The Jane Fonda-starring Book Club seems to have keyed in on an interesting dynamic: while the quality of the story in the actual Fifty Shades of Grey novels may be debatable, the cultural sensation the S&M themed series created is undeniably fascinating even to people who aren't tickled by reworked Twilight fan fiction involving whips and red rooms. We've never seen something quite like it, and Book Club, which also stars Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen, dives fully into the phenomenon.
The premise is simple: Four mature, accomplished women in California meet for a weekly book club in which they usually stick to highbrow fare and pinot grigio until Fonda's character, the Blanche Devereaux of the group, decides to spice things up by introducing the girls to Christian Grey with a stack of Fifty Shades of Grey books. Despite some early protests on intellectual grounds, the women all quickly find themselves absorbed in the steamy tome.
Of course, fandom for E.L. James' book serves as a springboard for the women reinvigorating their own sex and love lives later in life in a series of episodes involving online dating, swan-shaped pool floats and, naturally, some Viagra mishaps.
Andy Garcia, Craig T. Nelson, Richard Dreyfus, and Don Johnson also appear as the various men in their lives. Johnson, by the by, happens to be the father of Dakota Johnson the star of the actual Fifty Shades movies. Alicia Silverstone also pops up as Keaton's daughter (Wallace Shawn is also in the cast, so, that means there's something of a Clueless reunion to be had as well).
The movie is scheduled for release on May 18th, incidentally the same day that the Deadpool sequel hits theaters, so there's some smart counter programing at work here as well.