Because we can’t be serious all the time.
House Party was an unexpected low budget hit upon release in 1990, something about the bright colours and an ‘urban movie’ without a single drive by tapped directly into the consciousness of a teen market wanting desperately to embrace hip-hop culture without getting a gold tooth.
Kid ‘n’ Play host their own mega (to them) party. The be-all and end-all of House Parties. Where they can let their personal freak flags fly. Where a good time will most certainly be had by all.
And they basically do.
In a lurid blur of motion and colour these attractive teens set about enjoying themselves in the most PG 13 ways imaginable.
For a 15 year old this was like opening a window to another world: the outlandish gravity defying haircuts that I envied but would never dare attempt. The stoopid (in a good way) rhymes and dumb (in a hopelessly dated now) phrases spouted by these fly guys and home girls were new and dangerously addictive, if terribly out of place in the small town I grew up.
Shennanigans were plentiful, but amounted to little more than messin’ playfully with the man in blue, freaking the establishment and clearly exposing the gaping generation gap by juxtaposing these carefully manicured teens against the pompous and staid older types.
Characters are broad and never less than frenetic and loud, dialogue makes little sense but sure sounds fresh and exciting.
And boy are these kids budding model citizens. Overindulgence of alcohol is frowned upon, but with a supportive message of limitation rather than abhorrence. Violence is for punks and drugs aren’t even mentioned. Sex is OK but only when ‘safe’ and amenable to both parties, no ‘c’mon baby, you know you want it’ here.
There is an anti-prison sex rap. Finally!
Final Rating – 6.5 / 10. House Party spawned several sequels, none of which I even vaguely recall. But this 90 minutes is always likable and elicits warm memories of my teens (not that I acted like this, but I watched a lot of movies where characters did).