy experience for the audience.

The film relies heavily on a generic, synthetic Italian-flavored easy-listening score that does little to enhance the viewing experience. As the friends explore the cultural wonders of Rome, Venice, and Tuscany, their escapades are fueled by copious amounts of alcohol. Unfortunately, the lazy writing in this sequel is even more apparent than in its predecessor. The dialogue is filled with innuendos and narcissistic banter that feels forced and uninspired. The attempts at creating long-distance relationship crises fall flat, and the heartfelt speeches are painfully drawn-out, causing second-hand embarrassment.

The trailer for “Book Club: The Next Chapter” sets the tone for the film’s shortcomings. It promises a predictable and formulaic storyline that lacks originality. While the first film had some charm and the novelty of exploring the ladies’ reading habits, this sequel fails to capture the same magic. Instead, it resorts to tired tropes and relies on the familiarity of the characters to carry the plot forward.

“Book Club: The Next Chapter” falls short of its potential as a comedy sequel. The film’s reliance on cliched humor, superficial character development, and uninspired writing leaves the audience cringing rather than laughing. Despite the star-studded cast and the picturesque backdrop of Italy, the film fails to deliver a memorable viewing experience. It serves as a reminder that not all sequels live up to the expectations set by their predecessors.

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