Saturday, September 26, 2009

Party in the Hizzy

Look, I know I usually post about movies from the seventies, and possibly eighties, with a smattering of earlier fare from the Old School Disney selections, but I just watched this movie with my boyfriend a couple of weekends ago and had to represent, so here goes.
Picture it: It's one of those nights where you want to watch a movie, but you've already been to the Blockbuster that week and you just can't be bothered to go again, and you'd rather sit at home and not go out anyway (Insert your "why doesn't she have Netflix?" question here. Answer: I tried it, and they were unable to ship to my apt successfully, so I quit. So there.) So, you peruse your HUGE selection of movies. You have seen all the DVDs what seems like recently. You decide to switch the cord to the VCR, thereby increasing your choices a hundredfold, because your selection of VHS is EVEN HUGER. You then realize that it is a little less huge because your boyfriend is now in residence, and he doesn't like "chick flicks" or animated children's films, more's the pity. So your choices are now limited to selections on VHS that have some sort of universal appeal to both men and women and are hopefully amusing enough for a Saturday Night with Beers On the Couch. This brings you, after a lengthy process of elimination, to a tape made by some guy that used to be a cook at the resaurant where your old roommate worked that he lent to her when she gave him a ride home. This tape has not one, not two, but three features on it. And they are named House Party (I, II, and III, respectively.)

House Party was made in 1990, that glorious year that distilled all the late eighties had to offer and gave you a taste of that most fabulous decade, the 90's, complete with mustard and purple rayon shirts for boys and stretch pants and sports bras and huge bangs for girls. And Kid n' Play, an immensely popular (at the time) "rap" duo ("rap" by the standards of a different time, man) that are featured as the main characters in the film, accompanied by Martin Lawrence and Tisha Campell, who are not a couple in the film, which can be confusing for those who watched a lot of the Martin show in later years. And also some hugely buff "thugs" that play their nemeses while wearing distinctly homo-erotic slashed sweatshirts and constantly suggesting that everyone but they are gay pussies (pardon me.) The plot is basic; Play is going to have a party 'cause he has the house to himself. It's a school night and it'll be hard for Kid to get to it because he got in some trouble at school and might run afoul of his dad. Also, some fine chicks (Sidney and Sharane, played by Gina and somebody you never heard of) have been invited and both Kid, Play, and their friend Bilal (Martin) want to sex them up. Hijinks ensue, yada yada yada, insert hilarity here, and the party gets going. Kid and Play rap, while Martin deejays at the party, and some smokin' hot dance moves are laid down. A little confusion about who has a crush on who plays out, with the girlfriends fighting over rights to Kid, who if you refer to the picture is an extremely weird lookin' dude but they seem to want a piece. What's funny is that these "kids" (Martin is like 25 I swear) go to all this trouble to party, and they just wanna dance! And have a good-natured rap-off! No drugs or boozing for these fine young gentlemen and ladies. Sex, sure, but that comes up later, when Gina (I mean Sidney) realizes she really likes Kid and he figures "Sure, why not" and they hook up. Also, there's a cameo by George Clinton in the movie, but it almost doesn't bear mentioning because he doesn't even perform and they sorely misuse his talents (which are some of the best, if not the best, talents ever.) Anyway it's a good-natured romp that is a fabulous snapshot of a time that I, personally, remember well. And it's funny, so take a look and go back to 1990 in all its glory.

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