"The Big Chill"
The Big Chill is a 1983 film about a group of baby boomer college friends who reunite after many years and explore the aftermath of the 1960s.
It stars Tom Berenger, Glenn Close, Jeff Goldblum, William Hurt, Kevin Kline, Mary Kay Place, Meg Tilly, and JoBeth Williams. Kevin Costner was cast as the dead character Alex, but all of the scenes showing his face were cut. It was written by Barbara Benedek and Lawrence Kasdan, and was directed by Kasdan. The Big Chill was filmed entirely on location in Beaufort, South Carolina, and was shot at the same antebellum home used as a location for The Great Santini, starring Robert Duvall and Blythe Danner.
The television show thirtysomething was influenced by The Big Chill. However, this was not before the movie was directly adapted to television in CBS' short-lived 1985 dramedy Hometown, whose ensemble cast featured Jane Kaczmarek, Franc Luz and Daniel Stern.
Embraced by the Baby Boomer generation and spawning countless imitators, the sophomore film of writer-director Lawrence Kasdan was a successful comedy-drama with a best selling soundtrack of Motown hits. Kevin Kline and Glenn Close star as Harold and Sarah Cooper, a couple whose marital troubles are put on hold while they host an unhappy reunion of former college pals gathered for the funeral of one of their own, a suicide victim named Alex. As the weekend unfolds, the friends catch up with each other, play the music of their youth, reminisce, smoke marijuana, and pair off with each other in unexpected combinations. Included are Michael (Jeff Goldblum), a smarmy journalist; Sam (Tom Berenger), a TV star; Karen (JoBeth Williams), unhappily married and pining for Sam; Nick (William Hurt), a drug-addicted Vietnam vet; and Meg (Mary Kay Place), a single career woman who wants a child. Joining the group is Alex's bizarre girlfriend Chloe (Meg Tilly), who finds new love with Nick. As they learn to deal with the truth about the loss of idealism in their lives and Alex's sad demise, the friends find their bond still intact, while the marriage of Harold and Sarah is healed in an unusual way that's in sync with the era of their youth. Cut from the release of The Big Chill (1983) was the brief appearance of young actor Kevin Costner as Alex. Kasdan promised Costner a role in his next picture, which turned out to be a star-making part in Silverado (1985). ~ Karl Williams, All Movie Guide