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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 <email@example.com>
Was originally written for an American cast, but the film's location was moved to Britain when Kenneth Branagh joined the production. Ironically, Branagh had just come off of making Dead Again (1991), which had required him to master an American accent for his role in that film. See more »
The film is set in 1992, by which time British Rail had long since stopped steam rail services. Either Peter's house happens to be on a heritage line, or a steam train was added to make the UK appear pleasingly old-fashioned for US audiences. See more »
It's funny, with both my parents gone, I suddenly have this overwhelming urge to act maturely.
Oh, well, I don't think anybody really matures. Adults are just children who owe money.
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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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