Reviews of Jeff Goldblum’s performances in films
by Susan Panaway
The Big Chill, despite the title, is not a film about romance at a ski resort like I originally thought. No. That film is called Better Off Dead. And since this column is called Just Jeff and not Just John (Cusack), I’ll focus on The Big Chill instead…
The Big Chill is about a group of friends from college who gather years later to mourn the loss of one of their dear friends. Each member of the group has had a taste of life and feels scorned in some way. They manage to survive with the help of cynicism and Motown hits. Amongst the group, is a journalist named Michael, played by Jeff Goldblum…
Michael is an unlikely role for Goldblum. Michael doesn’t seem to be at all interested in science. He is rather a cynical man who drifted from his college dreams of helping inner city children to writing celebrity gossip columns instead. Blah. There’s no way to say this nicely…Michael is a sleazebag. And it’s what makes the film so interesting. I don’t think I would mind a Michael in my group of friends if he looked like Mr. Goldblum. Although Michael is a dishonest character with plans to exploit his friends, he delivers some great one-liners. Among my favorites is:
Amazing tradition. They throw a great party for you on the one day they know you can’t come.
To be honest, most of the characters are sleazy and cynical. AND I LOVE IT. Seriously, I wanted to watch this film again after the credits rolled. The film was often difficult to handle because it’s almost too real. We realize that friendships change as people grow older and life happens. I’m sure there’s a philosophical breakdown of The Big Chill floating around the internet somewhere. As for now, I’ll continue to think about Jeff Goldblum as a scientist with thick framed glasses.