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  • Writer's pictureCaroline Kenney

Tidalholm and The Big Chill



Tidalholm opened its doors to Historic Beaufort Foundation and supporters for the annual Soiree garden party.  Under new ownership, Tidalholm is being lovingly restored.  The house was built in 1853 by plantation owner, Edgar Fripp, as a summer house.  Since then, Tidalholm has served as a Union hospital during the Civil War, and a guest house since 1930 until it was converted, once again, to a family home in 1974.


But in our modern day, Tidalholm is best known as The Big Chill House.  It was the filming location for Lawrence Kasdan's iconic movie about college friends reunited a decade later by tragedy.  Alex commits suicide and his friends gather after the funeral to digest it all over a weekend, try to make sense of their loss, their past and their present.  What happened to their hopes, dreams and ideals?  How did they get to be in their 30's living this life they didn't plan on?


I thought I might watch the movie again.  It has a great cast, great dialogue but where's the plot.  The movie just doesn't go anywhere and that's exactly the point.





What I find most important in these relationships is that they are grounded in their common past and a fundamental understanding of each other.  I know precisely who I am, where I have come from and where I am today.  I know that about you too.  We all know that about each other.


So, what makes a 1980's movie about college friends from the 60's relevant today?


Essayist, Lena Dunham, brilliantly bridges a generational gap by simply stating, "These are your parents."


As I danced with my husband under the stars at The Big Chill House, I asked myself how I got to be this age and in this place.

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