The Anniversary Party
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Top Customer Reviews
Writer/director Joe Therrian (Cumming) and actress Sally Nash (Leigh) have prepared a party to celebrate their six years together; not that they have actually been "together" the entire time, but according to the actor/artist math, it's close enough.Read more ›
This is not to say that it is a bad film. This is in fact not so. The reason it is an uncomfortable experience is that the directors are so good in expressing the discomfort the characters feel that the viewer feels it, too.
It mainly concerns the couple played by Cumming and Leigh, who have been separated for a considerable time (following their fifth anniversary) and have not yet figured out how to live with each other again. Their scenes are filled with tension combined with genuine love and effort in wanting to stay together.
The story takes place during one day and night of the preparation and then execution of a party for their sixth wedding anniversary. Cumming plays a novelist who has just been asked to direct his screenplay of his latest novel. The lead character of Jesse is well-known to have been based upon Leigh when she was younger. The leads Leigh, an famous actress in her own right, to feel she is the perfect person for the part. However, Cumming, through some coercion from the studio, has decided to hire the Gwyneth Paltrow character to play the part instead, telling her on the phone (overheard by Leigh) that she is his only choice for the role. He then invites Paltrow to their anniversary party, balked at by Leigh, who "didn't even invite my own mother."
In addition, everyone involved with Leigh's current film seems to believe, unbeknownst to her, that due to her emotional stresses, she is just "phoning it in.Read more ›
Unlike most people, I do see a plot here. The story is about Sally and Joe's marriage, and whether it can survive. It's apparent from the beginning that whatever they may think, the marriage isn't likely to last. For one thing, Joe isn't really committed--he's distracted by anyone "intoxicating" or new who floats by. And Sally knows she is on shaky ground, an "aging" actress in a town full of young ones. I felt for her, though I'm no actress. My connection to her character is what made the movie work for me.
The view into Hollywood was revealing: All the women are in some kind of pain, while the men, whether nasty or nice, are happy with themselves. Sad but not surprising.
Other situations I felt were universal. Who *hasn't* known someone married to the wrong person, trying to make it work? Willing to save the marriage with a baby, if that's what it takes, even if the partner isn't good father/mother material? Or a self-punishing working mother, or a full time mom who doesn't enjoy it as much as she pretends, or makes it too much of an identity? Who can't imagine being on either side of the neighbor/dog issue? Or hitting a career slump?
I admit it's a bit more fun to see these life issues wrapped up with a bit of Hollywood glamour: a lovely home, famous artist friends, with movie stardom and Oscars part of the background.
The movie has a fairly interesting commentary on drug use and addiction running through it as well. Of course there is the obvious issue of the Ecstacy use at the party.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Dark despairing and hones stuff, but extraordinary acting, and Kevin Kline's Kids are wonderful, especially the daughter! Read morePublished 4 months ago by John L. Simons
The movie was a bit on the slow side. The stars are for the great acting from all the characters. I was hoping for more substance but was slightly entertained instead...Published 8 months ago by DG
I was excited to finally see this movie. It was disappointing. The plot wasn't very good.Published 9 months ago by michelle deiacova
Saw this when it came out and it was one of those movies that always stays in your mind. Alan Cumming and Jennifer Jason Leigh wrote and directed this film with a cast of their... Read morePublished 14 months ago by ezgraphic
Don't get me wrong, I thought the acting was superb and it was great to see Phoebe Cates again after a long hiatus from movies... but I really didn't get it. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Kellie