“My Old Lady” is now playing at Sundance Cinemas. R, 1:47, three stars out of four.
What is going on with Paris in the movies? Once the go-to destination for lovers looking to rekindle that spark, the City of Lights has gotten a little dark lately. “Le Week-End” advertised itself as a fizzy romantic comedy about a sixty-something couple on a romantic getaway, but the movie itself was a turbulent cavalcade of arguments and regrets in which the couple barely got away unscathed. “Frances Ha” sent its protagonist to Paris for a wild weekend, only for her to have a miserable time, culminating in going alone to see “Puss in Boots” at a Paris movie theater.
It’s surprising that “The Big Chill” writer-director Lawrence Kasdan never pulled a Linklater and revisited the film’s seven Baby Boomer characters 10 or 20, or now even 30 years later. It may be that the movie business has changed — movies like “The Big Chill” just didn’t get sequels back then. Or maybe Kasdan was hellbent on moving forward, even if that forward momentum led him into, uh, “Dreamcatcher.”
Or maybe it’s because “The Big Chill” is a film that needs to be stuck in its time — both in 1983, the year that the ex-hippies got rich, and in the single weekend that brought the seven college friends together for the funeral of the eighth, to take stock of their lives, play old records, get drunk, and maybe reconnect on a deeper level. As Harold (Kevin Kline, sporting a distracting Southern accent) puts it, “I feel like I was at my best when I was with you people.”