Peter’s Friends

Another indication that Wellesian wannabe Kenneth Branagh’s true taste as a movie director may lie not in the direction of Shakespeare (Henry V) but on the flip and trashy level of Dead Again. This stagy, overwrought English comedy-drama, adapted from an American script by stand-up comic Rita Rudner and Martin Bergman, is about a weekend reunion of eight friends at a country manor. Largely watchable because of its studied superficiality, like much of the actor-oriented boulevard fare in English theater, this invities each of the main playersincluding Branagh, Emma Thompson, Hugh Laurie, Imelda Staunton, and Stephen Fry, as well as Rudnerto go over the top and devour all the available scenery at least once. You probably won’t remember much of this after it’s over, but it passes the time rather nicely (1992). (JR)

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