GUEST CRITIC #28: Book Club

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In a special edition of "Guest Critic," meet my own mother, Kathy Shanahan, and my recent Mother's Day +1 to see an advanced screening of Book Club. I had my take on the film (full review) and she, a member of the target demographic, certainly had hers.


Like me, Kathy is a gravel-road farm kid from Peotone, Illinois, a daughter of a dairy, corn, and soybeans farm family.  She now works as a customer service representative at the Bourbonnais office for Compeer Financial, a company specializing in agricultural financing and investments.  A few decades ago before I was born, she was a teacher, which probably counts as a genetic push to how I became one too.  Meddlesome as she may be like any other mom, she's a beloved mother to me and grandmother to my two children.

With the arrival of the 2018 summer movie season, my mother could not care less about whatever superhero or science fiction blockbuster was coming on the season's slate.  Her circled, highlighted, and most anticipated film was Book Club.  "Gosh, I can't wait to see that, Donald" was the line I got each time movies came up in conversation since the trailer came out.  She knew the date, cast, and everything.  "When you see it, tell me how it is" would be the finishing request after me rolling my eyes and dreaming about Avengers: Infinity War or what not.    

Well, when the advance press screenings for Book Club hit my calendar, I kindly inquired to the inviting PR rep if I could bring a +1 guest.  Normally, I'm held to flying solo for these screenings in downtown Chicago. I said my guest would be a "member of the target demographic" and my own mother.  My request was graciously granted, and my mom was surprised and stoked at the possibility.  We made it a date to downtown Chicago, a place my mother will not go willingly without a reason.  As fate would have it, one of the advance screenings landed on Mother's Day, Sunday May 13th, complete with a little swag bag for attendees and a photo booth on-site.  Talk about perfect.  A little bit of Garrett's Popcorn before and decadent Molly's Cupcake treat after made it all worthwhile with a nice movie in-between.


"Book Club is a must-see for all those women 55+.  It allows you to go back to the “good old days” when life was different from the pressures now.  I enjoyed seeing it with my son on Mother’s Day.  When he was in high school, we went to the movies together almost every week.  That was what he enjoyed and I enjoyed it also along with the time we got to spend together as mother/son.”
"Book Club gave me a chance to laugh at life’s adventures we face in those senior years.  It was light-hearted scenarios that everyone could laugh at and relate to in some way.   The four main characters were all so different and yet they had one thing in common – they all missed “something in their life to make them happy again”.  Eventually at the end, they all found that something.  Of course, some of it was a little unbelievable for us common people but you could laugh and relate to it.  I definitely want to see it again.  I am sure there were things I missed that I’ll see this time but most of all I can laugh and feel young again!"




Gentlemen, take your moms to a movie sometime!  I had a blast playing Chicago tour guide and the cool connected critic who could get his mom into a movie that hadn't come out yet.  Earn some points, but more importantly, let a movie be the springboard to some shared quality time.  Happy belated Mother's Day, everyone!

Friends and followers, if you see a movie that I don't see and want to be featured on my website (and get a fun fake biography written about you), hit up my website's Facebook page and you can be my next GUEST CRITIC!