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Quiz about The Big Chill
Quiz about The Big Chill

Average The Big Chill Quiz | 15 Questions | Movies


Lawrence Kasdan's brilliant screenplay and direction perfectly captured a three-day "reunion" of college friends who graduated in the early 70s. How much fun, great music, and witty, weighty dialog can one film provide?

A multiple-choice quiz by sundancer415. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
sundancer415
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
307,583
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
15
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
12 / 15
Plays
1194
Awards
Top 5% quiz!
Last 3 plays: Guest 208 (14/15), Guest 50 (14/15), Guest 99 (12/15).
Question 1 of 15
1. "The Big Chill" opens with Kevin Kline, as Harold Cooper, bathing his son, his wife in the next room. The phone rings and she answers. Although not privy to the content of the phone call, Harold (and the viewer) senses that it is not good. What bad news does Sarah Cooper receive -- while "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," the first song on an incredible sound track, is playing audibly in the background? Hint


Question 2 of 15
2. Which two characters get stoned between the funeral and the interment? Hint


Question 3 of 15
3. Which one of the group writes for a celebrity magazine? Hint


Question 4 of 15
4. Who is Chloe (played by Meg Tilly)? Hint


Question 5 of 15
5. What song is playing as everyone is unpacking their "stuff" to stay at the Coopers' house for the weekend? Hint


Question 6 of 15
6. What startling revelation does Meg (Mary Kay Place) make to Sarah (Glenn Close) in the kitchen as they're preparing apple pies, while the rest of the gang is watching the Michigan game on television? Hint


Question 7 of 15
7. Why doesn't Nick (William Hurt) "help" Meg in her quest for maternity? Hint


Question 8 of 15
8. What does Harold Cooper (Kevin Kline) do for a living? Hint


Question 9 of 15
9. What is the name of Sam Weber's television series? Hint


Question 10 of 15
10. How does Sam get injured, requiring Sarah's professional assistance? Hint


Question 11 of 15
11. According to Michael, what's "more important than sex"? (He asks Sam, "Have you ever gone a week without ______?") Hint


Question 12 of 15
12. What song -- "one of Alex's favorites" -- does Karen play on the church organ at Alex's funeral, bringing a smile to each of the group members' faces? Hint


Question 13 of 15
13. Which character gets to be "the lucky farmer" to try to help Meg make a baby? Hint


Question 14 of 15
14. In what southern U.S. state was "The Big Chill" set and filmed? Hint


Question 15 of 15
15. Which song plays while the end credits roll? Hint



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Most Recent Scores
Feb 20 2024 : Guest 208: 14/15
Feb 19 2024 : Guest 50: 14/15
Feb 13 2024 : Guest 99: 12/15
Feb 08 2024 : Guest 100: 14/15
Jan 31 2024 : Guest 99: 15/15
Jan 30 2024 : Guest 174: 14/15
Jan 25 2024 : Guest 73: 15/15
Jan 18 2024 : Guest 107: 13/15
Jan 18 2024 : Guest 174: 14/15

Score Distribution

quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. "The Big Chill" opens with Kevin Kline, as Harold Cooper, bathing his son, his wife in the next room. The phone rings and she answers. Although not privy to the content of the phone call, Harold (and the viewer) senses that it is not good. What bad news does Sarah Cooper receive -- while "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," the first song on an incredible sound track, is playing audibly in the background?

Answer: College friend Alex Marshall has committed suicide.

The film revolves around, but certainly isn't limited to, Alex Marshall's suicide. Described by the minister as "a brilliant physics student at the University of Michigan, who paradoxically chose to experience life through a series of seemingly random occupations," Alex apparently never met the expectations others had for him, or possibly the ones he had for himself.

Everyone probably knows this by now, but just in case: Kevin Costner was cast as Alex Marshall, but the only bit of Kevin we see in the film is his forehead; a shock of his thin, light brown hair; his wrists, including stitches; and his clothing as his body is dressed for viewing. The rest of Kevin was left on the cutting room floor, so to speak.

Alex killed himself in the bathroom of Harold and Sarah's summer house. He had been staying with them for an indefinite period of time.
2. Which two characters get stoned between the funeral and the interment?

Answer: Meg (Mary Kay Place) and Nick (William Hurt)

Nick and Meg smoke a joint in Nick's Porsche (a traveling "pharmacy") on their way to the cemetery. Their conversation about Alex triggers some awkward, black-humored dialog. Meg: "I feel awful. The last time I spoke with Alex we had a fight." Nick: "That's probably why he killed himself." (pa-dum-pum) "What did you fight about?" Meg: "I told him he was wasting his life..."

At the reception, Sam and Meg are chatting outside. Meg says, "That's why I don't smoke it anymore. Dope makes me stupid." Nick approaches and says, "You talking about me?"

William Hurt plays a perfect Nick, a character who almost got his Ph.D. and previously worked as a psychologist on radio station KSFO in San Francisco. Mary Kay Place is great as Meg, who started out as a dewy-eyed criminal defense attorney but was lured away by the big bucks of real estate law ("'El Greed-o' strikes again!"). Both characters are single and apparently have never married.
3. Which one of the group writes for a celebrity magazine?

Answer: Michael (Jeff Goldblum)

Jeff Goldblum is a riot as Michael, the pushy, opinionated, somewhat pompous pseudo-journalist who's unabashedly proud of his "news stories" and semi-oblivious to his own dorkiness. Michael is on his way to Dallas to interview a blind baton twirler when he gets the news about Alex. When Karen's husband, Richard (with tongue firmly in cheek) asks Michael, "Where do you get the ideas for these stories?" Michael responds earnestly, "It's just good investigative journalism!"

Michael has some of the best lines in the script and delivers them with deadpan perfection. Having overdone it the previous night, Michael sleeps past noon the next day. Stumbling into the kitchen, he finds Sarah staring at the shelves of the open refrigerator, trying to make her grocery list now that the Coopers have six guests to feed. Michael peeks around the corner into the 'fridge and says dryly, "You see? That's the trouble with these things. You have to watch them every minute." When he expresses his disappointment at sleeping through Richard's departure (leaving Karen dangerously footloose), Sarah clucks, "Michael, if you're going to sleep this late you can expect to miss a few mini-dramas." Michael drawls, "I just hope you'll wake me for anything really ugly."
4. Who is Chloe (played by Meg Tilly)?

Answer: Alex's much younger girlfriend

Meg Tilly's Chloe is a bit more complex than one might realize. She first comes off as the stereotypical blonde, despite being a brunette: not very intelligent and clueless. She often makes inappropriate remarks. E.g., she bluntly tells Karen, "I found him." [referring to finding Alex dead in the bathroom after slitting his wrists]. Karen: "That must have been awful! So ... what are you going to do now?" Chloe: "Oh, we cleaned it up!" Later, in the Jeep, heading to the cabin with Harold, Sam, and Michael, Chloe suddenly interrupts their conversation to blurt out, "Alex and I made love the night before he died. It was fantastic!" This prompts the wry Nick to pun, "He went out with a bang, not a whimper," as The Rascals sing "Good Loving'" in the background.

For most of the movie Chloe's strength appears to be her physical sexuality; she has a lithe, limber, lovely body and a very cute face. Eventually, though, particularly during Nick's on-the-scene documentary filming, Chloe makes some poignant observations. "I don't enjoy talking about my past as much as you guys," and "I haven't met that many happy people. How do they act?" She is drawn to Nick, at one point saying, "You remind me of Alex." Nick snaps back, "I ain't him." Nevertheless, he and Chloe do hook up. With Harold and Sarah's blessing, Nick steps into Alex's shoes and he and Chloe will stay in the summer house and continue rehabbing the cabin Nick has come to love.

Meg Tilly is the younger sister of actress Jennifer Tilly. The Oscar-nominated Meg won a Golden Globe for her portrayal of Sister Agnes in "Agnes of God."

Interesting factoid: Actress Phoebe Cates read for the part of Chloe, and at that audition she met Kevin Kline. A few years later they married.
5. What song is playing as everyone is unpacking their "stuff" to stay at the Coopers' house for the weekend?

Answer: "Tell Him" by The Exciters

"I know ... something about love. You've got to want it bad. If that guy's got into your blood, go out and get him!" Remember? This upbeat song by "one-hit wonder" The Exciters reached number four on Billboard's U.S. Pop chart in 1963.

Kasdan's direction is particularly stellar in this scene; we learn a lot about the individual characters early in the film simply by watching as they unpack. Meg, the lawyer (after contemplating the cross hanging on the wall): cigarettes, lighter, and calculator from her briefcase (no luggage; she wears Sarah's clothes all weekend); Sam, the actor: a television script, portable tape recorder, book, and hair dryer; Richard, Karen's boring, bewildered, insomniac husband: a bottle of Mylanta and a picture of his two sons; Michael: portable tape recorder and extra batteries, hair dryer, striped bikini briefs, and condoms. Nick, the "salesman," (unpacking ... the trunk of his car): dirty shirt, dirty shirt, dirty shirt, and drugs. And finally Karen: a "US" magazine with Sam's picture on the cover and her diaphragm, creating a bit of foreshadowing in addition to characterization.

The other songs listed above are in the film and on the sound track; they just weren't part of this scene.
6. What startling revelation does Meg (Mary Kay Place) make to Sarah (Glenn Close) in the kitchen as they're preparing apple pies, while the rest of the gang is watching the Michigan game on television?

Answer: She wants to have a baby even though she's not married, and she wants the father to be one of these college buddies.

Meg has decided that despite having had an abortion in college, "the only thing I've ever known in my entire life is that I want to have a child." The only problem is, she's not married and her dating prospects aren't very good. She figures "these are the best guys I know" so one of them will surely help her out or, as she says, "plant the seed." "Yeah," replies Sarah, "but who's gonna be the lucky farmer?"

Tulsa, OK's Mary Kay Place is remarkably versatile: a country/western singer, actress, comedy writer, author, and director. She first appeared on television in a small role in an episode of "All in the Family", but a featured role (Loretta Haggers) in "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman" launched her career. Her films include "The Rainmaker," "Being John Malkovich," and "Sweet Home Alabama."
7. Why doesn't Nick (William Hurt) "help" Meg in her quest for maternity?

Answer: He was wounded in Viet Nam, rendering him impotent.

Somehow Meg "didn't get the memo" about Nick's war injury. (Meg to Sarah in the pie-baking scene: "And Nick -- as I am apparently the last to learn -- is no longer a candidate.")

As an audience, we don't get the gory details of Nick's injury. Rather, when Meg heads up the stairs to the attic to find Nick and sweetly seduce him for her purposes -- sitting on his lap in her (Sarah's) jammies -- Nick says, "Meg. Darling, Meg. ... Did I ever tell you what happened to me in Viet Nam?" The "bats-in-the-attic" scene follows shortly thereafter.

William Hurt has had a remarkable career from stage to big screen to small screen: "Altered States"; "Kiss of the Spider Woman," for which he won both the Oscar and BAFTA (British Academy for Film and Television Arts) awards for his role as imprisoned, flamboyantly gay window dresser Luis Molina; the steamy "Body Heat," opposite Kathleen Turner, also directed by Kasdan; "Broadcast News"; "Children of a Lesser God" for which he was Oscar-nominated as Best Actor (but lost to Paul Newman for "The Color of Money"); "The Accidental Tourist"; "Jane Eyre"; "Michael"; and one of my favorite Indie films, "Smoke," with Harvey Keitel.

In 2009, Hurt joined the cast of "Damages," a U.S. cable-t.v. drama series starring "Big Chill" co-star Glenn Close (for you fans of "Six Degrees of Separation" quizzes).
8. What does Harold Cooper (Kevin Kline) do for a living?

Answer: He owns several athletic/running shoe stores.

Kevin Kline's character has a secret he's just bursting to tell, but to do so would violate regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC]. The secret? His company is about to "go public." "Be careful, some big monster's going to buy you out," Sam warns while he and Harold change bed linens. Harold: "We've had offers." (But he doesn't tell Sam.) Later, when he and Nick are out for a run in the early morning South Carolina mist, Harold offers this heavy-handed hint to Nick in direct violation of SEC regs: "In a few weeks, a very large corporation is going to buy my very small company. Anyone owning our stock will triple their money." Harold shares this information with Nick, hoping that the latter "will use it to get into another line of work." In that same conversation, Harold admits to having given the same information to Alex before he committed suicide. "Yeah," Nick deadpans. "And look what happened to him."

Harold also generously gives each of his guests a pair of "Running Dog" (his company) shoes.
9. What is the name of Sam Weber's television series?

Answer: J.T. Lancer

Handsome Tom Berenger plays Sam Weber, a chick-magnet detective in Louisiana, a role that brings to mind Tom Selleck's "Magnum, P.I." and reflects excellent casting by Kasdan's team.

Sam is a divorced Hollywood father who suffers guilt over his absence in his daughter's life but can't seem to change his behavior. He is both flattered and flummoxed by Karen's obvious attention to him the weekend of Alex's funeral. She seems to have come with a goal in mind: bedding the star, but to do so requires no fewer than four different approaches. After initially rejecting her for her own good, Sam eventually succumbs when Karen tells him her marriage isn't working and she's leaving Richard. Her conquest over, the next morning Karen seems to this author to have absolutely no interest in pursuing a relationship with Sam -- despite what she told him the previous evening about her plan to leave Richard. "If Richard and I bring the boys to Los Angeles, maybe you could get us in to one of the studios. Richard would like that." Karen's rejection makes us almost feel sorry for Sam who, earlier in the film revels in the fact that he can trust these long-time friends, as he ironically complained, "In L.A. I don't know who to trust." Nice reverse-stereotyping by the scriptwriters. For once it isn't the egomaniacal star rejecting the groupie, but vice-versa.

Chicago-born Tom Berenger (nee Moore) graduated from the prestigious journalism school at the U. of Missouri. His acting career began with the soap opera "One Life to Live." He quickly landed film roles, notably a murderer in "Looking for Mr. Goodbar" with a very young Diane Keaton; "Someone to Watch Over Me"; "Major League"; Butch Cassidy in "Butch and Sundance, the Early Years"; and "Betrayed" and "Platoon," for which he was nominated for an Oscar and won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor.
10. How does Sam get injured, requiring Sarah's professional assistance?

Answer: He misses the mark as he attempts to jump into Nick's Porsche convertible.

Plot thread: Nick misses the first half of the Michigan game because he's checking out the cabin Alex and Chloe had been renovating. On his way back he's pulled over by Pete, the local gendarme, who thinks Nick "looks like one of those drug dealers we get coming through here on their way north." The incensed Nick tells the officer that he's a guest of the Coopers but Pete doesn't buy it. Nevertheless, the officer agrees to follow Nick back to Harold and Sarah's place where Pete gets star-struck seeing Sam Weber, the lead in his favorite t.v. show. Pete says he's willing to drop the whole thing if "Mr. Lancer" will just show him how he jumps into that car every week. (Pete: "Me, I always have to open the damn door.") Sam gears up and goes for it but misses, catching his foot on the door and landing in the driver's seat on his arm. Ouch! Thank goodness there's a proverbial "doctor in the house," Sarah Cooper.

Ken Place (any relation to Mary Kay?) plays Pete, the cop.
11. According to Michael, what's "more important than sex"? (He asks Sam, "Have you ever gone a week without ______?")

Answer: a rationalization

This exchange between Michael and Sam occurs in the den while Nick is filming his "documentary" with Harold's movie camera. Michael is wearing a black "1 Voice" tee-shirt. Remember now?

Jeff Goldblum has quite a varied filmography: "Independence Day," "The Great White Hype," "Jurassic Park," "Earth Girls Are Easy" (where he met, wooed, and won Geena Davis), "The Fly," (and, regrettably, "The Fly 2"). Kasdan used him again in "Silverado," and Goldblum and Harry Shearer brought some Mutt-and-Jeff style comic relief to "The Right Stuff," one of my favorite movies. Jeff is described in Starplus.com as "Tall, gangly, and oddly handsome ... a sex symbol for many women who are fond of eccentric intellectual types. Quirky." And funny, with a veddy, veddy dry delivery.

In 2009, Jeff joined the cast of NBC's long-running show, "Law and Order: Criminal Intent."
12. What song -- "one of Alex's favorites" -- does Karen play on the church organ at Alex's funeral, bringing a smile to each of the group members' faces?

Answer: You Can't Always Get What You Want

Talk about your comic relief! At the end of the service Karen is introduced by the presiding minister. She quietly, respectfully rises from her pew to take her place at the organ, sits down and begins to play what we all assume will be some somber hymn. Instead, Karen slowly slides into this rock 'n' roll classic. As those attending Alex's funeral file out behind the casket borne by Harold, Sam, Nick, Michael, and two other men, the organ music segues into the original song and we're treated to one of Mick Jagger and the boys' very best. I'm guessing every baby boomer in the audience instantly resolves to have at least one rock classic at his or her funeral, and I don't mean "Rock of Ages."

Karen is played by Jobeth Williams, who has also had quite a film career. "Teachers," "Kramer vs. Kramer" (where we're, um, exposed to a naked Jobeth, caught by eight year-old Billy Kramer as she sneaks back to Dustin Hoffman's bedroom early in the morning), "Poltergeist" (and sequel), "Stir Crazy" with Gene Wilder, and "Switch," with Ellen Barkin and Jimmy Smits, are just a few of her many films.
13. Which character gets to be "the lucky farmer" to try to help Meg make a baby?

Answer: Harold

Meg first approaches Sam, only to be rebuffed because of the guilt he's suffering over a daughter he hardly sees. Then Meg tries Nick, but learns he's not physically capable of helping her.

Meg shares her decision and strategy with Sarah as they make apple pies in the kitchen while the football game is occupying everyone else's attention. Who's left? Michael and Harold. (Sarah adds, "Too bad Richard left," a dig at Karen's boring but stable husband.) As Meg ponders the thought of "a repeat performance" with Michael, who volunteered during the first quarter of the football game, she concludes, "I can't do it with Michael. Too much history," and tells Sarah she's just going to have to forget about it this weekend; "it just isn't going to happen." Sarah asks, "Harold's not good enough for you?" Meg: "Are you kidding? I'd love it. But Harold already has enough kids. Besides, I couldn't ask that of you." At that moment we can almost hear Sarah's wheels turning.

Later that evening Sarah approaches her wonderful husband and -- after ascertaining that he loves her -- she sweetly says, "Harold, I want you to do something for me." There's 'a certain symmetry' to this scene. Earlier we learn that Sarah and the late Alex Marshall had an affair while she was married to Harold, and Harold found out. Maybe giving Harold permission to sleep with Meg would reduce Sarah's guilt for having slept with Alex.

Two quick scenes later, "in the midnight hour," Harold knocks on the door of his own bedroom where Meg is quartered for the weekend, announcing,"This bed has always been lucky for Sarah and me." The rest, as they say, is (film) history. (But we never find out if that bed was lucky for Meg. No sequel!)

As Harold and Meg, Karen and Sam, and Nick and Chloe are all "otherwise occupied," Michael tries unsuccessfully to seduce Sarah before the rolling camera, cooing, "Sarah! I never noticed what beautiful feet you have." (There's a line guaranteed NOT to sweep any woman off her beautiful feet!) He adds, "I'm picking up a vibration; I'm almost certain there's sex going on in this house." Michael may be a lot of things, but stupid isn't one of them. He knows he lost the "Make Meg a Mommy" contest, struck out with Chloe, and watched Karen go after Sam.

The next morning, Michael greets everyone in the kitchen asking, "How'd everybody sleep last night? DID anybody sleep last night? I did. All alone in my little airplane...")
14. In what southern U.S. state was "The Big Chill" set and filmed?

Answer: South Carolina

If you didn't know it before, you could have learned this in the "Interesting Info" following question eight, above.

I don't think South Carolina is actually mentioned in the movie, although one or two South Carolina towns are, but a close-up shot of the hearse's license plate in the funeral procession scene clearly, albeit quickly, identifies the state. The film was shot in and around Beaufort, S.C., and its ambience was a huge factor in the movie.
15. Which song plays while the end credits roll?

Answer: "Joy to the World" by Three Dog Night

The movie comes full cycle. If you recall the opening of the film, Harold is bathing his young son (one of two of Lawrence and Meg Kasdan's sons who act in the film). The little tyke is playing with a squeaky toy frog named "Jerebiah". (The kid might be a little stuffed up.) He starts snapping his fingers and singing, "Jerebiah was a boo-fwog. Was a goof ren da mine. I neber ummerstooda siggle wor dee sed, but I hept Tim drig his why."

So it only makes sense to wrap up the film with the real deal.

Besides being a huge box-office hit, "The Big Chill" garnered one BAFTA (British Academy for Film and Television Arts) nomination: Kasdan and his co-writer Barbara Benedek for original screenplay. It also received several Academy Award nominations in 1984: Glenn Close for Best Actress, Kasdan and Benedek for Best Screenplay (written directly for the screen), and Best Picture. It won a 1984 Golden Globe for Best Picture (Comedy/Musical), won the Toronto Film Festival's People's Choice Award that year, and was named Best Comedy Written Directly for the Screen by the Writers Guild of America. Too bad there are no awards for Best Soundtrack.
Source: Author sundancer415

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor spanishliz before going online.
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