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The Anniversary Party (2001)



Average Rating: 5.8/10
Reviews Counted: 111
Fresh: 67 | Rotten: 44

This Party features a killer cast and many funny scenes, but the movie feels like nothing more than an excuse for the actors to emote.


Average Rating: 5.6/10
Critic Reviews: 32
Fresh: 19 | Rotten: 13

This Party features a killer cast and many funny scenes, but the movie feels like nothing more than an excuse for the actors to emote.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 6,382

My Rating

Movie Info

Taking place over the course of one night, The Anniversary Party is a serio-comic, sometimes scathing inspection of a group of friends. Joe and Sally Therrian have a party to celebrate several important junctures in their marriage: their sixth anniversary, their decision to start a family and their reconciliation after a yearlong separation. They have invited their closest friends, their past and current temptations, and (to avoid a lawsuit) their contentious neighbors. An unexpected gift sends


Drama, Comedy


Alan Cumming, Jennifer Jason Leigh

Jan 15, 2002


Fine Line Features - Official Site External Icon

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Latest News on The Anniversary Party

December 13, 2005:
Cumming, Heche & Boreanaz to Work for "Charity"
Actor/director Alan Cumming will helm and star in "Suffering Man's Charity," a dark comedy...


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All Critics (120) | Top Critics (35) | Fresh (67) | Rotten (44) | DVD (21)

Too formlessly turgid.

July 27, 2001 Full Review Source: New York Observer
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The acting is what makes this picture worth framing.

June 26, 2001 Full Review Source: ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The best thing that one can say about The Anniversary Party is that it raises more questions about its central characters than it can possibly answer -- which may weaken it as a drama but not as a search for truth.

June 25, 2001 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The result is something like being stuck at an audition for someone else's play, which you haven't read, won't invest in, and don't care too much about.

June 22, 2001 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What distinguishes The Anniversary Party from the movies/lives that inspired it is the dead-on quality of much of the writing and acting.

June 22, 2001 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If digital looks like this and makes it possible for such funny and intimate chamber pieces to come into existence, then bring on the digital movies.

June 22, 2001 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As first film, it suffers from problems of most movies directed by actors: Big emotional scenes and indulgent acting, but it has some moments of truth

April 20, 2006 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

...because Cumming and Leigh avoid most (though not all) of the easy choices common to first-time writers and directors, the movie stays on the right side of entertaining.

April 5, 2006 Full Review Source:

... it's fascinating to search for these characters' hearts under the layers of makeup, denial, disguise, excuses, fantasies, and ego.

December 6, 2004 Full Review Source: Looking Closer
Looking Closer

Intenso e fascinante, o filme se apóia inteiramente no imenso talento de seu elenco e é recompensado com atuações absolutamente irretocáveis - e é claro que a dupla de diretores merece créditos por isto.

October 12, 2003
Cinema em Cena

A raw yet relaxed film buff's film... a wittier, recast version of one of your own dinner parties, with enough high drama to keep the guests talking for quite a while.

January 16, 2003 Full Review Source: Entertainment Today
Entertainment Today

Co-directors Jason Leigh and Cummings have delivered an uncharacteristically smart comedy with surprising dramatic turns and excellent performances across the board.

December 8, 2002 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Focusing on the relationship between Sally and Joe ... The Anniversary Party reveals itself as a devastating parable about love, unfolding much like a stage play.

November 18, 2002
Boxoffice Magazine

Unfortunately, more often than not it settles for the bright Yuppie banter ... you would expect of this bunch of characters.

October 21, 2002 Full Review Source: San Diego Metropolitan
San Diego Metropolitan

An encouraging sign, both for the potential of low-budget, digital video movie-making and for the potential of talented actors to bring fresh ideas to the other side of the camera.

October 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Cincinnati Enquirer
Cincinnati Enquirer

It feels like watered-down Robert Altman when it is intended to be a bitter, stiff drink.

July 2, 2002 Full Review Source: Matinee Magazine
Matinee Magazine

Everyone gets their own moment to shine -- Paltrow and Adams are particularly funny -- but all too often we laugh at these people, not with them...

June 9, 2002 Full Review Source: Kalamazoo Gazette
Kalamazoo Gazette

A movie [made] for the express purpose of showing off a lot of other talented actors, and unfortunately, there's not much of a purpose beyond that.

March 13, 2002

The Anniversary Party is heartfelt and affected in equal part, the product of actors' occasional desire to be understood as human beings.

March 7, 2002 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

A caustic but refreshing look at how some intelligence can be scripted into a Hollywood ensemble film if some effort is applied.

February 7, 2002 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

This movie is lacking in a lot of important areas including plot, substance and character, but it is certainly not short on big-name talent.

January 12, 2002 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

"The Anniversary Party" ... is an intriguing film that, while not wholly successful, does have several things going for it.

December 4, 2001 Full Review Source:

The unfocussed script is in need of substantial revision.

October 17, 2001 Full Review Source:

Despite the somewhat overused plot device, it manages to avoid most of the usual cliches.

August 14, 2001 Full Review Source: Eye for Film
Eye for Film

Plays like a Hollywood version of The Real World, neatly edited and set in a striking but sterile home, but with few surprises.

August 10, 2001 Full Review Source: PopMatters

Audience Reviews for The Anniversary Party

I really liked it the first time I saw it. Not so much the second time.
November 20, 2006

Super Reviewer

This is what happens when you let just anyone direct films...films like these.
December 23, 2009

Super Reviewer

There's something quite unusual about this movie. It's like the Big Chill for the new millenium.
October 25, 2008

Super Reviewer

A favorite!
December 10, 2007
Leo L

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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