The title of the movie The Big Chill is symbolic of the meeting of
the group of adults who have not seen each other in years. It alludes to
the circumstances which brought them together as well as their reaction to
The movie The Big Chill is about a group of adults who were once
very close in the past but have drifted apart throughout the years. They
are brought together under an unfortunate set of circumstances: One of the
group, Alex, had committed suicide. This is the first instance in which
the title, The Big Chill, is alluded to. It is symbolic of Alex’s death,
and the cold experience that was needed to bring the group together once
The group had a “reunion” after his funeral, only to find out that
nobody really knew each other since their college days. This is symbolic
that their friendships had been frozen, or dead, perhaps, since the group
“broke up” many years ago.
Another possibility is that the title symbolizes each individual’s
stolid realization that a certain part of their lives was dead, or frozen.
This could refer to Alex, who had killed himself. Or it could refer to
their friendship, which pro bably dwindled down from an occasional phone
call to a seasonal letter or card, and eventually to virtual
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The title could even have yet another “hidden” meaning. It could
refer to the group’s total loss of communication with Alex. This could
have led to the point where nobody was able to see anything wrong with him,
because they just were not a round to. Chloe, Alex’s girl friend, probably
did not notice because she did not know him as well as the rest of the
group. But the rest of the group unintentionally gave Alex “the cold
shoulder” when he was in the greatest need of help.
Another instance of The Big Chill was when Meg asked Sam to have
her baby. Sam coldly refused. Meg felt a bit rejected, even though she
knew Sam only said no because he respected her. Sam, however, was very
surprised and probably flattered to be asked.
Overall, the title of the movie The Big Chill is symbolic in many
ways. All of these ways are important to the meaning of the movie, if
looked at symbolically.