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Peter's Friends [Region 2]
Stephen Fry plays Peter, the owner of a stately home, who gathers together his friends from University on New Year's Eve. It has been 10 years since they all gathered together for the last performance of their musical comedy review and things and people have changed. Their differences begin to affect the celebrations. A British version of 'The Big Chill'.
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The casting and character development are perfect, as are the depictions of the various life circumstances of the individual characters
So, Peter's Friends is about a group of old college friends who used to perform in a musical revue. They and some of their significant others gather at the stately home of Peter for a New Year's weekend. The host is Peter, a man who may be gay, or maybe he's bisexual, or is he asexual, or is he just not sure? Roger and Mary were both part of the college musical act. They have married and are successful jingle writers, but the death of one of their infant twins has put a strain on them and their marriage. Mary has turned into an over protective mother, obsessed with worry about the remaining twin. Maggie is a "plain Jane" who wants to avoid impending spinster-hood, so she sets her cap for Peter, who as I already stated, isn't sure if he's interested in sex with anybody. Sarah has had a long string of boyfriends because she only dates men who are married or involved with another woman. She brings along her latest married lover, an obnoxious jerk that the others all loathe at first sight. Andrew is a writer who has gone Hollywood, and isn't very satisfied by his successful career or his marriage to a fitness obsessed American actress.
There are some dramatic scemes, as well as some very funny scenes. I particularly like Rita Rudner's performance as the over the top glam actress who piles on layers of fake hair. One of the best lines is when she asks the uncooperative housekeeper "Have you never seen Upstairs, Downstairs?"
This is a movie you can watch over and over. I'd like to have most of these people as friends--except for Sarah and Brian. <smile>
Top international reviews
While there are many comic situations, the core of the story is that they are all profoundly unhappy. In their own different ways, all six friends are living lives that appear successful on the surface, but are rife with tension and drama. Being together again, on a spuriously happy occasion, forces them to take stock of their situation, seeing themselves through the eyes of their old pals, and brings each of them to a personal crisis. How they deal with these unpleasant self-revelations changes the course of their future lives.
An emotional roller coaster, peppered with some memorably funny lines, and enriched by strong performances from a bunch of seasoned British veterans and a capable American comedienne, Rita Rudner, who also co-wrote the script. The storyline lacks subtlety, and often veers into maudlin saccharine. Some of the characters are not very likeable, but the various subplots and back stories add humanity and interest. I didn't find it as “totally uproarious” as promised, but some of the more ludicrous dialogue has stuck with me.
The film quality is terrible, from the start all the writing as you go into the film is moving around side to side and up and down like it's a bad copy, it also said on the amazon site it was a 4.3 picture and this was wide screen, this also made me think it's a copy.
Lovely film though and I would really like this same cast to redo a contemporary version of this film.
This is a comedy/drama that brings up real life issues, with songs from the 80's to set the mood and tone perfectly. I particularly enjoyed the montage at the beginning of the film to symbolize time passing
I'm not a fan of Stephen Fry but he does play the part very well. Worth a look.