Six former college friends, with two new friends, gather for a New Year's Eve weekend reunion at a large English countryside manor after ten years to reminisce about the good times now long gone.

Director:

Kenneth Branagh
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4 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hugh Laurie ... Roger Anderson
Kenneth Branagh ... Andrew Benson
Stephen Fry ... Peter Morton
Alphonsia Emmanuel Alphonsia Emmanuel ... Sarah Johnson
Emma Thompson ... Maggie Chester
Imelda Staunton ... Mary Anderson
Richard Briers ... Lord Morton
Phyllida Law ... Vera
Alex Scott Alex Scott ... Young Paul
Edward Jewesbury ... Mr. Gooch
Hetta Charnley Hetta Charnley ... Woman at the Airport
Rita Rudner ... Carol Benson
Bill Parfitt ... Ben Charleston
Ruby May Musto Ruby May Musto ... Ben Charleston
Ann Davies Ann Davies ... Brenda
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Storyline

Upon the passing of his wealthy father and learning that his father made arrangements to provide comfortably for his long time servant, the housekeeper/cook Vera, and her son Paul, Peter is free to decide what to do with his father's vast country estate without having to worry about what would happen to Vera and Paul if he did sell. What Peter decides first and foremost is to host a New Year's Eve party at the estate with his best friends from Cambridge, a group of six, including himself, who performed together in an acting troupe, the last time being exactly ten years ago upon their graduation, that one a bawdy performance also at a New Year's party at the estate for and unappreciated by Peter's father and his conservative friends, before the six went their separate ways into adulthood. What happens at this gathering will be affected by the issues with which each person is now facing, including the secret Peter has been keeping, it the reason he felt the want to get his friends ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Kenneth Branagh's New Comedy About Love, Friendship And Other Natural Disasters See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, and for some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

At one point, Andrew (Sir Kenneth Branagh) and Peter (Stephen Fry) discuss how they had meant to write a play together one day, yet never did so. Fourteen years after this movie's release, Fry and Branagh collaborated on a movie adaptation, The Magic Flute (2006), of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's famous opera "The Magic Flute". See more »

Goofs

Sarah says the line "How does she take her makeup off? With a chisel?" as if "With a chisel?" is an exclamation, not a sarcastic question. See more »

Quotes

Sarah: You'll probably be stuck with that Joan Collins impersonator for the rest of your life!
Andrew: You're talking about the woman I almost love.
Sarah: God, I've never seen anyone wear more makeup! How does she take it off? With a chisel?
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Connections

References Masterpiece Classic (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

The Way You Look Tonight
Written by Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields
Performed by Kenneth Branagh, Alphonsia Emmanuel, Hugh Laurie, Imelda Staunton and Emma Thompson
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User Reviews

It's partly autobiographical actually
19 May 2000 | by ajkandySee all my reviews

...If you don't believe me, you can hunt up a 1983 book called "Footlights: One Hundred Years Of Cambridge Comedy" which is the history of the Footlights amateur theatrical society at Cambridge- whose alumni have included since the 1950s most of the auteurs of post-music hall English comedy.

Footlights revues since 1960 have included the casts of Beyond The Fringe (Jonathan Miller, Dudley Moore, Peter Cook and Alan Bennett), Monty Python (all of them), The Goodies (Graeme Garden, Bill Oddie and Tim Brooke-Taylor), Alas Smith And Jones, and Douglas Adams (Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy).

In 1981 the Footlights mounted an Edinburgh Fringe Festival show called The Cellar Tapes, whose cast included...Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson, and Tony Slattery!

The Cellar Tapes show won the Fringe's Perrier Award and pretty much guaranteed everyone jobs for life in British TV and film. The scene of them at school doing an amateur theatrical show for the university dons is a reference to this, supposedly.

Of the film, despite an interesting concept, some good moments and a talented cast I found this film disjointed, emotionally cold, only rarely witty, and even faintly unbelievable at times --the scene where Thompson breaks down and cries is so reserved and smug it's like she can never really let go- which she never does in anything she's in anyway!

It's rather as if they want to thinly satirize themselves- but only thinly, as if they take themselves too seriously to open themselves to self-mockery. For a better take on this concept, I recommend the 1998 film "Final Cut" starring Jude Law which has the current mob of Britpack actors playing themselves in an improvised film-- often times for laughs.

It's amazing how far Branagh's star has fallen since 1992 when he was The Olivier People Actually Liked. I guess some people really do peak early- he did the movie of Henry V (and wrote his autobiography) when he was 26! Since then?....Anyone?...Bueller?


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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

25 December 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Peter's Friends See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$353,610, 27 December 1992

Gross USA:

$4,058,564

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,058,564
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color (Technicolor)| Black and White (title sequence)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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