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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 4 January 2017
A tragi-comic reunion tests old friendships. When his landed-gentry father dies, Peter (Stephen Fry) inherits a glorious, rambling, palatial country house and a crushing load of debt. Depressed about having to sell the old pile, Peter decides to cheer himself up by inviting his old mates from Oxford for one last New Year's bash. The six friends used to be very close and New Year's ten years earlier was the last time they inflicted on unsuspecting relatives their embarrassingly awful cancan cabaret act with both men and women dressed as showgirls. Since then adult life has meant that they have lost touch, and the reunion is made even more awkward by the introduction of a couple of partners who quickly clash with the original group.

While there are many comic situations, the core of the story is that they are all profoundly unhappy. In their own different ways, all six friends are living lives that appear successful on the surface, but are rife with tension and drama. Being together again, on a spuriously happy occasion, forces them to take stock of their situation, seeing themselves through the eyes of their old pals, and brings each of them to a personal crisis. How they deal with these unpleasant self-revelations changes the course of their future lives.

An emotional roller coaster, peppered with some memorably funny lines, and enriched by strong performances from a bunch of seasoned British veterans and a capable American comedienne, Rita Rudner, who also co-wrote the script. The storyline lacks subtlety, and often veers into maudlin saccharine. Some of the characters are not very likeable, but the various subplots and back stories add humanity and interest. I didn't find it as “totally uproarious” as promised, but some of the more ludicrous dialogue has stuck with me.
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on 28 April 2017
A good film about old friends getting together to see the new year in, they all have problems individually and more and more unravels throughout there stay together.
The film quality is terrible, from the start all the writing as you go into the film is moving around side to side and up and down like it's a bad copy, it also said on the amazon site it was a 4.3 picture and this was wide screen, this also made me think it's a copy.
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on 11 August 2017
Oh dear. I loved this film as a kid. It not as good as I remember. The DVD is pretty poor quality too.
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on 6 August 2017
Fantastic, this movie passes the test of time. great music too.
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on 1 July 2017
Very depressing film
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on 17 August 2017
Love this film so much.
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on 2 January 2008
It is difficult to say something original about this film, something that hasn't been said 10 times before.

But it *is* excellent.

I had heard it was a comedy, that you couldn't stop laughing, well it isn't exactly true. There *are* some very funny jokes and lines, but overall the movie is rather tragic. Somes storylines definitely prevent you from laughing and may even leave you a bit down. Fortunately, the pace is just right, and you never stay on one depressing thing for too long - everything stays emotionnal and personnal without falling in pathetically melodramatic stuff.

The actors are of course excellent. Thomson as a desperate spinster and Laurie as a sober jingle writer are hilarious. Slattery is very good as well but his character is so irritating that it's difficult to say you "loved him" in this film. Staunton is wonderful in her overprotecting mother part, and carries out alone a good part of the tragic dimension of the film. Fry is wonderful of course though he doesn't seem to be really "acting" : It looks just like his old self -except that he is not "in the vagina business" at all in reality, neither does he have aids or is an English lord -.

Anyway, this film is definitely a must-see, too bad the dvd in itself sucks so much. No subtitles, and no chapter division ! It's the first time I've ever seen that in a dvd. As for the image quality, it is like watching a VHS...

Charles, Paris
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on 21 June 2007
I love this film, but I'll confine this review to the wretched DVD. I own hundreds of DVDs and this is without a doubt the worst quality of them all. The colors are all faded and the transfer is not in the proper aspect ratio.

Worse, the 4% PAL speed-up is really noticable because the film is filled with well-known pop songs, always the worst victims of speed-up, which sound like they're being sung by The Chipmunks on this DVD.

Luckily the film has been released on DVD in the US, in a fantastic looking widescreen version, and it's NTSC, so there's no speed-up. I bought it and sold my copy of this release, which is garbage.
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on 18 February 2017
I really enjoyed watching this. Took me back to happier, pre BREXIT days. Lovely feel good film.
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Peter's Friends is a very enjoyable film about a group of people who were students together, all part of the same revue which used to play with variable success, meeting up ten years later. The setting is Peter's house, a stately home, on which they all descend for the New Year, coming from far and wide, and it focuses on eight characters, essentially, plus the housekeeper and her son. Stephen Fry is Peter, very close in personality to his real self, and very winning. Hugh Laurie and Imelda Staunton add a heartfelt thread about a couple who lost one of their twin children and cannot cope with the tragedy; the other relationship problems presented are a bit thumbnail, resulting in a tendency for conversations to flare up into tense outbursts perhaps a little too often, but the charm of actors like Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh ensures you stay with it, like a compressed soap opera with generous interludes of 80s pop songs. The final sequence is surprisingly moving and understated, and there is a fantastic huge inflated snowman in front of the house, unique, yet a very practical solution to the British climate. The whole thing feels very much of its time, but you are very glad to go back into it, fake snowman and all ...
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