[[quoteright:220:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/220px-Big_chill_ver1_5330.jpg]]

''The Big Chill'' is a 1983 {{dramedy}} film directed by Creator/LawrenceKasdan and featuring a veritable Who's Who of '80s actors, including Tom Berenger, Glenn Close, Creator/KevinKline, Creator/JeffGoldblum, Creator/WilliamHurt, Meg Tilly, and [=JoBeth=] Williams.

This is considered to be one of the finest films to show former [[TheSixties Sixties]] campus liberals who, in TheEighties, have basically become [[BourgeoisBohemian establishment types]], suffering the angst of entering middle age in the Reagan era while [[LampshadeHanging lampshading]] the fact that "we had one of the cushiest berths ever".

A group of people who knew each other as college students and friends during the 1960s end up getting back together some 20 years later after their friend Alex commits suicide. All of them have gone along their ways and now look back and wonder where their idealism went. Along the way, they renew their friendships, and sometimes even more, as they try to understand why Alex, with all of his potential, worked at menial jobs and then, for apparently no reason, decided to kill himself.
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!!Tropes used:

* BetterThanSex: According to Michael, rationalizations.
-->'''Sam:''' Ah, come on. Nothing's more important than sex.
-->'''Michael:''' Yeah? You ever gone a week without a rationalization?
* ChekhovsGun: Sarah's bathrobe.
* CorruptHick: Played with and subverted; Nick thinks the cop who pulled him over because he looks like a "Yankee drug dealer" is this, but he's willing to let the whole thing go when he recognizes Sam and asks him to recreate a stunt from his TV show (it doesn't go well). And then later, an angry Harold explains to Nick the cop had actually stopped the house from being broken into, and is a nice guy.
** Also, Nick ''is'' a "Yankee drug dealer".
* DeadpanSnarker: Mostly Michael and Nick, though Harold has his moments.
* DeletedScene: The film was originally intended to have several {{flashback}} scenes with Alex. These were omitted from the final cut. Alex was played by Creator/KevinCostner.
* {{Expy}}: The character Sam plays on his TV show seems a lot like [[MagnumPI Thomas Magnum]], complete with CoolCar and BadassMustache.
* FalseReassurance: PlayedForLaughs.
-->'''Sam:''' In Hollywood, I don't know who to trust. I don't know who likes me or why they even do like me.
-->'''Harold:''' Well, you don't have that problem here. (''Sam smiles'') You know I don't like you.
-->'''Michael:''' Me neither.
-->'''Meg:''' Ditto.
-->'''Harold:''' So relax.
-->'''Sam:''' Assholes!
* GoodPeopleHaveGoodSex: Many of the characters end up having sex with each other. Meg has considered getting pregnant, so [[spoiler:Sarah decides to lend Meg her husband, Harold, for this purpose (and also to balance the books for own infidelity years earlier)]].
* LongingLook
* NothingButHits: The soundtrack contains literally nothing but huge hits from the '60s, including numerous Creator/{{Motown}} tunes and other favorites such as Music/ProcolHarum's "A Whiter Shade of Pale" and Music/CreedenceClearwaterRevival's "Bad Moon Rising".
* PosthumousCharacter: Alex
* PrettyInMink: Karen wears a couple of fur coats.
* ShellShockedVeteran: Nick
* ShoutOut: As Harold goes up towards the attic to slay a bat that's flown in, he hums the theme to ''Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk'', which Lawrence Kasdan co-wrote.
* SpiritualSuccessor: While there was a (short-lived) direct TV adaptation called ''Hometown'', it could be argued that ''Series/{{thirtysomething}}'' is a better example.
** The film itself could be seen as one of these to Creator/JohnSayles' 1980 independent film ''Return of the Secaucus 7'', which similarly depicts a group of former Sixties radicals reuniting in the same house over a weekend.
* StartToCorpse
* StartsWithASuicide: Alex's, before the opening credits. His funeral is what draws the whole cast together again after nearly 20 years.
* StealthPun: Harold's shoe shop is named "Running Dog". Doubles as a TakeThat Me, as it's Harold poking fun at his own capitalist aspirations.
* TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth: invoked by Harold in his eulogy for Alex.
* UnresolvedSexualTension: Between Karen and Sam [[spoiler: at least at first.]]
* VitriolicBestBuds: A milder version here, but Sam does harbor resentment towards Michael because of an article Michael wrote that slammed him.
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