The Announcement (2000)
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You know how if you photocopy an image out of a newspaper it will be slightly more grainy than it originally was? Then if you copy the copy and so on it will only get lower quality, even though the original image is still recognisable? Well, that's how it is with this film because, as writer Noah Brown has already noted this could not have been obvious in its influences if it had been entitled "That Life". I say this as someone who never really cared for that series but appreciate for some people it was perfectly spot on. However outside of this select, young middle-class set of media sector professionals, this film will offer very little in the way of substance, narrative or characters. The secrets are wheeled out at a dinner party where (surprise, surprise) there are drink and drugs going around. None of it is original or clever and it is hard to shake the feeling of how very derivative it is. I wanted to care about the characters but there is nothing in the script that made me believe about them (outside of the world of the film) and absolutely nothing that made me care about them or be interested in their self-absorbed world of problems.
The cast match this more or less by turning in easy turns without ever risking getting to the hearts of their characters or making them real people. Banks, Hardie, Addy, Baddiel and others are all just re-enacting their favourite scenes from This Life and the only things approaching genuine performances came from the rotund single guy (sorry I didn't catch his name) and Lennie James. Troy Miller directs with no other aim that aping the moving camera, off-centre framing and "carefree cool" that This Life and the like had; he may do it well but, as my teachers would tell me, copying others is not an acceptable way of passing a test.
Overall then a nice film for those who love things like This Life without exception but even they may struggle with something that never aspires to be more than just a derivative copy.