Thursday, December 22, 2016

Thursday Movie Picks - Parties

Written as part of the weekly blogathon hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves. Join the weekly party by picking three movies that fit the week's theme and writing a bit about them!

Are you a party animal? I'm not, generally speaking. I mostly prefer my own couch, a mug of hot tea, and Netflix, but this time of year there are so many parties around that I get out and about more than usual. And I will admit, I usually have a pretty good time. So it's fitting that this week on Thursday Movie Picks the topic is parties. I've picked three movies that center around three very different types of parties. Party on!

The Party (Blake Edwards, 1968) Maybe not the funniest collaboration between director Blake Edwards and star Peter Sellers, The Party is still manic fun. Largely improvised, Edwards just lets Sellers's Indian actor Hrundi V. Bakshi loose at a lavish, over-the-top Hollywood party and watches the insanity that ensues. Something is going on in every square inch of every frame, and watching people react to Sellers is a large part of the fun.

Can't Hardly Wait (Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan, 1998) The ur-90s teen movie, with a cast of just about everyone who was anyone in that decade, taking place at the graduation party to end all graduation parties. Ethan Embry is in love with Jennifer Love Hewitt, recently back on the market after ending things with jock Peter Facinelli, only she doesn't know who he is. Seth Green is determined to have sex, but he's affected a white gangsta persona so off-putting it's made him a joke. And everyone else just wants to have a rager. I never went to a party anywhere to close to this in high school, and maybe that's why I like this movie so much.

Bachelorette (Leslye Headland, 2012) Three friends from high school get asked to be a fourth's bridesmaids for her upcoming wedding. The only problem is, the bride is no longer the party girl the other three still are... and they're also kinda mean girls. But they're played by Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher, and Lizzy Caplan, so they're VERY fun to watch, even while ruining the titular party for the very sweet Rebel Wilson. The movie's mean streak goes a long way to making it more fun than your average female-led comedy, actually, and it's a much better movie than any of the similar Hangover movies.


  1. Can't Hardly Wait looks to be the title of the week and that's a good thing since it's a very fun movie with a better story than most of its ilk.

    This is the second time I've seen The Party turn up. I enjoyed it when I watched it but it's been many years but Sellers is always worth seeing.

    Haven't seen Bachelorette, the preview put me off but if you say it's above average I'll give it a shot.

    There are so many party movies to choose from I decided to find a through line for three and one presented itself rather easily. But then I just felt the list wouldn't be complete without a visit from Frankie & Annette.

    The Wild Party (1975)-On the skids Hollywood silent comic star Jolly Grimm (James Coco) is hoping that an elaborate party he’s throwing with the aid of his mistress (Raquel Welch), capped by the showing of his new film, will reignite his career. The party starts well but quickly spirals out of control ending in tragedy. This was loosely based on the notorious Fatty Arbuckle case. Welch and Coco are both excellent.

    The Wild Party (1956)-The wild party of the title is a kidnapping by a group of losers that becomes the ultimate bad night. “Kicks” Johnson, a hepcat ivory tickler (Nehemiah Persoff) who needs cash cause being broke for a living, “just ain’t cool for a jazzman”, Tom Kupfen, a former pro-football player (Anthony Quinn) reduced to rolling drunks for a few bucks, the trampy Honey (Kathryn Grant) Tom’s last hanger-on from his glory days- in need of cash to pay the rent who says of herself "I have 40,000 miles on me" plus a knife happy, small time con-man, Gage Freeposter (Jay Robinson) on the run from Johnny Law go looking for a score. Freeposter cruises an upscale jazz club “The Fat Man” where the “real cats swing” in search of a mark or two. They find a rich couple (Carol Omart and Arthur Franz) and entice them to an abandoned amusement park where things quickly go wrong. Loaded with 50’s hipster lingo and a primo jazz score.

    The Wild Party (1929)-A group of young women at a girls college are more interested in attending wild parties than studying for their classes. After being kicked out of one such party one of the girls, Stella Ames (Clara Bow), gets into a bad situation in a bar where one of her professors James Gilmore (Fredric March) has to save her. Gossip about the two spreads and Stella has to act fast to save both their reputations. Bow is at her “It Girl” best.

    Summer Throwback Bonus-Beach Party (1963)-It’s the original gathering of Frankie Avalon, Annette Funicello, Deadhead, Eric Von Zipper and the whole beach party gang! This one has a bit more story than usual with anthropology professor Robert Orwell Sutwell (Robert Cummings) and his secretary Marianne (Dorothy Malone) studying the sex habits of teenagers. Not that they’re having any real sex just singing and dancing to Dick Dale and the Del Tones and surfing of course.

    1. Yeah the preview for Bachelorette is NOT good. I don't know if it's your kind of movie, but I liked it. Mostly because I love the three leading ladies.

      Ah, the Wild Party! Interesting that so many have the same title but they are all completely different stories. Which would you recommend most? I'm personally leaning towards Clara Bow, but when wouldn't one?

    2. You can't go wrong with Clara but the James Coco/Raquel Welch while not perfect is really fascinating for it's different parallels with the Arbuckle case and other Hollywood history plus the third lead is played by a young and very beautiful Perry King for a bit of added spice.

      Speaking of Clara Bow. Have you seen Call Her Savage one of her last films and a wild pre-code? If not I think you'll love it, it's one of the films Dell let me write about during Girl Week.

      Here's the link if you're interested.

      Merry Christmas!

  2. Can't Hardly Wait is popular this week!

    I love that you went with Bachelorette. I think that movie is so much better than Bridesmaids. I wish it would've gotten more attention.

    1. I wish Bachelorette had gotten more attention too, especially with that cast being so great. I don't like it nearly as much as Bridesmaids, though.

  3. Bachelorette was fun, but Bridesmaids will always be my favourite.

  4. I've only seen Bachelorette. Have to be honest, though, I hated that movie. I thought it was mean-spirited in a way that wasn't fun at all, just...well...mean. The Party sounds fun. Might have to check that one out.

  5. Hey! We picked The Party! I love that movie and find it so fun. I haven't seen the other 2 but I have had fun parties during my heyday with some very fun antics. Thanks for reminding me about Tne Bachelorette film. I wanted to see this one.

  6. Great picks all round!

    Can't Hardly Wait will be popular - picked it myself. I so wanted Bachelorette to great but it was just ok for me, but I liekd that all the characters (sort of) played against type.