Like They Do It in the Movies: Great Party Films to Put You in the Mood (Part One)
When planning your party, you can grab inspiration from tons of places. A friend’s birthday, a theme you saw on TV, or even that weird dream you had once when everyone danced to Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ for six hours while dressed as wizards and nuns. Oh, and movies.
Yep, movies are a major source of inspiration – and with good reason, since everything we do in real life is heightened, magnified and sooped all the way up to awesome on the cool-o-meter. So with that in mind, let’s explore some of the absolute best films that really showed us how parties should be done!
Can’t Hardly Wait
Watch pretty much any American teen flick, and you’re bound to come across… the house party. Sure, the characters’ houses are always about a billion times bigger than any house we’ve ever been too, and there are more friends invited than it’s possible to actually know, but that’s just how they roll in Hollywoodland. Can’t Hardly Wait is one of the best examples of this. A whole cast of kooky characters, a heart-warming star-crossed lovers kinda story, and some wicked-cool tunes. Well, wicked-cool for the 90s, at least. If you’re going for a house party, this is what you’ll be aiming for!
Ok, this movie does have a pretty epic house party going on – courtesy of that loveable rogue, Stifler – but let’s look at American Pie for a whole other reason. This movie works as a way of showing us how not to throw a party. Check out the awkward school disco, with its total lack of theme – eagle-eyed viewers will spot Egyptian themes mixing with the Middle East – as well as everybody’s worst nightmare: a tragic cover band who really think they’re it.
Art imitates life, right? And that’s how we ended up with 80s classic Bachelor Party. Ron Moler, who produced the movie, threw a mega bachelor party for his pal, producer Bob Israel – and it was so good, it inspired the film itself. The movie takes the titular bachelor party, sets it at odds with the bride’s hen party, and lets chaos ensue, all by itself. Well worth checking out if you’re about to get married and want inspiration for the party to end all parties. The tagline says it all: ‘Shocking. Shameless. Sinful. Wicked. And the party hasn’t even started yet.’ Oh, and Tom Hanks hasn’t aged a jot since the film’s 1984 release.
Ok, so you want something a little more reserved, quieter – how about a dinner party? How about a dinner party at a creepy old mansion? How about a dinner party at a creepy old mansion chock-full of potential psychopaths? Then you need to check out Clue, based on the board game Cluedo. It’s one of those riotous affairs with laugh-a-second madness, dead-pan deliveries, and a warning for us all – be careful who you accept an invitation from.
More debauched than Can’t Hardly Wait. More over-the-top than Bachelor Party, National Lampoon’s Animal House was the film that started it all. Featuring three parties in a single film, Animal House was single-handedly responsible for the toga party becoming, y’know, a thing. Wrap a bed-sheet around you and voila – you’re ready to roll. Now that’s gotta be an inspiration for any last-minute fancy dress or theme party! Oh, and they show you how live music should be done – with an epic turn from the fictional Otis Day and the Knights’ singing ‘Shout’! Altogether now, kick your heels up…
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