All-Star Geriatric Comedy Sequel

Four gal pals vacation throughout Italy in the mostly charming Book Club: The Next Chapter, reuniting stars Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen from the 2018 romp that won over their fans. A light comedy filmed on location in Italy, director Bill Holderman gives audiences what they want from the returning cast in this workable sequel. Sun, fun and a little romance as the ladies get into all sorts of trouble in a cross-country adventure across Rome and Venice.

Four gal pals vacation throughout Italy in the mostly charming Book Club: The Next Chapter

The fluffy story sees Vivian (Jane Fonda) becoming engaged to Arthur (Don Johnson), setting off a trip for the four female stars to Italy as they make one last girls trip before she settles down. Culminating in an over-the-top and picturesque wedding with a few surprises along the way. There isn’t much to the main narrative, the basic plot is mostly an excuse to showcase the cast’s relaxed chemistry as they get into and then out of trouble. The male supporting cast such as Craig T. Nelson and Andy Garcia are mostly there as props to fill out Book Club: The Next Chapter’s credits.

There’s an undeniable alchemy between the ladies, four geriatric actresses in the twilight of their screen careers hamming it up together for the camera. The snappy, breathless camaraderie isn’t particularly memorable but Italy provides a gorgeous backdrop.

While I’m not sure Book Club: The Next Chapter is witty enough to win over audiences outside of the foursome’s existing fan base, it’s pleasant enough entertainment crafted by consummate professionals. You could do much worse if you’re looking for a breezy romantic comedy aimed at the AARP crowd.

Book Club: The Next Chapter Blu-ray screen shot


Serving as a travelogue of sorts for several stunning Italian locations, the film’s startling picture quality looks beautiful on Blu-ray. Shot on the latest and greatest digital cameras, the scenic locales are shown in eye-popping clarity with razor-sharp definition and amazing depth. The pristine 1.85:1 presentation arrives on a BD-50 courtesy of Universal, immaculately encoding the 1080p resolution. It’s a technically perfect transfer from an impeccably clean digital workflow, packed with gorgeous location shots.

Derived from a high-quality 4K digital intermediate, it’s a pity Book Club: The Next Chapter didn’t receive a 4K UHD release on disc. Universal likely skipped it on physical given the movie’s older female demographics but this Blu-ray as-is still sings with videophile splendor most of the time. I barely feel the need to visit Rome after practically receiving a guided tour of the Eternal City via this disc.

The only complaint one may lodge against the reference video quality is a tick less texture and fine detail available in tighter close-ups than completely raw and unfiltered 4K captures. Thanks to the film’s female stars, minor low-pass filtering is ubiquitous for their faces in today’s Hollywood. Otherwise colors are vivid with warm tones, backed by deep black levels and a slightly over-baked contrast.


5.1 DTS-HD MA audio provides nice enough atmosphere and light touches of immersion for what is primarily a dialogue-driven affair. The soundtrack livens up in Italy, often employing Italian covers of familiar pop and rock songs. Crystal-clear dialogue and fine dynamics give the modestly discrete surround mix more engagement than one might expect.

Book Club: The Next Chapter isn’t an audio powerhouse but the mature studio product offers excellent sonic fidelity and crisp musical passages. Some thump in the bottom end and clean highs reflect smooth production values.

Optional English SDH, Spanish (Latin American) and French subtitles play in a white font. French (Canadian) and Spanish dubs are offered in 5.1 DTS. There’s also a 2.0 DVS track.


Universal tosses in a few featurettes for this Blu-ray plus DVD combo pack. Included is a Movies Anywhere digital copy which redeems in HDX quality. A slipcover is available in early pressings.

Book Club: Back in Session Featurette (06:04 in HD) – A chatty sit down with cast and crew, including the four leading ladies. They discuss what made the first film a success, why they’re excited to be back, and the journey these characters take in the sequel.

Still Stylish Featurette (05:21 in HD) – Costume designer Stefano De Nardis describes her approach dressing these four older icons of cinema. Learn how each character’s style was created and how it melds with the actress portraying them.

The Women In Italy Featurette (05:29 in HD) – Filmmakers and cast discuss shooting in some of the most iconic locations in Italy, how the idea of shooting there came about and what it was like making a movie in Rome and Venice.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided by the label for review. This has not materially affected DoBlu’s editorial process. For information on how we handle all review material, please visit DoBlu’s about us page.

Book Club: The Next Chapter
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The four returning female stars travel Italy in this light and often fun sequel

User Review
2.5 (2 votes)

The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 40 full resolution, uncompressed HD screen shots ripped directly from the Blu-ray:

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