The Mourning of the Hippie and The Birth of the Yuppie, 27 November 2004
Author: bondgirl6781 from Florida, USA
In 1983 the Yuppie era was its rise: people became more and more focused and obsessed with being successful and making money. These are the same people who once protested in the 1960s and were once against conformity and dreamed sweet ideals of they wanted in life. The Big Chill is a film that mourns the hippie era and it is also the beginnings and the rise of the yuppie era. The film tells the story of a group of college friends from the late sixties who are reunited at the funeral of a best friend named Alex (the role of the stiff was Kevin Costner until his scenes were taken out of the film) who committed suicide. The friends had all lost touch on and off in the years with the exception of Alex. They have all found their successes in life: Sarah (played by Glenn Close) is a doctor and she once had an affair with Alex. Harold (Kevin Kline) is a businessman and married to Sarah and very secure with the direction his life took. Michael (Jeff Goldblum) is a journalist and investing on starting a nightclub. Sam (Tom Berenger) is a popular TV star in a Magnum PI-ish television show and has always been attracted to Karen (JoBeth Williams) who had once aspired to become a writer until she married a rich man and settled as a country club housewife. Then there is Nick (William Hurt) a former Vietnam vet who chose to become a drug dealer rather than pursue his doctorate in psychology. Meg (Mary Kay Place) is a successful lawyer who has decided that she wants to have a baby. And finally entering their circle is Alex's spaced out and naive-like girlfriend Chloe (Meg Tilly). All meet in the wake of his dead and they all spend the weekend together evaluating their lives and why their dear friend Alex died. We begin to know each of the characters through subtle scenes and dialogue without flashbacks or even any explanations. We begin to see why Alex died and it was not because he lost touch with his friends and because he was lonely, but because of the direction that his life took. It turns out that Alex was brilliant and was offered a fellowship to study as a physicists in a prestigious institution but chose to become a social worker. Each of his friends begin to questions the choices they had made and begin to wonder if they made the right choice. Excellent writing and terrific performances from the actors. Touching, funny, sad, and poignant film Lawrence Kasdan style.