I've long blamed the Baby Boomer generation for most of society's ills. And last night's film didn't endear me to them any more! It was 1983's "The Big Chill", starring a number of "soon to be famous" faces, like Glenn Close, Kevin Kline, Tom Berenger and Jeff Goldblum. (Kevin Costner apparently played the corpse, but you don't see his face. He should have fired his agent!)
Basically, a bunch of rich thirtysomethings who were buddies at college in the '60s get together for a friend's funeral--the friend had committed suicide--and they start to reminisce and whine and moan and OH GOD WHY ISN'T THERE A SERIAL KILLER STALKING THIS HOUSE? IT'S FAR ENOUGH IN THE COUNTRY THEY COULDN'T GET ANY HELP PLEASE PLEASE KILL THESE ANNOYING PEOPLE. By and large, they've each become financially successful, if somewhat "unfulfilled" because their jobs aren't the idealistic ones they'd hoped for back in their hippie days. One is an actor on a cheesy Magnum--P.I. type show; one is a writer for trash mags; one is a corporate lawyer; you get the idea. It would have been a great time for a Matt Foley motivational speech, where he could point out to them that there are people who can't make their ends meet and perhaps even LIVE IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER so maybe these rich jerkwads can SHUT THEIR PIE HOLES and be glad that they're able to feed themselves. It might have also been a good time to point out that maybe their hippie commune ideals from twenty years ago were idiotic, and perhaps exactly what one would expect from college kids who have more emotions than brains.
Yes, we got out of a lousy war in Vietnam, but things are more complicated than the hippies would believe--right after we left the North invaded full scale, and millions of South Vietnamese were either butchered or forced to flee in leaky boats. Any moron who actually tried living on a commune quickly saw that subsistence farming is no idyllic paradise, which is why we don't all live on communes today. The Chicago Seven were just a bunch of rich spoiled violent idiots who needed a good clonk on the head more than anything. And all that hippie crap only created a reaction among the rest of the country that resulted in five and a half years of Nixon.
Perhaps a realization that there's more to life than patchouli and not shaving--now, that might have been a thoughful movie! Instead, we're presented with a sort of longing look as though it was a bad thing that the hippies grew up and sold out. And then of course it got stupid.
One of the women--the unmarried, corporate lawyer who now only works for companies that "rape the land" as if the land could consent to sexual relations, but let's not nitpick--wanted to have a baby so she threw herself at no fewer than three of the guys at the reunion. I note that this isn't a "can you donate sperm for artificial insemination" type thing--rather it's a "let's shake some bedrpings" sort of thing. Wonderful mother she'd make! Maybe she should have stood on a highway with a sign offering rentals of her ladyparts.
Anyway, here's where it gets even more stupid--one of the guys' wives asks her husband to indulge this friend by sleeping with her so she can have a baby! And at no point does anyone think "hey, we can do this artificially" or "hey maybe you should find someone who is willing to actually be a father to the kid, since single parenting isn't exactly the easiest thing in the world and it might be selfish to do this as a vanity project". The guy actually sleeps with her, and afterward his moron wife is grinning at him stupidly. (Granted, the wife was Glenn Close, and I think most men would prefer to shave with a cheese grater than be with Glenn Close) It just added an extra layer of dumb onto what was already heaping.
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