When the eponymous George Riley, never seen on-screen, discovers he's been diagnosed with a terminal illness, a circle of friends (played by such powerhouses as Sabine Azema, Andre Dussollier, and Hippolyte Girardot), rally and spur him to take part in a play (another Ayckbourn work: Relatively Speaking) with the hope of enriching his final months. Soon after, however, George regains his life-force with full verve, and reattracts the women in his group, threatening their own domestic stability.
I had to come back to this movie after abandoning it first time around after 20 minutes. I saw it through second time and enjoyed it. It is different to the usual 'movie' format as the action is staged with scenery and props as per a theatre play. Some outside film footage is used to set the scene (Yorkshire). The movie is based on an Ayckbourne play. Although the action is very stagey and theatrical it is all carried off very well by an accomplished cast who bring depth and humour to the story. The movie develops as a play within a play whereby the 'real-life' characters become involved in their own person dramas when they good-naturedly invite a dying friend to join their production. The dying friend (never seen) however turns out to have some life left; mainly concerning the women characters. All quite humorous but nevertheless some profound insights into death, friendships, marriage and the 'secrets' of youthful shenanigans.