CHANTILLY BRIDGE – Review by Lois Alter Mark

0 Flares 0 Flares ×

When Linda Yellin’s Chantilly Lace was released as a TV movie in 1993, it invoked strong feelings from viewers – many of whom related to the deep connection between the seven BFFs. Others dismissed the improv-inspired film as little more than women talking.

The fans apparently won out because the friends are back in Chantilly Bridge, 25 years older, if not necessarily wiser. Although the sequel stands alone and features enough flashbacks to give you the backstory, you’ll enjoy it more if you watch Chantilly Lace first and get invested in the characters. The sequel is much more interesting if you knew the women when they were younger and can really understand how life has impacted them over the past couple of decades.

So, who are these women, anyway? Well, first, let’s talk about the actresses. The original movie stars JoBeth Williams, Linda Eikenberry, Ally Sheedy, Martha Plimpton, Helen Slater, Talia Shire and Lindsay Crouse – an impressive cast. It follows the characters over the course of a year as they get together at the vacation home of one of the friends. They laugh, they cry, they scream. They share their fears and desires. They celebrate. They grieve.

Most of the ensemble returns in Chantilly Bridge but I don’t want to give anything away. The new story still has the women talking – but, now that they’re mostly in their sixties, they’re talking more about their health, their kids, their expectations and disappointments. If you have a group of friends like this – “we were closer than family,” one explains – you will easily relate and count your blessings. If you don’t, you may feel a bit envious.

Directed by Emmy award winner, Linda Yellin, Chantilly Bridge is a little cheesy, rarely rising above the depth of a Hallmark movie. You get the gist from the opening Thornton Wilder quote, “There’s a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning.”

The movie may not cover any new ground or provide any real insight but it is a genuine love letter to female friendship. And, at a time when society tries to pit women against each other, that’s something worth celebrating.

0 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 0 Flares ×

Lois Alter Mark

Lois Alter Mark is an award-winning writer who reviews films on Midlife at the Oasis. A former contributing writer for Entertainment Weekly for more than a decade, she also reviewed films for for many years. She is a member of San Diego Film Critics Society and tweets from @loisaltermark. She writes about travel for USA Today and Forbes.