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Movie Review: The Anniversary Party

Story: This will be a short, yet pained review. However, not as painful as what I endured sitting through this piece of junk. This film was co-written and co-directed by Jennifer Jason Leigh and Alan Cumming who also star and have dozens of their own photos as the predominant art work throughout the sets (photos actually by Nan Goldin). They apparently thought a narcissistic, self-indulgent insipid film about Hollywood types as real people portrayed with real problems would be cinematically intriguing. In fact, the very opposite is what I saw. I found myself quickly disliking every single character as they were introduced and ultimately I began to wish them all harm as I got to know them better. I can't believe this is what was intended. The only film character I liked was Otis, the dog. So, I hope I haven't been too wishy washy but in case you did not get my message here it is again. DO NOT GO TO SEE THIS FILM!

Acting: There are many familiar actors in this film including Gwenyth Paltrow, Kevin Kline and real wife Phoebe Cates and their two real life kids, Parker Posey (everyone's favorite Indie actress), Jane Adams, Jennifer Beals and John C. Reilly. Apparently all are friends of the co-directors. It is interesting what friends will do for friends these days. I hope they don't include this film on their resumes.

Critters: Otis the dog and another little gray dog with a cameo role.

Food: Lots of finger food prepared lovingly in the kitchen by two nice characters in the film who are the Spanish help.

Visual Art: The aforementioned photos seen everywhere.

Blatant Product Placement: Apple

Soundtrack: Tiresome

Opening Titles: Boring

Theater Audience: An odd assortment of older people and twenty somethings. I think the older folk thought they were going to see a new version of the Big Chill. I did hear some audible groaning (or maybe that was me). The good news was that I did not pay for my ticket. I had been given some movie gift certificates (a perfect gift for me) by a friend. That was my saving grace.

Squirm Scale: 2 (I thought something bad was going to happen to Otis).

Predictability Level: I didn't care what happened.

Tissue Usage: I should have cried for having to sit through this piece of dreck.

Oscar Worthy: Puhleeeeze!

Nit Picking: Don't get me started.

Big Screen or Rental: Rent the Big Chill instead or rent any other movie but this one.

Length: 115 agonizing minutes.

LOBO HOWLS: 2 (one howl for Kevin Kline - I like him in anything and one howl for Otis the dog).