Peter's Friends

Movies, Comedy
Six old friends from the Cambridge Footlights are reunited after a decade for New Year's Eve, and take stock of what happened to their dreams, characters and relationships. The witty script isn't pitched much above sitcom standard, but a couple of the performances are terrifically good. Maggie (Thompson) is in publishing, palpably lonely, and so desperate for a lover that she bounds at prospects like a puppy, while Sarah (Emmanuel) has a turnover rate that is something like Catherine the Great's. Peter (Fry), now a Lord and hosting the party at his generously-dimensioned stately home, never fulfilled his literary promise, nor did Andrew (Branagh), who sold out to Hollywood and has returned accompanied by a laminated LA wife (Rudner). Roger (Laurie) and Mary (Staunton) live lives of quiet desperation after the death of a child. Acting honours go to Staunton for her extraordinary emotional depths, and to Thompson for her super-gawky eccentricity. Branagh's drunk scene doesn't work, and most will guess the pay-off, but it's an amiable enterprise.

By: BC

Release details

Cast and crew

Director: Kenneth Branagh
Screenwriter: Rita Rudner, Martin Bergman
Cast: Hugh Laurie
Imelda Staunton
Stephen Fry
Emma Thompson
Kenneth Branagh
Alphonsia Emmanuel
Rita Rudner
Tony Slattery
Richard Briers