The Big Chill

September 28th, 1983


The Big Chill

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Still of Kevin Kline, Glenn Close, William Hurt and JoBeth Williams in The Big ChillStill of Jeff Goldblum, Kevin Kline and Meg Tilly in The Big ChillStill of Jeff Goldblum, Kevin Kline, Tom Berenger, Glenn Close, William Hurt, Meg Tilly, JoBeth Williams and Mary Kay Place in The Big Chill

A group of seven former college friends gather for a weekend reunion at a posh South Carolina winter house after the funeral of one of their friends.

Release Year: 1983

Rating: 7.1/10 (15,923 voted)

Critic's Score: 61/100

Director: Lawrence Kasdan

Stars: Tom Berenger, Glenn Close, Jeff Goldblum

A seminal Thirty-Something movie in which a group of old college friends who are now all grown up and hardened by the big wide world come together for the funeral of Alex, a barely glimpsed corpse, who was at one time the brightest and the best of them, and yet who never managed to achieve half as much as any of the others. The friends use the occasion to reacquaint themselves with each other and to speculate as to what happened to their idealism which had been abundant when they were younger.

Writers: Lawrence Kasdan, Barbara Benedek

Tom Berenger - Sam Weber
Glenn Close - Sarah Cooper
Jeff Goldblum - Michael Gold
William Hurt - Nick Carlton
Kevin Kline - Harold Cooper
Mary Kay Place - Meg Jones
Meg Tilly - Chloe
JoBeth Williams - Karen Bowens
Don Galloway - Richard Bowens
James Gillis - Minister
Ken Place - Peter the Cop
Jon Kasdan - Harold and Sarah's Son
Ira Stiltner - Running Dog Driver
Jake Kasdan - Autograph Seeker (as Jacob Kasdan)
Muriel Moore - Alex's Mother

Taglines: Spend some time with a few good friends.

Release Date: 28 September 1983

Filming Locations: Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Opening Weekend: $3,662,152 (USA) (2 October 1983) (722 Screens)

Gross: $56,200,000 (USA)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

The soundtrack of the movie consisted of many 1960s-era rock songs. Because of the success of the soundtrack, dozens of TV commercials used music from the same period.

Revealing mistakes: In the opening sequence, when the guests arrive at the funeral, an elderly couple obviously receives the sign to start walking (which seems to be their only role) just a second or so to late, so you see them standing still for a split second before taking off.

Chloe: Alex and I made love the night before he died. It was fantastic.
Nick: He went out with a bang, not a whimper.

User Review

Reality staring you in the face

Rating: 7/10

There was something about this movie which I couldn't place my finger on. Although I barely made the 60's, of which all the characters are reminiscing of and therefore perhaps I maybe missed some subtle messages or didn't get some in-jokes about the 60's, this movie still applies to everyone. I guarantee every generation will have a time where they come back after 10 or 15 years and see friends that had been so important but are now barely on the radar. They will have a weekend of drinking and tears and fights and laughter. You will look at someone and remember a deep, hidden passion for them that you felt so long ago and never shared with anyone.

That is of course, the plot of the movie.

7 friends (who go wayyy back) one husband (who disappears pretty quickly) and a widowed girlfriend (who is barely known by anyone) come together after they learn that Alex, a friend formally part of the clique, had committed suicide (this part was infamously played by Kevin Costner). They have a weekend of sex, drugs, and good ol' fashioned rock and roll, the whole time bringing up past ghosts that had seemed long forgotten and faded. This is touchy subject, even in today's standards. Yet the movie handles it beautifully. My favourite section in the whole movie was when `You can't always get what you want' was played at his funeral. Not for the song, although it is a classic but for how the characters react. Each sit there in the church, some smiling quietly to themselves, while others have a sadden expression, remembering great times that were and never will be again. Every person has a song like that, one that makes you remember your friends, one that makes you sad or laugh and or grin to yourself as you remember the things you did. That to me clinches the movie. It shows how true the script is, and how humanly the characters react. There is a lot of angry hype about the movie, how there is too much talking and not enough sex or car chases or whatever people think is missing. Yet for me, it is reality. When something like this happens in real life, people do not over dramatise. Life is not a soap opera, although movie-goers seemed to want this movie to be. In a real-life situation, people would do exactly what the characters did, examine themselves and try to find a reason for the problems that have happened. Yet the hard truth is, especially about suicide, sometimes, there is no one you can blame. I think people didn't like this movie too much because it rang too true. It was too realistic. People go the movies to be entertained, to fall in love with the fairy-tales lives that movies have. This movie is honest. It seems, for now, people just want to be naïve and live in a fantasy world. If you want a true movie, see this one now.


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