Big Chill, The

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -3

The theatrical re-release of THE BIG CHILL probes the growing pains of seven college housemates from the 60's who have drifted apart and then reunite at the funeral of a friend. Harold (Kevin Klein) has grown up to be a running-shoe magnate; Michael (Jeff Goldblum) a gossip magazine journalist, Sam (Tom Berenger), TV's hottest private eye; and Nicholas (William Hurt), a drug dealer. Among the women, Sarah (Glenn Close) is a doctor; Meg (Mary Kay Place), a lawyer, and Kate (JoBeth Williams), a wife and mother. Stunned by the death of their peer, sensing their own mortality and the loss of their innocence, each takes the opportunity to re-evaluate his or her life and re-establish their bonds of friendship. It is one of the few films to effectively show the power of college relationships and the bonds that are forged for life.

Unfortunately, the bonds of friendship extend beyond what is normal. Sarah apparently had been having an affair with the deceased before he died. So to make amends with her husband, Harold, she tells him to have sex with Meg, who wants a baby, but doesn't have a husband. Kate's husband leaves after the funeral and she ends up having a one night stand with Sam. Once a couple is shown in bed together and sex is implied. Another time a couple is shown mostly clothed, but engaged in intercourse. In addition to all of the cheating, Sarah is shown totally nude from the side, in the shower. It is difficult to explain all of the actions of these adults. The only possiblity is that they were so wasted from all the drinking and drugs they were not thinking clearly. All these things combined with over 26 obscenities make The Big Chill, a Big disappointment.

Preview Reviewer: Sherry Oswald
Columbia Pictures and Tristar Pictures, 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA. 90232)

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (15) times --Mild 11, Moderate 4

Obscene Language: Many (26) times --(f-word 8, s-word 13, other 5)

Profanity: Many (18) times --Regular 14 (G-d 1, G 6, God knows 2, J 3, C 2), Exclamatory 4 (Oh God, Oh My God)

Violence: None

Sex: Once (couple shown mostly clothed engaged in intercourse); Implied Once (couple kissing in bed)

Nudity: Once (full female breast nudity and side nudity); Near Nudity: Few times (low cut shirts and nightgowns)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Many times (crude references to impotence, intercourse, genitals, sexually transmitted diseases, unconventional sex, and infidelity, once man jumps in bed with two women)

Drugs: Many times (cocaine, marijuana, pills, smoking and alcohol)

Other: Abortion mentioned, woman tries to have baby without a husband, suicide--man's wrists shown sewn up

Running Time: 120 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.