Regina King is a terrific actress, and she certainly deserves better than the thankless role she had on this season’s 24 as President Palmer’s sister (pictured). But while I’m glad she’s producing her own film vehicles now, my heart sank when I read in Variety that she plans to produce and star in an all-black update of The Big Chill.
Not because I think the original is a sacred cow; far from it. I think the 1983 film is one of the whiniest, most self-indulgent pieces of generational rationalization ever filmed — a bunch of hippies-turned-yuppie-sellouts patting themselves on the back for still being radicals at heart, or for being at least not as amoral as the generation that followed them. It had some fine performances and a wonderful Motown soundtrack (before such soundtracks became clichés of ready-made nostalgia), but overall, I can’t stand its smug, self-congratulatory tone.
Also, the original movie depends on the characters’ sharedbackground as veterans of the social upheavals of the late 1960s, but aremake starring actors who are King’s age would have to be aboutfriends who graduated from college around 1993. Anyone remember collegecampuses circa 1993 as places roiling with activism and social change?Unless all the characters are gay, that context is probably going to beabsent.
Then again, everyone who disagrees with me and loves the original Chillis still bound to be disappointed by the remake. Nostalgia twiceremoved makes for a pretty weak cup of tea. Tell me, PopWatchers, am Iwrong in thinking The Big Chill is overrated? Is there a way King can make this update work?