Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini

Cemetery Club

Cemetery Club
Ellen Burstyn, Olympia Dukakis, Diane Ladd, Danny Aiello and Lainie Kazan

Rated: PG-13  For language and sexual content.
Reviewed by: Chris  
Release date: February 3, 1993 Released by: Touchstone Pictures

Based on Ivan Menchell's play of the same name, Cemetery Club is about three widows in their 60's who visit the graves of their husbands weekly and try to comfort one another.

They're upper middle class Jewish women whose husbands meant the world to them, and they're trying to cope with the loneliness since their deaths.

Ellen Burstyn plays Esther, a shy, gentle soul, Olympia Dukakis is Doris, an opinionated, bossy sort (much like her Steel Magnolias character) and Diane Ladd is Lucille, who's tired of belonging to the "Club" where half of the members are dead, and wants to get on with her life.

There's a mix of laughter and tears as each woman struggles to come to terms with her loss.

After a couple of false starts and a funny sequence at a singles weekend, Esther's the first to test the dating waters. She meets Ben (Danny Aiello) a streetwise, but endearingly ill-at-ease retired police officer and slowly starts to fall for him.

Lainie Kazan plays a funny, much-married friend, who's loud, flashy and knows exactly what she wants her man to be - old and very rich.

There are a few cliches about women that show up here; one of the women stashes food in her purse, they love to gossip, bicker constantly and meddle in each other's lives, but they're still likable, believable characters.

A film about women, much less about women over 60, is a rare thing; that it includes such wonderful, talented actresses (Ellen Burstyn is especially energetic and lovely) who are vibrant, attractive and funny, is a true find.

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