Everett Collection
Richly moving and highly influential, The Big Chill — penned by BARBARA BENEDEK and Lawrence Kasdan, who also directed — opened 30 years ago this month. The film, which starred William Hurt, Glenn Close and Tom Berenger as college pals reuniting to honor a fallen friend, ultimately scored $56 million at the box office and three Oscar nods. The film’s soundtrack was a hit, too, selling 6 million copies. Screenwriter Benedek shares her memory of the making of the movie and its Motown-heavy soundtrack.

“Right from the beginning, we wanted the movie to be funny, we wanted it to be truthful and we wanted it to have really great music. I was pushing for British music, but [Lawrence] and Meg [Kasdan’s wife and the film’s music supervisor] went to Michigan for college and wanted Motown. The music Meg chose was just absolutely fantastic, and the soundtrack album was huge. Sometimes I meet people today, and they go on and on: ‘My father used to listen to that soundtrack every single day when he’d drive me to school, and it drove me crazy.’ There should be a support group for children who were forced to listen to [that] soundtrack every morning for a dozen years.”

-- As told to J. Rentilly