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Starring: Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen, Craig T. Nelson, Andy Garcia, Don Johnson, Giancarlo Giannini
OUR RATING: ★★★☆☆
Comedy sequel written and directed by Bill Holderman. Book Club: The Next Chapter (2023) continues to follows the four best friends, Diane (Diane Keaton), Vivian (Jane Fonda), Sharon (Candice Bergen), and Carol (Mary Steenburgen), as they take their book club to Italy for the fun girls trip they never had. When things go off the rails and secrets are revealed, their relaxing vacation turns into a once-in-a-lifetime cross-country adventure.
Diane: How does a woman in her seventies end up getting married? It all started when the world shut down.
Carol: Shall we talk about Normal People?
Sharon: Something we have very little experience with.
Sharon: Ah. Untamed. The harrowing true story of Viv’s nether region if the waxing salon doesn’t reopen soon.
Sharon: I’ve already been asked to perform three weddings. Once you take senior status, that’s all you’re good for.
Carol: That’s so sweet.
Sharon: It’s degrading. I didn’t go to law school so I could tell the children of my colleagues they could kiss.
Diane: [referring to the coffee tin] This is Harry.
Diane: Well, yeah. The ashes. The ashes of Harry. See?
Carol: Was his dying wish to be a latte?
Sharon: I liked this, but if I wanted to read a story of a woman trapped at home, slowly going crazy, I would’ve read my own diaries.
Sharon: Oh, please. I’m retired, so no need for formalities. “Your Honor” is fine.
Diane: Viv, just one question. What’s going on with the gloves? Are you planning a jewelry heist?
Carol: Or maybe becoming an amateur mime?
Sharon: Or even a professional mime, if you put your mind to it.
Sharon: [as Vivian takes off her glove to reveal her engagement ring] Oh, my God. You’re engaged?
Vivian: Can you believe it?
Sharon: No, I can’t.
'”Wine and Why Not?” That's going to be the title of my autobiography.' - Sharon (Book Club: The Next Chapter) Click To Tweet
Carol: [referring to Vivian’s wedding] So, do you have a date yet?
Vivian: Oh, I think I’ll go with Arthur.
Vivian: As my date.
Diane: Do we have to laugh at her bad joke, since she’s the bride?
Sharon: No, well, I think we do. I think that’s the rule.
Vivian: Sharon is correct.
Sharon: People with mechanical knees should not throw stones.
Sharon: [reading from Carol’s notebook] “Surprise Gianni. Taste his magical meatballs again. Do not live in fear.”
Carol: Oh, God. Okay, that’s not…
Diane: “Taste his magical meatballs?”
Sharon: “Do not live in fear?” How big are they?
Carol: The travel ban is lifted, and I think we should all go to Italy.
Diane: Italy? Woh. I mean, I barely made it here.
Carol: We’ll make it Viv’s bachelorette. Oh, I literally just got chill bumps. It’s perfect.
Sharon: You want us to run around Italy like a bunch of teenagers?
Carol: The book says ignoring the signs is what ruins a life. We can’t reject our destiny.
'In the cucina, everything is now. Present time. Not worrying about, yesterday, tomorrow. It's about living well for today.' - Chef Gianni (Book Club: The Next Chapter) Click To Tweet
Carol: [referring to going to Italy] You know that we might never have a chance to do something like this again.
Diane: Such is fate.
Sharon: [as she answers a call] Hello. You’ve reached the home of the retired and gifted.
Sharon: [to Vivian] You’re going to get married in a church?
Vivian: Hope they don’t run a background check.
Sharon: I’m shocked you didn’t burst into flames as you crossed the threshold.
Diane: [referring to Sharon’s cat] I don’t understand. Dead like dead-dead?
Carol: Yes. What other kind of dead is there?
Diane: Don’t cats have nine lives?
'At the table one does not grow old.' - Chef Gianni and Carol (Book Club: The Next Chapter) Click To Tweet
Vivian: [referring to Arthur] He thinks it would be wrong for us not to go. I mean, is that sweet or what?
Carol: You should marry that guy.
Vivian: And I will. But first, Italy.
Mitchell: [to Diane] You’re the first person in the world to “ugh” Tuscany.
Diane: A bachelorette trip? What are we doing?
Mitchell: Well, Vivian’s getting married.
Diane: Which is, you know, a little bit nuts.
Mitchell: I think it’s very romantic.
Diane: But it’s also nuts.
Sharon: I love anything that’s falling apart more than I am.
Vivian: Well, wait a minute. We’re tourists.
Carol: Yes, but we’re different. We’re not so obvious.
Diane: Yeah. No, no, no. Judge’s fanny pack screams, “I’m a local.”
Sharon: It’s called a waist wallet.
Vivian: Oh, well, that changes everything.
'Stop trying to control the uncontrollables. Life is unpredictable, and it's the surprises that make it worth living.' - Vivian (Book Club: The Next Chapter) Click To Tweet
Diane: [translating what the young men said to them] The older the vines, the sweeter the fruit.
Vivian: Oh! We’ve still got it!
Diane: Yeah, we got it. The question is, what are we going to do with it?
Carol: Well, this is a bachelorette party. So you know what that means?
Sharon: It means that we go see naked men!
Vivian: [as they’re looking at naked statues] What’s the protocol here? Where do I stuff the dollar bills?
Sharon: I think some of these guys are the same dancers from my bachelorette party.
Carol: [referring to the naked statue] She’s almost two thousand years-old.
Vivian: She’s definitely had work done.
Sharon: [referring to the naked statue] In his defense, it is a little chilly in here.
Vivian: Give him some credit. I mean, he’s a thousand years-old, and still hard as a rock.
'It's so easy to believe in things when we're young, isn't it? And we can do whatever we want, and everything is possible. And then we get older, and life starts to silence us.' - Diane (Book Club: The Next Chapter) Click To Tweet
Sharon: The last thing you want when you look back at your photos fifty years from now is to wonder, “What the hell was I thinking?”
Sharon: Just because I know how to not make myself a potato doesn’t mean I’m Steve Jobs.
Carol: Everything is sexier in Italy.
Carol: Rome is a great walking city, but it’s an even better sit-down-and-drink-wine city.
Vivian: Sir, where can we find our checked bags?
Conductor: What do you mean, “checked bags”?
Carol: Oh, the ones that we gave to the porters in Rome.
Conductor: I’m sorry, but we don’t have any porters.
Sharon: When did you get rid of the porters?
Vivian: No wonder the porters were so surprised when I gave them a tip.
Sharon: Well, it’s probably not every day that someone gives them cash to steal their luggage.
Carol: You brought Harry’s ashes to a bachelorette party?
Sharon: Are you nuts?
Diane: You’re the one that said I shouldn’t leave him in the closet.
Vivian: So you brought him to Italy?
Carol: In a checked bag?
Vivian: Like a serial killer.
Sharon: Is that even legal?
Diane: You’re asking me?
Carol: [referring to The Alchemist] Well, he said he had a choice to make. He could either see himself as a victim of a thief.
Sharon: Or see himself as an adventurer in search of a treasure.
Vivian: Yeah, but we are victims of a thief.
Carol: But we are also adventurers.
Vivian: Well, if you must know, he’s why I got my knee replaced.
Sharon: Oh, boy.
Diane: Such commitment. Such sacrifice.
Carol: She’s a modern-day Mother Teresa.
Sharon: That’s the part of Mother Teresa’s story they don’t tell you about. She wasn’t just on her knees praying.
Ousmane: [as he shows her his fanny pack] Well, since we’re playing “you show me yours, I’ll show you mine”.
Sharon: Be still my heart.
Ousmane: Honestly, this is how I want to live my life.
Sharon: On a bachelorette trip?
Ousmane: Of course. And guided by the daily practice of “why not”?
Sharon: For a second, I thought you said, “Guided by the daily practice of wine,” and I thought, “Okay.”
Ousmane: Well, it’s not a bad combination.
Sharon: “Wine and Why Not?” That’s going to be the title of my autobiography.
Carol: And there’s no problem if four random women show up?
Ousmane: This is Italy. There’s always room for random beautiful women.
Diane: I’m too old to be somebody’s girlfriend.
Vivian: Are you kidding? Oh, being a girlfriend is the greatest thing in the world.
Vivian: Being a girlfriend is sexy. It’s exciting. You know, it means you love somebody, and you’re committed to them, but you still have your own life. You haven’t given yourself up to society’s conventions. It’s all about choice. You choose to be there, but you can leave any time you damn well please.
Ousmane: And you’re the bride-to-be?
Carol: This is crazy. What are you doing here?
Chef Gianni: Me? Well, I live here. This is my cooking school.
Diane: Wait. Wait. You mean, Gianni?
Sharon: Gianni Gianni?
Vivian: It’s the Gianni.
Diane: Not fat or bald.
Vivian: I’ve heard about your meatballs.
Chef Gianni: And here to start, an amuse-bouche.
Vivian: I think somebody’s bouche is already quite amused.
Chef Gianni: My head is spinning. There’s so many things I want to put in your mouth.
Carol: I can’t wait.
Chef Gianni: And I mustn’t overheat your cacciucco. Excuse me.
Vivian: May be a little late for that.
Sharon: Even my cacciucco is overheated.
Ousmane: So is mine.
Server: Scusi, signora. Chef Gianni says, if you would like, you should see his cucina.
Diane: I’m sorry, see his cucina?
Carol: It means kitchen.
Vivian: I bet it’s big, isn’t it?
Vivian: [to the server] You tell Chef Gianni she’d be excited to come. Preferably more than once.
Diane: Oh, good God.
Carol: I do want to see his cucina.
Vivian: Well, just go. But don’t do anything I would do.
Diane: Who loses a person’s ashes? I don’t know, I guess some skeletons are best left in the closet, right?
Diane: [referring to Italy] I can’t believe what I almost missed. But the only question is, how will we mess this all up?
Vivian: I don’t know. But if we mess it up the way we’ve messed up the trip so far, I can’t wait to find out.
Carol: You live in a place where there are no roads, but you have a van in your kitchen?
Chef Gianni: Si. Makes no sense. That’s what makes it so special. I thought it would make me want to go somewhere. But, no, only made me happy to stay.
Chef Gianni: [as they’re kneading their dough] Let me know when you get tired.
Carol: Oh, I can do this all night.
Chef Gianni: Oh. Mamma mia.
Carol: We made pasta. In a van.
Sharon: Well, I made pasta in a boat.
Vivian: Do we just get back on the train?
Diane: Oh, forget the train. We got robbed on the train.
Vivian: Technically, we got robbed in the train station.
Sharon: Technically, we gave our things away in the train station.
Carol: Gianni wrote how nice it was for me to rub his dough.
Sharon: Oh, my God.
Carol: And that it was a very happy ending to his night.
Diane: It was all innocent, right?
Carol: Well, yes. I mean, we flirted, but I didn’t…
Vivian: Rub his dough?
Sharon: Well, how about his meatballs?
Vivian: You want the truth?
Sharon: “You can’t handle the truth!” Sorry, you set me up.
Vivian: [to Carol] The truth is, at some point, Bruce actually might not be here. And I don’t think that anyone in this car wants to see you look back and realize all the time you squandered because you were afraid. So knock it off.
Sharon: You know, I’ve never actually hitchhiked before.
Carol: Yeah, well, in my limited experience, it helps if someone actually drives by.
Carol: [as they’re stranded in the middle of nowhere] Is it too soon to talk about who we’re going to eat first?
Vivian: [looks at Sharon] I think we all know.
Sharon: [to Vivian, referring to Arthur] He didn’t want the wedding to be a burden on you, so when he heard about the trip, he hatched a plan.
Carol: Which was actually very thoughtful and sweet. And we’re screwing the whole thing up by dying by the side of the road.
Vivian: [after she mistakes the cop for a stripper] It was an innocent mistake. You know, and in my defense, you guys have been full of surprises. And come on. You saw the guy.
Sharon: It’s been a while, but he did have some exotic-dancer-like qualities.
Vivian: I do think he missed his calling.
Vivian: [as they’re locked up in jail] This needed to happen. It did. It did. This is the universe hitting the eject button on me and Arthur once and for all.
Sharon: Best friends. Tough love. Stop giving the universe and fate credit for everything. You’re making a choice.
Sharon: We’re on this trip, not because of fate, but because we’re best friends for fifty years. We show up for each other. Fate didn’t bring us on this trip. Our love for each other did.
Carol: Love and the wonderful people at Lufthansa.
Diane: It was a nice flight.
Sharon: Do my tough love.
Carol: Honestly, I think you are doing just fine.
Diane: Yeah. I mean, I’ve got nothing.
Vivian: You made love in a water taxi in Venice. You’ve had an amazing life. Just don’t get another cat.
Diane: We’ll always have Venice. Is that the line?
Carol: Paris. “We’ll always have Paris.” It’s from Casablanca.
Sharon: But Venice works too.
Sharon: No one ever thinks they can do anything. I’m so sick of it. Everyone always just throws up their hand and says, “Well, it’s not meant to be.” It’s pathetic.
Sharon: Life is what you make of it. So do something. Do something brave. Do something unexpected. But do something, because you have four women in a jail cell who are desperately hoping for a reason to believe there’s still a reason to believe. So do something, goddammit, because this isn’t the end of the freaking story.
Pasquale: [to Vivian] My name is Pasquale, and I’m ready to marry you.
Diane: Get in line, Pasquale. She’s taken.
Pasquale: I don’t believe in luck. I believe in love.
Mitchell: I love a wedding.
Diane: Such a romantic. I better change though.
Mitchell: Better not. I love you just the way you are.
Diane: Oh, come on. Don’t burn up all your romanticism. I mean, we still got a long day ahead of us.
Vivian: You’re the loves of my life. You know that.
Diane: No. Oh, we love you too.
Vivian: I think I’m going to be sick.
Diane: Well, you know what that means, don’t you?
Vivian: No. What?
Diane: You’re pregnant. I mean, at least that’s what it meant at my wedding.
Vivian: This is crazy. I don’t know why I agreed to do this. I mean, it makes no sense.
Diane: Of course not. But don’t you understand? That’s what makes it so amazing. Loving someone and having them love you is reason enough. Look at you. Look where we are. Look at what we’ve been through. We made it. And you, Viv. You have never been one to follow the flock, because you are your own drummer boy, okay? So just trust your heart, Viv. Trust it. Trust it. Because it always guides you right. Always.
Sharon: What good is a judicial title if you can’t degrade yourself in front of your friends?
Bruce: Well, I wasn’t going to miss the chance to walk my favorite girl down the aisle. Come on. Unless, of course, you prefer Dough Boy. I’ve got his number. Do you want me to call him?
Carol: Shut up and kiss me.
Vivian: [to Arthur] The truth is I never wanted to be a wife. You know, I always saw a wedding ring as a chain. You know, a one-link chain of limitation. But there is no limit to the love that I have for you.
Vivian: We’ve spent a lifetime apart. Now we have to figure out a way how to squeeze a lifetime into the time we have left. And we can do it. We can. I choose you, Arthur Riley. I choose you today and every day.
Arthur: You’re like this ring that I’m holding. A complete and perfect circle unto your own. And if you’re not always free to roll on your own the way you want, then you’re not you. And it’s you that I love. You’re my perfect circle. So, if you’ll allow me a do-over, I’d like to ask my question again. Vivian, I love you with all my heart. That has never changed, and it never will. But I just got to know, will you not marry me?
Vivian: There’s nothing I’d love more.
Sharon: [to Vivian and Arthur] May you always love each other as you do today. I now pronounce you not husband and wife.
Diane: It’s so easy to believe in things when we’re young, isn’t it? And we can do whatever we want, and everything is possible. And then we get older, and life starts to silence us. But guess what.
Diane: The whisper is still there. And if you pay close enough attention, you’re going to hear it.
Diane: I think love is reason enough, and the rest of our lives start today, so what are we waiting for?
Mitchell: I’m not waiting.
Diane: Oh, you’re not? Okay. Okay.
Mitchell: I’m here.
Sharon: [after Diane’s speech] Oh, boy. I’m not sure how you follow that.
Mitchell: You don’t follow that. You just ride alongside of it. And you thank your lucky stars every day that you do.
Diane: How does a woman in her seventies end up getting married? In Italy, no less. She takes control of her own destiny.
Diane: What are we doing next?
Vivian: I don’t know. But I know one thing for sure, we’re not going to leave it up to fate.
Diane: I love you guys!