To celebrate her long-awaited prestigious post as a Shadow Minister for Health and, hopefully, the stepping stone to party leadership, the newly-appointed British opposition politician, Janet, is throwing a party for friends at her London flat. Of course, in this select and intimate soirée, apart from Bill--Janet's self-denying academic husband--a motley crew of elite hand-picked guests have been invited: There's April, the sourly cynical American best friend; her unlikely German husband, Gottfried; there's also Jinny and Martha; and finally, Tom, the smooth banker in the impeccable suit. But inevitably, before dinner is served, the upbeat ambience will shatter to pieces, as festering secrets will start surfacing in this perfect domestic war-zone. Undoubtedly, after this night, things will never be the same again.Written by
I'd been looking forward to seeing this. It just goes to show that one should never be taken in by a slickly made trailer or a stellar cast-list. What a disappointing load of old codswallop.
Script: abysmal. No attempt made to write anything approaching natural conversation. Dialogue was jagged and disjointed, lacking any genuine motivational flow. Sorry, but real people just DON'T interact like this. And as for it being a comedy, well you could have fooled me. I think I laughed three times, and two of them were little more than polite titters.
Pacing: what pacing? Whole scads of dialogue slouched by like a line of blinded soldiers. At one point I caught myself yawning.
Characterisation: seven characters flapping about on screen and not a single one of them believable: just 2-dimensional assemblages of histrionics. Consequently I never felt any sympathy (or even antipathy) toward any of them, so couldn't engage with any of the supposed crises they were experiencing.
Performances: almost uniformly muggy and overdone - an effect made even worse by the habit of shooting an awful lot of exchanges in tight close-up.
I was left with the feeling that this might just work on stage (where you'd lose all the tight close-up nonsense) as a short, one-act dark farce. Why on earth anyone thought it would succeed as a movie is beyond me.
Oh yes... I said "short", didn't I? When the end credits appeared there was an audible "Uh?" of surprise from the audience. Surely an entire movie hadn't passed already? On exiting the cinema I checked the time. The film had lasted barely over an hour. Mind you, on second thoughts this was probably a blessing: not sure I could have withstood another 30 minutes of such nonsense.
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