The Big Chill is like a sitcom put to film. Seven Baby Boomer friends from college reunite under one roof when another friend commits suicide. The basis of the plot inspired lesser known TV shows like Hometown, A Million Little Things, and the more well known Thirtysomething. Although The Big Chill is another Best Picture nominated human interest story that was no competition for the more acclaimed Terms of Endearment. The best thing about it is actually the killer soundtrack with too many 60’s-70’s era classics to name.
The Big Chill is also notable for its before they were famous all-star cast. Some of whom previously worked with writer/director Lawrence Kasdan. Although Kevin Costner was cast as the deceased friend Alex, it was better that they didn’t show him. Tom Berenger is actor Sam Weber known for his Magnum P.I. style TV show. William Hurt is former Vietnam veteran turned drug taking talk-radio host Nick Carlton. Jeff Goldblum is the sex obsessed journalist Michael Gold. Kevin Kline is the soon to be wealthy owner of the house Harold Cooper.
Glenn Close is his loving doctor wife Sarah Cooper. JoBeth Williams is former writer Karen Bowens who’s stuck in a loveless marriage. Mary Kay Place is lawyer Meg Jones who wants a baby with one of the men. Meg Tilly is younger outsider Chole who was once Alex’s girlfriend. The Big Chill deals with everyone’s conflicting emotions about the suicide. Sam and Sarah are the most broken up, but only Close received a Best Supporting Actress nomination. Friends fight, forgive, and ultimately pair off in a sex filled climax. The Big Chill is warmer than it sounds.