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The Anniversary Party

3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 32.73
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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars leads are great..good movie Dec 7 2003
Format:VHS Tape
this is about Cumming and Leigh(also directed the movie) and they throw a party and when everyone gets settled in and having a good time in downward spirals into a dramatic climax..which is really good, I mean Alan Cumming(GoldenEye) is great as always and Jennifer Jason Leigh(Rush) has never been better.shot in digital video by John Bailey. other cast members include Kevin Kline(A Fish Called Wanda), Pheobe Cates(Drop Dead Fred), Gwyneth Paltrow(Duets), Parker Posey(PArty Girl), Jennifer Beals(FlashDance), John C. Reilly(A Perfect Storm), JAne Adams and Michael Panes.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Whose afraid of Don's Party? July 30 2002
Let's get this out of the way first. EVERY film ever made is a "vanity project". Using that tired phrase is a cop-out for lazy reviewers. The entire craft of filmmaking is based on "Look at me/us, aren't I/we wonderful?" whether you are an actor OR director, so let's not overstate the obvious. Jennifer Jason Leigh and Alan Cumming's One Night In The Life of a writer-director/actress couple celebrating thier anniversary with a dozen of thier "closest" show-biz friends is quite entertaining. Very similar in tone to the obscure 80's Austrailian film "Don's Party", the main difference being the Truth Drug of choice...at Don's party, it was that good ol' standby-liquor...in this case, it's the eagerly gobbled "ecstasy" tablets that bring out the inevitable sniping and backbiting amongst the "friends" by party's end. The film has a loose, improvised Cassavettes vibe that may turn off viewers with short attention spans. Good ensemble work (for the most part) from the likes of John C. Reilly, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Beals and Parker Posey keep things perking. Kevin Kline and Phoebe Cates (and thier real life kids) are standouts, although they are basically playing themselves! The Peter Sellers look-a-like gag is a hoot for cinema buffs. The film is ultimately marred by over-length and one too many anti-climaxes,but Leigh and Cumming should at least be applauded for taking a risk outside the usual Hollywood cookie-cutter frame.
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In 1998, Alan Cumming and Jennifer Jason Leigh met on the production of Broadway musical "Cavaret" (Alan as MC and Jennifer as Sally) and soon they established friendship, which led to the co-directing of "The Anniversary Party." (Very brief footage of the show can be seen in Jason Biggs - Mena Suvari's "Loser.") And later Scotland-born actor and LA-born actress decided to make a film about their feelings on life in Hollywood; keep this fact in mind because that part makes the film, otherwise a bit dull and tedious, more lively and interesting.
The film itself has little movement; it is rather a train of vignettes, or sketches, about the one day in the life of Hollywood celebrities, and the characters are often unmemorable. But what is most lamentable is that the film seems to wallow in showing wild behaviors of Hollywood celebrities -- like drug use or nudity in the swimming pool -- but we know these thing well, probably as well as Cumming or Leigh. It is the time of the Internet and media, and the tabloids are always there to supply the gossips about Hollywood. And this crazy practice has been kept since the time of silent films, so why should we see another example here unless it is connected with deeper meaning about life in general, which we can relate to?
However, the film offers another way of enjoying it, and that's this. For example, Leigh plays Sally, an actress whose career is, she knows, going downward, and she just experienced a short period of separation with her hubby Joe (Cumming). Now Joe is going to direct a movie, but he doesn't choose his wife as the lead; instead, he cast a newcomer Davidson (Gwyneth Paltrow), good-natured but slightly irritating, unconscious of the pain Sally is suffering.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Hollywood on Hollywood July 16 2002
I am always sceptical of movies written by actors about actors. These movies usaully end up being self congratulatory and too stylish. This one is right up that alley but isn't to disgraceful. The acting, with a couple of exceptions, is quite good and the "day in the life" plot moves along pretty well. Most of the characters play a close resembelence to their hollywood selves and luckily they all seem pretty human. As far as the stylishness of it all, it takes place in a beautiful modern, well decorated hollywood hills home and everybody in the film is beautiful. Not a bad film considering all the egos involved.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "You're never too old for a lolly." July 15 2002
By khep
Format:VHS Tape
Alan Cumming and Jennifer Jason Leigh did an awesome job at directing and acting in this film. It's a simple story with a complex character dynamic- and the cast nailed it, making it beautiful.
Also interesting are the behind-the-scenes details integrated into this movie- for example, Alan Cumming plays a novelist named Joe, jump-starting his career as a director, and the novel they present as Joe's- "Tommy's Tale" in reality- was written by Alan Cumming (published by Penguin Books in the UK and by Judith Regan Books/Harper Collins in the US)...Kevin Kline and Phoebe Cates play screen couple Cal and Shophia Gold with their real-life children Owen and Greta Kline (truly adorable)...etc.
Watch it- it's lovely!
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I liked it
I'm surprised at the number of negative reviews. This slice of life movie kept me engaged from beginning to end.
Unlike most people, I do see a plot here. Read more
Published on June 24 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best
So, One day I rent this movie because I had see some a article on it and I was really board, so I thoug way not. but on my god, I fell love with this story. Read more
Published on May 21 2002
1.0 out of 5 stars Must Miss---Simply Dreadful
Hubby and I unite on this one, calling it the worst movie we've seen all year, or in the bottom 3 films. What is it about? Read more
Published on May 8 2002 by carol irvin
2.0 out of 5 stars A vanity project
This is definitely more interesting than a lot of the mass-market Hollywood pap that makes it into multiplexes, but that's not saying a whole lot. Read more
Published on May 5 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Be a voyuer at a very real looking Hollywood party.
Jennifer Jason Leigh (Fast Times at Ridgemont High's Stacy!) is still gorgeous, Alan Cumming is charming. They invite their friends to make a movie about them all having a party. Read more
Published on April 21 2002 by Reginald H. Henderson
2.0 out of 5 stars Egocentric, Neurotic, Annoying Film
"The Anniversary Party" was full of big-headed Hollywood actors and it was not worth my time. I couldn't stand the characters, who were all neurotic and psycho. Read more
Published on April 9 2002 by sbphreak
4.0 out of 5 stars A slow beginning, but when it picks up you're swept away.
I wasn't all that enthusiastic when i put this movie in. And i will admit first off that it does start out a little on the slow side, but once it picks up it is one of the most... Read more
Published on March 26 2002 by Kate H
3.0 out of 5 stars A good flick but....
"The Anniversary Party"reeks of "Don's Party",that Aussie dramedy from the 70s where truths spill out unexpectedly, relationships become altered and/or re-analyzed. Read more
Published on March 20 2002 by Kyle Garrett
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