But How Gay is ‘Book Club’?

In “But How Gay Is It?”, we seek to answer the biggest questions you have about a new movie release in theaters now including, most crucially, the titular question. Does the movie have any queer characters? Are there stories involving same-sex lovers? Which gay icons star in the film? We’re bringing you all that and more.

What is Book Club? A Nancy Meyers movie in everything but its actual director including casting choices, home decor, costuming Book Club follows four senior women as they embark on a sexy new chapter of their lives. What inspired such a change? Why, reading Fifty Shades of Grey, of course! Yes, somehow these women have yet to read Fifty Shades, and use their decades-spanning book club as the chance to do so. The club inspires one to start dating again 18 years after divorce, one to try to spice things up with her husband, one to take a chance after an encounter with a pilot, and one to find love after decades of focusing on short-term sex. It’s a silly premise, but largely thanks to the phenomenal cast, hits some lovely and surprisingly deep notes.

Who’s in it? Legends only. Diane Keaton. Candice Bergen. Mary Steenburgen. Jane fucking Fonda. Forget Infinity War this is the most ambitious crossover event in history. There are some fun supporting cast gags, too, including Alicia Silverstone as Keaton’s daughter and Craig T. Nelson as Steenburgen’s husband. But the core four are why we’re here.

Why should I see it? For that core four! Seeing actresses of this caliber and age given the opportunity tolet loose on screen is still sadly rare, and movies like Book Club prove why it’s well worth it. Is it the best movie of 2018? Of course not! But it’s a ton of fun, and well worth the price of admission.

But how gay is it? There are no gay characters, but simply assembling a collection of gay icons like this is absolutely qualifies it as pretty gay. Plus, their stories will sound all too familiar: Diane Keaton meets a rich daddy who wants her to lie to her family and meet him at his fabulous home in the desert? Relatable to literally any twink who’s found his way into an older man’s pool in Palm Springs. Candice Bergen goes out on Bumble dates and hooks up with a man in the back of her car? Iconic! Jane Fonda struggles with finding love and prefers to just have one-night stands? Honestly, these women are doing gay dating culture better than we are.

Did you say Diane Keaton gets with a rich daddy? Oh boy did I! Andy Garcia plays the wealthy pilot lover, and to say I left this movie desperately hoping Andy would invite me to Sedona for the weekend is an understatement. His home is almost as gorgeous as he is.

Should I see this or Deadpool 2 this weekend? Well, there is a queer couple in Deadpool 2, which is lovely and a smart step forward in the battle for greater LGBTQ representation in major blockbusters. But does Deadpool 2 feature Mary Steenburgen spiking her husband’s beer with Viagra? I don’t fucking think so.

So I should see Book Club then? Damn right.

Book Club is in theaters now.


 

Kevin O'KeeffeKevin O'Keeffe

Kevin O'Keeffe is a writer and 'RuPaul's Drag Race' herstorian. He covers film and TV for INTO, and writes the movie review column "But How Gay Is It?" every Friday.

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