We’ve had many discussions about older women and Hollywood at IMAGE. How they are unfairly discriminated against, how they are told they are “past it” at 35 and how the industry is deeply uncomfortable talking about the older woman and sex in the same sentence. Madonna speaks about openly about this a great deal; how awkward people feel when she talks of having lovers thirty years her junior (we think it’s brilliant). The Fifty Shades trilogy is another topic that (quite rightfully) incites feelings of awkwardness, but you have to hand it to E.L James. She wrote it for women, and millions of these women (many of them over 40) bought or downloaded the books on their Kindles so that they could read them without judgement on the train. (The fact that they felt they would be judged for publically reading them is another matter).
Maybe the books didn’t change your life, but they may have changed the life of someone else. And that, is precisely the premise of a new film, according to deadline.com. A new film starring a trio of acting female heavyweights Diane Keaton (!), Jane Fonda (!!) and Candice Bergen (!!!) – all in their seventies – is currently in pre-production.
The website reports that Book Club, from producer-turned-director Bill Holderman, will be a comedy set in and around California, featuring four friends in their 60s (note that the film lists them younger than they actually are) who read the book in their book club “and have their lives changed forever”.
Is this not the best news? Plot details are still sketchy at this point, but I’m hoping for a big-screen variation of Grace And Frankie; where the women read the book and make plans for their new-found sexual liberation, in a smart, funny and intelligent manner. We scarcely see anything in that vein depicted for modern cinema audiences – especially for women over 50 – and it’s something we need to be seeing more if we can ever hope to halt stereotypes. But the announcement has irked many online; how could the brilliant and beloved Keaton star in a film that has anything to do with Fifty Shades? But looking at the comments, the fact that it is Fifty Shades has less to do with the fact that the film revolves around three older women deciding to talk openly about sex – a topic that is still tiringly a societal taboo.
Will there be talk of the women unleashing “their inner goddesses”? (Imagine). Will Keaton rock on set wearing her own clothes a la Vanity Fair? (One can only hope). Maybe all three will decide to become aspiring erotic writers?
Either way, it’s Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen and a book club (with we presume plenty of alcohol); you know it’s going to be good.