The Anniversary Party (2001)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  29 June 2001 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.4/10 from 7,337 users   Metascore: 56/100
Reviews: 127 user | 63 critic | 30 from

Love is complex and relationships deteriorate.

Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Dorothy Parker remembers the heyday of the Algonquin Round Table, a circle of friends whose barbed wit, like hers, was fueled by alcohol and flirted with despair.

Director: Alan Rudolph
Stars: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Campbell Scott, Matthew Broderick
Party Girl (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Mary is a free-spirited young woman with a run-down New York apartment and a high fashion wardrobe. She calls her godmother, a librarian, for bail money after being arrested for throwing an... See full summary »

Director: Daisy von Scherler Mayer
Stars: Parker Posey, Omar Townsend, Anthony DeSando
Comedy | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Bristol, England, early 19th century. A beautiful young stranger who speaks a weird language is tried for the crime of begging. But when a man claims that he can translate her dialect, it ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Austin
Stars: Phoebe Cates, Jim Broadbent, Wendy Hughes
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When a happily married woman discovers a love letter written by her husband to an unknown party, she enlists her dysfunctional family to discover the truth.

Director: Greg Mottola
Stars: Hope Davis, Stanley Tucci, Parker Posey
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

One of the obsessive speculations in American history is whether Thomas Jefferson, in the years before he became president, had an affair with (and fathered a child with) his 15-year-old ... See full summary »

Director: James Ivory
Stars: Nick Nolte, Greta Scacchi, Gwyneth Paltrow
Duets (2000)
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A professional karaoke hustler reconnects with his daughter and a bored suburban businessman turns outlaw karaoke singer, among other plotlines.

Director: Bruce Paltrow
Stars: Huey Lewis, Gwyneth Paltrow, Paul Giamatti
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A mentally unbalanced young woman (who thinks she's Jackie Kennedy) flips into a murderous rage when her brother returns home to reveal he's engaged.

Director: Mark Waters
Stars: Parker Posey, Josh Hamilton, Tori Spelling
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Laura Elliott's quiet life in the wilderness of Desolation Sound is shattered when her old friend, Elizabeth, comes to visit. Laura learns that her husband has been having an affair with ... See full summary »

Director: Scott Weber
Stars: Emily Hirst, Helene Joy, Ian Tracey
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Young Augusten Burroughs absorbs experiences that could make for a shocking memoir: the son of an alcoholic father and an unstable mother, he's handed off to his mother's therapist, Dr. Finch, and spends his adolescent years as a member of Finch's bizarre extended family.

Director: Ryan Murphy
Stars: Joseph Cross, Annette Bening, Brian Cox
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

An American intern at U.K. Vogue helps her friends find love.

Director: Alek Keshishian
Stars: Brittany Murphy, Matthew Rhys, Catherine Tate
Comedy | Western | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Sonny Steele used to be a rodeo star, but his next appearance is to be on a Las Vegas stage, wearing a suit covered in lights, advertising a breakfast cereal. When he finds out they are ... See full summary »

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Robert Redford, Jane Fonda, Valerie Perrine
The Adversary (2002)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When a man murders his wife, children and parents, the ensuing investigation reveals that he's been living a lie for almost 20 years.

Director: Nicole Garcia
Stars: Daniel Auteuil, Géraldine Pailhas, François Cluzet


Cast overview, first billed only:
Sally Therrian
Himself (as Otis the Dog)
Steven Freedman ...
Yoga Instructor
Norizzela Monterroso ...
Clara Demedrano ...
Jerry Adams
Jack Gold
Greta Kline ...
Evie Gold


Celebrity couple Joe and Sally Therrian are going through yet another rough stage in their six-year marriage: while Joe's novels have been climbing higher and higher on the best-seller lists, Sally's film career has been steadily sinking into oblivion. Joe's been given the rights to cast and direct the screenplay of his latest book, but rather than resurrect Sally's career by casting her in the lead role, he's given it to Sally's rival, Skye Davidson. Even worse, he's invited Skye to their anniversary bash. Will the marriage, or anything else for that matter, survive the party? Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It's not a party until something gets broken.


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, drug use and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

29 June 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aniversário de Casamento  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$158,533 (USA) (8 June 2001)


$4,013,506 (USA) (17 August 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The poem recited by Kevin Kline's character is "Dover Beach" by Matthew Arnold. See more »


After Judy throws the diving sticks into the pool, several guests jump in, including a shirtless Joe. In the next shot, Joe is on the grass, wearing his shirt and dry. See more »


Mac Forsyth: You don't have any clothes on.
Clair Forsyth: How nice for everyone.
See more »


References Rush (1991) See more »


Comin' Home Baby
Written by Bob Dorough / Ben Tucker
Performed by Mel Tormé (as Mel Torme)
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

It's Party Time, Hollywood Style
5 September 2002 | by (Salem, Oregon) – See all my reviews

This film pulls back the curtain to reveal a glimpse of what `celebrity' means when the cameras aren't rolling and the stage is dark. What begins as a celebration of sorts becomes a character study that examines the lifestyle of the self-absorbed and those driven by ego, and we get to see the people behind the `fame.' And while on one hand `The Anniversary Party,' written and directed by Alan Cumming and Jennifer Jason Leigh, appears at first to be the kind of party you could find at anyone's house at any time in any place, subtle differences begin to surface that separates it from what could be considered the `norm.' Because beyond certain corporate similarities, the entertainment industry is quite unlike any other, and that goes especially for the people who inhabit it. Sure, actors, writers, directors, etc. are people, just like anyone else, but their particular perceptions and priorities necessarily shift them into a unique position within the landscape of the human condition, wherein they exist amongst their own and for the most part play the game by their own rules. This is a generalization, of course; not every actor or artist lives in the style depicted in this film, but many do. In the final analysis, Hollywood is not called `La-La Land' for no reason, and Cumming and Leigh know it. Welcome to a world in which anything is acceptable, anything goes, and usually does.

Writer/director Joe Therrian (Cumming) and actress Sally Nash (Leigh) have prepared a party to celebrate their six years together; not that they have actually been `together' the entire time, but according to the actor/artist math, it's close enough. Close friends and associates have been invited to share whatever this is with them, as well as a couple of neighbors, Monica and Ryan Rose (Mina Badie, Denis O'Hare), who have certain `issues' with Joe and Sally. And, much to the chagrin of the `aging' Sally, whose career seems to be on the wane, Joe has invited the hot young up-and-comer in town, Skye Davidson (Gwyneth Paltrow) to the party. As the evening wears on into the early morning hours, true feelings are gradually revealed amid a game of charades (rather, a `production' of charades; these people are forever `on'), as well as the sharing of a certain `product' given as a present to Joe and Sally by Skye. And so, what began as a celebration, in the cold, hard light of morning just may be remembered as something entirely different. Welcome to the wonderful world of show biz.

The daughter of actor Vic Morrow, Jennifer Jason Leigh was born into the business, so to speak; Alan Cumming, on the other hand will have to come up with his own excuse. But they have collaborated (perhaps `conspired' would be more accurate) to bring to the screen an interesting, thought provoking story that for all intents and purposes seems, at least, as if it could be a composite of actual experiences and people they have known. Which means they've succeeded in delivering a film that has the decided flavor of reality about it, and for the most part it's extremely engaging, and often riveting drama. it may be a film that many will have trouble connecting with, though, if only because it is bound to fall outside the realm of personal experience for them. Most of the issues in this story are simply unfamiliar territory to the greater part of the world's population, with the exception of those dealing with the more universal themes, like the appreciation of a child's song, or the irritation of the perpetual barking of a neighbor's dog.

What really sells the project, though, and maintains interest, is the excellent ensemble cast the filmmakers have assembled here, portraying an inordinate number of characters driven by look-at-me! egos, yet each presented within their own unique perspectives and contexts. At the center of the fray, of course, is Cumming and Leigh, each of whom do a solid job of anchoring the myriad situations and scenarios generated through, by and around them. Leigh successfully conveys a sense of insecurity consistent with Sally's current status, and Cumming does a good job of making Joe quite unlikable, affecting as he does the look, attitude and personality born of an overblown and bloated ego. it's a portrayal that effectively points up the absolute boorishness that can be found within this community.

Paltrow, meanwhile, perfectly captures the essence of the shallow and relatively clueless ingenue, the vast majority of whom become a flavor of the week before disappearing into the obscurity of Hollywood's human `outbox.' While Phoebe Cates, as former actress Sophia Gold, represents the opposite end of the spectrum, a young woman perfectly content with her current role of wife and mother. And Kevin Kline is convincing as her husband, actor Cal Gold, who though successful is still visited with insecurities and doubt; and his performance is one of the highlights of the film.

Also turning in performances that stand out from the rest are Mina Badie (Leigh's real life half-sister) as the neighbor who comes to the party offering conciliatory overtures toward a more `neighborly' relationship; John C. Reilly, as Mac Forsyth, a veteran director struggling with his latest project (the star of which just happens to be Sally Nash); and Peter Sellers look alike Michael Panes, as Sally's talented friend, Levi.

Rounding out the exceptional cast are Jane Adams (Clair), John Benjamin Hickey (Jerry), Parker Posey (Judy), Jennifer Beals (Gina), Matt Malloy (Sanford) and Owen Kline and Greta Kline (Kevin and Phoebe's real life children, as Jack and Evie Gold). A film that is more interesting than entertaining, `The Anniversary Party' nevertheless offers the viewer a chance to vicariously explore and experience Tinsel Town from the dark side of the curtain; some will find it exciting, while others will deem it decidedly unglamorous. Either way, Cumming and Leigh are to be commended for making it `real.' It's the magic of the movies. 7/10.

22 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
possibly the worst film ever shady000
Love or Hate hugh23
Phoebe Cates stew44-1
i felt like i was watching elevator surveillance videos. spikeschilde
***POSSIBLE SOILER - movies where they drop E modlifwar
Best Film of 2001 Hi McDonnough
Discuss The Anniversary Party (2001) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: