Thursday, January 06, 2011

Movie review – “Anniversary Party” (2001) **

Jennifer Jason Leigh and Alan Cummings are friends who decided to make a film so they got together a bunch of their actor friends and made a movie based on their own experiences. Which sounds like a wank, and it is, but at least they have very talented friends (Kevin Kline, Phoebe Cates, John C Reilly, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Beals, etc) and the look at the showbusiness world is interesting: living in the hills, disputes with neighbours over dogs, precocious children who perform at parties, ecstasy tablets delivered as a gift, parties to celebrate being together for five years. There’s a couple of stock standard impro film scenes – eg “I had an abortion!” -, Michael Panes is irritating as a Peter Sellers look alike and I didn’t buy Alan Cummings as a writer – he simply behaves too much like an actor, all flamboyance and self-centeredness. Jason Leigh gives a strong performance, Jane Adams is hilarious and Paltrow good in a sort of send-up of herself.

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