The Anniversary Party
Drama, Romance, Comedy
IMDB rating:
Jennifer Jason Leigh, Alan Cumming
Jane Adams as Clair Forsyth
Greta Kline as Evie Gold
Steven Freedman as Yoga Instructor
Phoebe Cates as Sophia Gold
Mina Badie as Monica Rose
Owen Kline as Jack Gold
Alan Cumming as Joe Therrian
Parker Posey as Judy Adams
John Benjamin Hickey as Jerry Adams
Jennifer Jason Leigh as Sally Therrian
Denis O'Hare as Ryan Rose
Kevin Kline as Cal Gold
Storyline: Celebrity couple Joe and Sally Therrian are going through yet another rough stage in their six-year marriage: while Joe's novels have been climbing higher and higher on the best-seller lists, Sally's film career has been steadily sinking into oblivion. Joe's been given the rights to cast and direct the screenplay of his latest book, but rather than resurrect Sally's career by casting her in the lead role, he's given it to Sally's rival, Skye Davidson. Even worse, he's invited Skye to their anniversary bash. Will the marriage, or anything else for that matter, survive the party?
Type DVD-rip
Resolution 704x384 px
File Size 1489 Mb
Codec mpeg4
Bitrate 1891 Kbps
Format mkv
Type Resolution File Size Codec Bitrate Format
DVD-rip 704x384 px 1489 Mb mpeg4 1891 Kbps mkv Download

A contempo WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?, Hollywood style, and with enough humor and balance to make it a winner.
Surprisingly incisive view of Hollywood relationships centering on a couple's anniversary reunion after a brief but bitter separation. While the neuroses are less than subtlely developed, it all comes to a marvelously brittle head that openmindedly delivers on the couple's central dilemma. Mean-spirited fun.
Found myself so involved.
I have seen many movies, well way to many movies. I don't know why I feel so passionate about this film, but I have to say it was the best film of the year. I know what your thinking. "Best film of the Year!" I sound like one of those silly movie critics. You know the ones who always seem to uses the words "exhilarating", "mesmerizing". Well at least you won't find that from me. I have two favorite scenes. First one, when Joe and the neighbor are in the little office. I could literally feel the tension in that room. I for a min. forgot I was watching a movie. The look on Joe's face when she pulled out that book, and asked him to sign it. I loved that the movie didn't seem like a typical movie script well planned out for some silly demographic, It seemed to really develop into an incredible story, story seems like to simple of a word to describe it. And don't even get me started on the scene at the end where the are looking for Otis(the bane of their neighbors existence) that argument they were having, it felt real, people just saying what they felt. Not like most writers who seem to make their characters say things they wish they had said in arguments(ie. Kevin Smith) That fight was like a real couple dealing with things left unsaid way too long. When he slapped her I wanted to hit him back. Ok now I'm really rambling. Listen watch this movie, better yet buy this movie.
The Player on Ecstacy
Uptight, two-dimensional Hollywood hypocrites loosen up with some Ecstasy. Unfortunately, the movie becomes overwrought towards the end, with one catastrophe piling on top of another. I was surprised the house didn't catch fire at the climax, which really became an anticlimax as yet more things go wrong and the befuddled party comes to a weary end. But no amount of contrived tragedy could force the film in to a somber Festen mold. Worth watching for the Ecstacy bit. Too bad they didn't stick with it.
How bad was this movie?
How bad was this movie? I tend to like chick flicks, especially comedies. This one wasn't that much of a comedy and may not have been primarily a chick flick. On the other hand, I don't like action movies with shooting and explosions unless they are comedies. For the two hours before this movie began, I was watching a dramatic film (few laughs) about a soldier going undercover to expose a colonel's demented form of justice. I liked that one better than this one.

What positive things can I say about this movie? If I was going to write a user comment, the summary was going to be "At least the music was good". That was only true until about 4:30. The movie started at 4 and lasted until 6, and after 4:30 I heard only two songs I liked, one in the closing credits. Most of the music before 4:30 was big-band style jazz, or something related. I really enjoyed it.

I suppose the friends reading poems and singing bad songs (the singers weren't great either) to honor the hosts was pleasant enough.

I did like Skye. No wonder, it was Gwynyth Paltrow!

Other than what I have said, I just found the whole thing unpleasant. For those who enjoy poetry and acoustic guitar accompanying meaningful lyrics at coffeehouses, and those who truly appreciate Woody Allen, and those who like independent films, and those who actually enjoy subtitles, I believe this might be a worthwhile movie. It seemed to have quality writing and acting, and of course lots of big-name actors, none of whom I would know just by seeing them. I didn't even know until five minutes ago that Gwynyth Paltrow was in it!

This film just wasn't for me.
Leigh and Cummings - the new writing/directing team to watch!
The collaborative efforts of Jennifer Jason Leigh and Alan Cummings (who co-wrote and co-directed) pay off bigtime in this story that takes place on one day, unfolding slowly and with great polish. Not once does the film drop into predictability or over-wrought confessional, although there is drama and many layers to be peeled during the course of the anniversary party in question.

The characters are extremely well-written and brought to life brilliantly. All of them have extreme complexity of emotion and each is well-developed, with everyone getting the opportunity to reveal what's under the surface, beneath the facade. But it's not like one of those ensemble pieces where everyone gets to have 'his big scene.' This is more masterfully crafted than that; it has a genuinely organic quality that rings true throughout. By the end, I felt as if I had been in the house with them, been part of what had taken place.
Not the ordinary writing
Anniversary Party does not take the directions that ordinary Hollywood party movies would take. Rather, each character reveals a possible "stray" and then continues with their usual path. It was interesting to note that a party of this sort could actually end on a positive note, given that almost everyone pushed themselves outside their usual comfort zone. It is my opinion that with so many talented and known actors, it is difficult to bring what could be chaos into focus, making a movie well worth watching. I definitely recommend this for all those tired of the mainstream movies and looking for something different and interesting.
Duller than watching the lawn dry
I can't find much to say about this film. It was as dull as laundry day and filled with self important yet completely vapid people who cannot get along with anyone because they are all so concerned with themselves. They whine and moan and complain so much that after a while you'll feel like killing them all. It was made by Jennifer Jason Leigh, which to me is quite telling. This woman is regarded by many in Hollywood to be a great actress, which does in part explain why American movies are so awful. She is a dullard. Her name in the cast list of any movie is like a warning that a dull movie lies in store - and she MADE this one.

I got the impression from the film that she thinks that it represents how people truly are and what "real life" is - but if for some reason she happens to be reading this, let me say emphatically to her that it does NOT. Of course it does paint a picture of her tragic little world of NY to LA movie types - but that is her problem, and there is a real life beyond Hollywood's artificial one (it's telling how these adults take Ecstacy, a kiddie drug that provides users with artificial emotions to go with their artificial lives). I do not want to be a part of that world and do not want to attend their parties, therefore I am sorry that I watched this. It might be a good wakeup call to anyone who dreams of movie stardom though. These people are so full of themselves because they are so empty of everything else. Actually I have to amend that statement - they are full of something else, though the twain may be hard to discern.

This film, the type of people in it, and Jennifer Jason Leigh - they all deserve each other. I can't wait until Hollywood falls into the ocean.
Best of its kind film ever made.
If you like a slow, carefully developed, beautifully acted, funny and articulate piece of parlor theater, complete with a heart-wrenching scene or three demonstrating alienation between neighbors and genuine intimacy among friends, this is for you. If not, not. With its two deaths or near-deaths, this is more than talk, but still if pure conversation strikes you as self-indulgent or tedious, rather than (in this singular case) genius, why not pass?
Begins with simple fun, ends with a Viet Nam of emotion.
Definitely not what I was expecting from reading the box at the video store. Forget any reviews or anything you hear about this movie. Walking into it with expectations would have ruined it for me.

The movie is well directed and cast (despite the fact that many of the actors are related - this is a happy surprise when the credits roll). The premise is that a separated "celebrity" couple gets back together for their sixth wedding anniversary, much to the happiness of (most of) their friends and colleagues, and begin to plan a family and a move to England from Hollywood.

Jennifer Jason Leigh and Alan Cumming make a credible couple on the verge of stardom or has-been-dom, depending on what takes place in the coming year; relocating to England to have a baby or having "Sally" act the part in "Joe's" new movie. It becomes clear near the end that the desires of each aren't what was expected in the beginning of the film.

The only disappointment was Kevin Kline's character. This role was the least interesting of the group; he efforts a semi-believable, cynical hollywood type who holds genuine affection for his children. I just didn't feel anything for him, although Kline shines as would be expected. Small quibble.

Phoebe Cates plays the most believable character, Sally's best (female) friend, and makes you wonder where she's been lately. She comes terribly close to stealing the show by nailing her role with Oscar-quality acting and frightening emotion. We all have, or deserve, a friend like "Sophia."

The other surprise star is Mina Badie, who evolves from the apprehensive and abrasive neighbor to untethered, libertine by the conclusion. I'm not sure why she doesn't want more acting roles.

There was a tad too much nudity in the pool scene (although it is explainable), but aside from that, I would recommend this to anyone whose pre-child relationship is not currently on the rocks.
Has its moments
The characters are mostly interesting and well drawn, even if a lot of them are irritating, and the film is very funny at times. Some of the one-liners are great, and there is an authentic Hollywood insider type of humor that is pretty rare in movies. The scenes where the guests all pay tribute to the main couple were very warm and fun to watch, almost like the viewer is there at a real party with the actors. But it is undoubtedly a self-indulgent movie and often boring. It is very stagy-- like a filmed play, and the acting is suitably hammy. Kevin Kline and family are great, and also the people who play the neighbors. Gwyneth Paltrow plays a hippie-dippy actress, which is not a stretch, but she's enjoyable too. However, the leads, especially Jennifer Jason Leigh, aren't up to par with the rest of the cast. Leigh does her depressed Dolores Claiborne shtick, except she's a famous actress this time instead of a journalist. She's not convincing-- I was often uncomfortably aware that she was acting, probably because she was OVER-acting, and she seemed very self conscious. Maybe it was the stress of both directing and starring in the film. But that aside, the film is worth it if you're a movie buff-- there are a lot worse out there-- and also if you're a fan of the actors involved.