First released in 1990, House Party has become a staple piece of urban cinema over the years. The title explains what it is about in a nutshell. So yes, it is about a house party, but not just any house party. It’s the party of all parties and everyone who has seen this film has wished that they were there. From the music, the characters, the girls, the guys and the vibe – this now legendary cinematic shin-dig had it all.
CHARACTERS: 80s/90s rap duo Kid N Play (aka Christopher Reid and Christopher Martin) play high school students and the two leads, while comedian/actor Martin Lawrence appears as their friend and DJ Bilal, in Lawrence’s big screen debut. Elsewhere actresses Tisha Campbell and AJ Johnson are friends Sidney and Sharane, who serve as love interests for Kid N Play. And then, as with any good movie there is the villain. Or in this case ‘villains’, courtesy of 80s r&b group Full Force, who play the school bullies and all the round bad guys, whose mission seems to be to make Kid’s life as difficult as possible.
PLOT: When Play’s parents go away for the weekend, he decides to throw a party. However his best friend Kid is grounded for getting into a fight at school and not allowed to go.
But when Kid’s father falls asleep watching TV on the sofa, he takes it as his cue to sneak out and go to the party anyway. What ensues is the longest night ever, with Kid getting into a series of almighty scrapes, each one leaving him wishing he had just obeyed his father and stayed his ass at home.
This film is as funny as hell, even after the 1000th time you’ve watched it. The best scene hands down is the impromptu dance battle. This ensues between Kid N Play and Sidney and Sharane, against the glorious musical backdrop of the infectious Full Force track Ain’t My Type of Hype. This scene had everyone and their mother trying replicate the moves, particularly the ‘Funky Charleston’ (Kid N Play’s signature move).
Three sequels have been made over the years, the most recent in 2001, in the form of the direct-to-video House Party 4: Down to the Last Minute. This film (which stars Marques Houston and his former IMX band mates) is the only one that doesn’t feature Kid or Play, or any of the original characters. But none of the follow-ups live up to the original.
Entertain yourself below with the infamous dance-off. Also, what are your first memories of House Party? What do you still love about the movie? Let me know…
DID YA KNOW?
- House Party was originally written for DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, a.k.a. Jeffrey A. Townes and Will Smith. As Jeff said on his Twitter in September 2009, ‘think about it, a DJ and a rapper…’.
- A.J. Johnson (Sharane) choreographed her and Tisha Campbell’s (Sidney) routine for the battle.
- Acclaimed actor and comedian Robin Harris, who played Kid’s Dad ‘Pops’ in the movie, died of a heart attack 9 days after the movie was released.
- The film was written and directed by Reginald Hudlin, based on his Harvard University film school thesis.
- Actor/former Darryl ‘Chill’ Mitchell, who played Chill, and went on to appear in the Kirsty Alley sitcom Veronica’s Closet, was paralysed from the waist down in a November 2001 motorcycle accident.