Am I watching a group of friends learning about each other … and themselves?
If you’re like me, you’re a millennial who is consistently champing at the bit for some relatable content. It’s what we live for! That, of course, includes the movies we watch. I love seeing a Spider-Man swing to and fro as much as the next gal, but do I relate to it? No — I haven’t been to a gym in 5 months and I make fun of people who do parkour. So I’m just thinking like — when will a movie take ME and MY SPECIFIC EXPERIENCES into consideration? I’m a young, hip professional figuring it all out! I’ve been out of college for 8 years and sometimes I still just feel like that scared little kid from suburban Massachusetts, you know?
I foam at the mouth for the next attempt at remaking The Big Chill in a long line of attempts at remaking The Big Chill. I’ve made a convenient check list for you, so you’ll know when in fact you are watching one of these movies.
- Are they going away for the weekend?
Sometimes it’s a cabin in the woods. Sometimes it’s to an Airbnb in Joshua Tree. It could also be an old relatives farm house in upstate New York. But no matter where it is, baby, if they’re leaving the hectic fever of the inner city for a couple days away-from-it-all, if they hop into the old Volvo with a duffel or two in the back… strap in.
- Can you tell these people have been friends for like … ever?
Keep an ear out for references to college days. That time Eric went to the dining hall totally smashed. That time Mia and Jeff were definitely in love but would never admit it (until this weekend? Honh honh). Did one of the friends naively bring along their new significant other who ends up feeling totally out of place? Yeah — it’s because these people are EACH OTHER’S FAMILY. In fact, I can almost guarantee someone will refer to the group as his/her *voice cracking* “fucking family” with tears in his/her eyes.
- Is there a montage where everyone’s drinking and spinning around to an early-aughts indie rock hit?
I know it’s passé but I love to feel 19 again and I really think Deathcab For Cutie understands me.
- Is one person going through a particularly rough time but then you find out everyone’s kind of got something going on?
Sure, Alex tried to kill himself. Joshy’s fiance actually did kill herself weeks before the wedding. Peter and Ruby hate each other and should probably get divorced. However, I think you’ll find everyone in this friend group is going through something significant right now. And I bet it’s all gonna come out in a very entertaining and potentially heart-wrenching fashion.
- Do they … smoke weed?
Oh my god. You guys, we’re so bad. I’m too old for this!! I have to Skype in to work!!
- Is there a little too much tension at this dinner table?
There’s truly no time like sitting around the Airbnb dining table after polishing off a meal that just one of the characters slaved over for hours to air some grievances with another character’s life choices. Get into it.
- Is Jason Ritter in it?
He’s usually there. If Melanie Lynskey is also in this movie, you’ve hit the jackpot.
- Would the filmmaker cite the Duplass Brothers as “buddies of mine, but also a huge inspiration”?
They saw The Puffy Chair when they were juniors at NYU and were blown away by the naturalistic dialogue. “This is just like what happened to me and Tierney,” the director has probably said wistfully.
- Does someone, at some point, say the words “so what happens now”?
Maybe while sitting at the edge of a pool, or overlooking the mountains? If it’s also the last line of the movie, then you absolutely just watched the latest attempt at The Big Chill. How was it? I hope it was good. I hope you understand your life a little more now and go hug all your friends, I mean … family.