The Anniversary Party - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Anniversary Party Reviews

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½ January 30, 2010
There are definitely some things about this movie that I like a lot...the screenplay, the characters and character development, and the casting/performances (mostly). However, I do have to admit that there is definitely something a bit off about it...though I really can't seem to put my finger on it. I do believe that it is a rather good movie and is certainly worth watching overall.
January 10, 2010
wow, when watching the preview it is for a totally different movie - women of the night. interesting- first time that has happened to me.
½ January 1, 2010
**1/2 (out of four)

This is partly a fun dialogue film and partly overly annoying. It borders on both for too long that it sinks beneath its own pretentions.

Sally and Joe, played by Jennifer Jason Leigh and Alan Cumming have recently reconciled after a separation. They decide to throw a huge party to celebrate their sixth wedding anniversary. All their friends arrive and the couple's differences begin to show throught the celebration.

Some decent stuff here, but a lot of the moments feel thrown in just to make things worse between the couple. It doesn't feel like a real couple.
Super Reviewer
½ December 23, 2009
This is what happens when you let just anyone direct films...films like these.
½ December 1, 2009
Sometimes amusing, sometimes touching, and yes, sometimes boring, this movie made by actors Jennifer Jason Leigh and Alan Cumming brings the party ensemble to the 1990's to various mixed results. I, all in all, liked what they were trying to achieve, and I did love the inside jokes that pepper this movie (I love how Kevin Kline is in it, and a guy who seems to be channeling Peter Sellers, who of course was in the Party in 1968) but, I suppose in all parties, there are some passages of dullness, where it can't keep up with itself, and that of course hurts the movie, but it's still worth a watch, especially if you're filled with Alan Cumming Luv.
November 30, 2009
Brilliant. This story could just as easily exist in a normal reality but the fact that it's set in the hyper real entertainment industry takes it up a notch. I've always loved Jennifer Jason Leigh and Alan Cumming but I have to admit to be extremely stoked to see the return of Pheobe Cates! I totally idolized her as a child.
Super Reviewer
November 28, 2009
Don't let the fact that the title contains the word "party" fool you.
November 26, 2009
Some great stuff going on here, but overall I didn't like it as much as I wanted to.
½ October 21, 2009
Have a dysfunctional marriage? Constantly fight with your partner?
Watch this movie and it will totally make you feel better about yourself. Getting around the fact that this film is utterly neurotic and quite full of self-loathing that makes it hard to really get into, it really doesn't fly too far from the self-absorbed, wealthy Hollywood scene that doesn't seem to quite grasp social norms.
September 26, 2009
Invoking other classic old-friends-meet-again-at-dinner-party-then-get-drunk-or-high-and reveal-themselves dramas, the Anniversary Party does a solid job. The relationships definitely seem real enough and the performances are very natural (because the cast members are good friends in real life), but the screenplay seems a little too self-conscious and labored at times - an All About Eve type subplot ringing especially false. If you like Robert Altman films, you'll like this one - overlapping dialogue and intersecting character arcs abound. Highlights include Jane Adams as an extremely intense new mother, and Michael Panes - a dead ringer for Peter Sellers if ever there was one, who does a decent spontaneous imitation of the late comedian as well - "Otis, where are you in this god-forsaken canyon? My people are hungry!" Good stuff.
September 13, 2009
The character building is top notch. A lot of great actors. A very memorable movie.
½ July 26, 2009
I enjoyed it up until the ending, which I was unimpressed with.
July 17, 2009
I loved this movie. loved, loved, loved.
June 18, 2009
A great excerise of acting and dialouge. Sometimes funny and very often blunt and true. This is a film festival film for people who like there dialouge and human interaction. For once, I actually enjoyed watching Alan Cumming in a film and making a big fool of himself in the most realistic and heartbreaking way. A lot of the characters in this film are careless and just plain dumb. This is of course intentional and is done in a graceful manor. Personally I loved this mess, but I can say that most will feel sick after the first 30 minutes and shut it down for it's lack of popcorn hollywood cliche's.
June 11, 2009
don't watch this movie.
May 19, 2009
The Anniversary Party was written/directed/and staring Alan Cumming and Jennifer Jason Leigh.
The story revolves around a famous Hollywood couple. He is a novelist, turned director. She is an actress. They have a shin dig at their house, celebrating their six year wedding anniversary. Sex, alcohol,drugs, relationships, the way we communicate with the people around us.
This was a good movie, but so frustrating. I really enjoyed the story and the acting was great. I just felt like something was missing and I thought that they could have ended it better. But over all, I have to say that I enjoyed it.
The cast in this movie is nothing short of stellar. Alan Cummings, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Phoebe Cates, Kevin Kline, John C. Riley, Jane Adams, Parker Posey, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Beals, and Michael Panes.
Pheobe Cates and Kevin Kline are one of my favorite Hollywood couples. So I got a kick out of seeing them playing the married acting couple. It was also great that they used their real kids to play Jack and Evie. You could sense the chemistry between Greta and Kevin, in a real father/daughter relationship. I think Kevin Kline is a brilliant actor, I just wish that had been showcased more. I think it's great that Pheobe and Jennifer ( Who both still look fabulous) have remained such good friends, since Fast Times.
There were some things I would have liked to change in this film. For being Alan Cumming's third directed feature film and Jennifer Jason Leigh's first, I have to hand it to them. The Anniversary party is a good story and a pretty decent movie.
½ May 6, 2009
Its OK. Too neurotic to feel real, but then maybe some people can really be so.. Could not love it though - too much noise and spoiled stupidity.
April 2, 2009
Jennifer Jason Leigh and Alan Cumming wrote and directed The Anniversary Party together, and the movie's plot involves a bunch of Hollywood types (actors, directors, screenwriters) hanging out for a night and talking with themselves. It stars both Leigh and Cumming, not to mention a slew of their closest friends, their friends' children, and Leigh's dog. So it shouldn't be surprising that the film is indulgent.

That is to say, half of the movie is about the directors/writers/stars just hanging out at Sofia Coppola's house and tossing back a couple of brewskis, while the other half is concocted in order to give everyone a chance to do a little bit of acting. There is a prolonged, emotional argument near the end of the film between Cumming and Leigh. It was interesting, sure, and they both did a swell enough job of it... but it was difficult not to think throughout the entire scene, "These two wrote this scene so that they could show how good they act."

It's difficult to get into The Anniversary Party for exactly that reason. It's all one big inside joke for the stars that doesn't really let the audience in on anything. Like last year's Rachel Getting Married, it purports to show a simple night with a group of people who know each other, just getting together to hang out. It's shot with a handheld camera, which in RGM gave the illusion that the viewer was truly there among the party guests. Here, it only serves to remind the viewer that this is a movie filmed by a bunch of actors pretending to be a bunch of actors.

There is a plot, kind of. Leigh and Cumming's characters are a couple who have recently been apart, but are back together and are celebrating their sixth year of marriage. Cumming's character is a novelist turned director who is adapting his novel (about the Leigh character) into a movie, starring the Gwyneth Paltrow character. Then there are the neighbor characters who have a problem with the Leigh/Cumming characters because of their barking dog, and the director and actor friends who want to have a good night, but can't stop bringing up the fact that Leigh and Cumming were broken up not too long ago, and...
I saw one critic on RottenTomatoes whose little blurb compared The Anniversary Party to a Robert Altman film. Insomuch as there are several different storylines going on at once that really don't go too far, yes, I'd agree. But Altman's films managed to wring so much out of the simplest storylines, whereas The Anniversary Party is flat and filled with much too obviously scripted dialogue. Somebody tells Cumming's character that he'll be a great director - do ya get it? Because he IS the director!

I wish it weren't so hard to get past the feeling that everything is false in this movie. The actors are all great, but their characters are too generic and the plot (which could have been interesting) literally goes nowhere. At the end of the night, what has anybody achieved, aside from a stirring monologue or two?

The Annivesary Party is an actor's movie. There's little else to it.
March 28, 2009
This film would have been a blast to work on. I love everyone in it.
March 22, 2009
I actually really enjoyed this film. It's a talky. There's no action and the acting is decent, not mind blowing, or particularly exciting. The way characters interact and move about the film is good though. The pacing is a bit slow and the film definitely feels its length. I would've ended it about twenty to thirty minutes sooner with a nuclear blast. It would've been cool.
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