It's My Party

"Excellent"

It's My Party Review


Like the outstanding Longtime Companion, Randal Kleiser's It's My Party shows what happens as AIDS rips apart a tight-knit circle of friends both gay and straight. The disease is claiming the life of the leader of their pack, a charismatic architect named Nick (Eric Roberts), and the experience is life-changing for all who know him.

Given just a few days to live (a rather contrived Dark Victory-style setup but one that is apparently based on a true story), Nick decides to commit suicide rather than suffer at the end the way so many of his AIDS-afflicted friends have. But before he goes, he decides to throw a two-day party to which he will invite all his friends, hand out parting gifts, and say goodbye with laughs and drinks rather than with tears and sadness.

And what a group. His best buddy Charlene (Margaret Cho), married pals Lina (Olivia Newton-John) and Rodney (Bruce Davison), and their gay son Andrew (Devon Gummersall) all arrive. Even his mother (an excellent Lee Grant) and his deaf sister Daphne (Marlee Matlin) are there, and later on his estranged father (George Segal) arrives as well. Keeping the mood light is Monty (Bronson Pinchot), an ultrabitchy manager prone to witticisms such as an offhand comment he makes to Nick: "I see you haven't lost your sense of tumor."

The big question: will Nick's ex-lover, movie director Brandon (Gregory Harrison), show up? Flashbacks show us their passionate relationship and its demise a year earlier, when the uptight and partially closeted Brandon could no longer tolerate Nick's wild ways and wilder friends. After their ugly breakup, the two haven't spoken, but in this moment of crisis, Brandon knows he must come, even if he's pretty much unwelcome.

The crowd gathers, drinks are served, and the mood fluctuates wildly but naturally from black humor to despair. Some can't believe this is actually happening. Mom is paralyzed with fear and tries cooking as a way of steadying her nerves. After the impromptu slumber party is over, Nick's final day arrives, the goodbyes pick up speed, and his suicide plan goes into effect. It's thrilling and chilling. In the final moments, Lee Grant's primal maternal scream will give you shivers.

It's My Party is an outstanding ensemble effort, with plenty of laughter, drama, and pathos to go around. Watch Kleiser's long tracking takes and he moves the camera indoors and out, through room after room, dropping in and out of conversations. The commentary reveals just how hard it was for him to pull this labor of love together, shooting around his large cast's schedules and trying to maintain continuity of everything from wardrobe to the length of burning candles over a period of more than a year. Roberts and Harrison really shine (this is one of Roberts' few really human performances), and the supporting cast gives effortless, almost improv-like performances, too. It's a powerful experience.

It's my party and I'll watch Three's Company if I want to.



It's My Party

Facts and Figures

Run time: 110 mins

In Theaters: Friday 22nd March 1996

Distributed by: MGM Home Entertainment

Production compaines: Opala Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 47%
Fresh: 7 Rotten: 8

IMDB: 7.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , Joe Thurm

Starring: as Monty Tipton, as Charlene Lee, as Nick Stark, as Damian Knowles, as Lina Bingham

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.