The Corner

Culture

Four No Trump

I went to see Book Club, a multi-pronged romantic comedy that provides a vehicle for four veteran actresses (Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen), and it’s not bad if you accept it for what it is. The set-up is that four women who formed a book club in the 1970s have been meeting faithfully ever since, though the club serves mostly as a device to bring the four together to drink and discuss their love lives (or lack thereof); it’s not really about books. It’s the kind of film that starts off Jane Austen style, with a narrator explaining the histories of all the major characters, so try to arrive on time or you’ll spend the whole movie playing catch-up.

Anyway, after seeing the film, I looked at the New York Times review and found myself largely concurring with its largely favorable assessment. But I was struck by this sentence: “It does seem a bit odd, for instance, that a comedy about four 70-ish American women in 2018 would have nothing to say about either of the candidates in the most recent presidential election.” The Times critic is genuinely surprised that four women in a movie would rather talk about sex than Donald Trump. And that’s why Trump will be reelected if he chooses to run again: Too many progressives don’t understand that most people go to the movies because they want to escape from politics.

Fred Schwarz — Fred Schwarz is a deputy managing editor of National Review.

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