Nominated for 3 Oscars the 1983 film The Big Chill is a coming of age classic. The film  not only boasts a top-notch cast featuring Glenn Close, Kevin Kline, Jeff Goldblum and more, but it also includes a storyline that will keep you both laughing and crying.

It doesn't hurt that the film's soundtrack highlights hits from Michigan's Motown era and spawned not one but two album releases which peaked at #17 on the album charts. Seriously, how great is this movie?!

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Although the film takes place in South Carolina it is Michigan, more specifically director Lawrence Kasdan's time spent in Ann Arbor studying at U of M, that's at the heart of this nostalgic cinema classic.

About the Director

I'm 34 years old and am only now realizing what a role director/writer Lawrence Kasdan has played in all my favorite movie franchises; having worked on everything from Star Wars' The Empire Strikes Back to Raiders of the Lost Ark to The Bodyguardyou've probably seen a Lawrence Kasdan project and didn't even realize it!

Originally born in Florida and raised in West Virginia, Kasdan graduated the University of Michigan in 1971 and worked in advertising in Detroit before breaking into Hollywood. The Big Chill was one of Kasdan's first major successes and was,

...inspired by [his] optimistic political activism while attending university in the 1960s and then [his] disillusionment at society in the 1970s...any of the characters were based on his housemates, and the ways in which they cook communal meals and share their house echo the culture of Ann Arbor cooperatives

What's It About?

The film follows a group of friends and U of M alums who are forced to reunite under unfortunate circumstances. The group holes up at a plantation home in South Carolina and during their stay they're forced to resolve old conflicts, relive their college days, and accept who they've become as adults.

Like I said it's a film that will have you both laughing and crying throughout the entire 105 minute runtime. You'll also catch several Michigan-based references during the movie including a scene that takes place on the day of the big Michigan v. Michigan State game.

If you haven't seen the film it's one of my favorites, so I won't spoil it for you! But there's a reason we're still talking about it all these years later. You can find it for free on Pluto TV or rent it on Amazon Prime or YouTube.

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