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Seven friends in an acting troupe graduate from Cambridge University in 1982 and go their separate ways. Ten years later, Peter inherits a large estate from his father, and invites the rest of the gang to spend New Year's holiday with him. Many changes have taken place in the lives of all the friends assembled, but Peter has a secret that will shock them all. Written by
Liza Esser <firstname.lastname@example.org>
As Brian is being picked up by his wife, Carol's bags can be seen on the front steps. Carol had already been picked up by a driver prior to Brian's departure. See more »
[at the height of his drunken fury]
Why the fuck did you invite me eh? You know, why the fuck any of us? Why this year, not any other bloody year? Is it because all our fucking lives are in such an optimum fucking mess that it needs Peter the Saviour to send us out on the world on New Year's Day, resurrected and directed? Because I'm here to tell you if that's your aim, my old fruit, from bitter fucking experience it hasn't worked!
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Film starts off on New Years Eve 1982 with a collegiate musical troupe giving their final bad performance. It cuts to 1992 where one of them named Peter (Stephen Fry) invites the whole group to his remote English castle for a New Years Eve party. We have the Andersons--Roger (Hugh Laurie) and Mary (Imelda Staunton). They've lost a child and she lives in fear that they'll lose the other. Then there's Maggie (Emma Thompson) who's madly in love with Peter. There's Sarah (Alphonsia Emmanuel) a sexually active woman who brings along her man of the moment (Tony Slattery). And there's Andrew (Kenneth Branagh) who's unhappily married to TV star Carol (Rita Rudner).
This was called a rip off of "The Big Chill". It is, but it's well-made with a great cast, a wonderful script and is totally involving. This is one of the few movies that mixes drama and laughs and both work beautifully. It was also shot (I believe) on location in England and the setting itself is just incredible. All the acting is good across the board. Rudner is a delight (and has the best lines). Emmanuel sometimes overdoes her role but not enough to damage the film. Dramatic, witty, warm--basically a great comedy drama well worth catching.
"Did you ever see "Upstairs Downstairs"?"
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