The word “party” indicates that you’ll be having a wonderful time by its very nature. That word is used in a variety of ways. What do you say? Let’s get this party started!?” Parties are actually more like terms than words. What number of times have we heard someone say, “We’re going to have a good time?” In the case of a film, the combination of such term and a film is a wonderful thing indeed!
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If you can capture the frenetic energy of a party in a movie, you’ve got that rare combination of comic gold and spontaneity that just won’t go away. Even if the movie takes place over the course of a few days or over the course of a single night, it can be viewed numerous times. If you’re looking for something that will make you feel warm and fuzzy, go no further than these flicks.
Party movies may be a window into our psyches when done right. They appeal to our deepest wants, just like pornography. We’d all like to indulge in one night of reckless abandonment. We want to be the person that gets the girl of our dreams or has an encounter that we’ve only ever imagined. We want to have a good time.
So whether it’s a night before a wedding, a high school party gone awry, or even a party where things go dreadfully wrong, we’ll always have a good time. That’s fine, as long as you’re having a nice time. To put it another way, this is what sets party movies apart from other genres. They might be serious one minute, and utterly ridiculous the next. Either that, or they can show us a series of inebriated scenes where a man brandishing an axe suddenly appears, and it’s all or nothing for everyone.
The cherry on top? It is possible to make a party movie about the preparations for a party. The journey to the “party” itself is a reward in and of itself. This is why “The 10 Best Party Movies of All Time” is so exciting! So get down on your knees, open a bottle, and get ready to boogie!
10. Can’t Hardly Wait
Can’t Hardly Wait was a must-have for my generation in 1998. Classmates from all walks of life, from football stars and cool gals to complete geeks, assemble at the home of one of their classmates to celebrate their high school graduation. Types are pitted against each other in this film just like the John Hughes flicks it is emulating. Preston (Ethan Embry) and Amanda (Jennifer Love Hewitt), two of the film’s most likable characters, fight head-to-head in this action-packed, raunchy, and sexy flick. At whatever age, there’s always room for a good party, and that’s what Can’t Hardly Wait proves.
9. House Party
House Party, which cost $2.5 million to produce but has grossed over 10 times that much worldwide (not including home video), was a groundbreaking film for white kids like myself who wanted to witness what a black teen party was like. At Play’s house, Kid has been invited to a party. When Kid is suspended from school for fighting, things get tense. Sneaking out of the house after his father goes to bed is Kid’s only choice. This is a coming-of-age story in the making, as well as a wild party. He has gone on to direct a slew of films and television shows, but House Party is where Reginald Hudlin seems to be having the most fun.
8. This Is the End
Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s film seemed to be the party film to end all party films, if that’s even possible. Everyone has their own opinion on this wild and crazy romp/in-joke between Hollywood’s humorous men and women. It’s time to move on. For crying out loud, this is a party movie. Carnage breaks out at James Franco’s shindig, which includes the likes of Jonah Hill and Seth Rogen as well as Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, and Craig Robinson. Franco’s pad has become a battleground for our merry band of misfits, who are fighting for their lives. As we said before, if you’re looking for a good laugh and a chance to choke on some pizza, this is the movie for you.
7. Project X
This is a raucous, high-octane party flick. The plot revolves around a typical party scenario… An amazing party is thrown by three anonymous high-school seniors in order to leave their mark. From then, the movie begins at 10mph, quickly jumps to 60mph, and then reaches 150mph and continues to rise. As a rule, party movies are a lot like that. Everything from world-class pranks to ridiculously uncomfortable sequences can be found in this entertaining film about attractive females and hot gentlemen. If you ever had the opportunity to attend the party depicted in this film, you would never forget it.
6. Weird Science
Weird Science is one of the greatest movies ever made. The fact that it’s also a great party movie is a testament to its adaptability and genius. Anthony Michael Hall and Ilan Mitchell-characters Smith’s Gary and Wyatt have little skill. So they utilize a computer to construct a female version of themselves (remember this was the 1980s, people). In the end it succeeds because their lives are suddenly made a lot more exciting by Lisa (Kelly LeBrock). A massive party is held where Gary and Wyatt confront their bullies as well as securing the girls they have always desired. The question now arises, “Is this movie really for the party?” Weird Science is a party movie because it makes the entire film feel like a party. It’s also a party in the final third of the video! So there you have it!
5. The Hangover
The Hangover, like Project X before it, is an unashamed party film. For a bachelor party, four friends fly to Sin City. The film turns into a scavenger hunt when one of the friends goes missing just days before his wedding. It’s true that this film isn’t all about partying, but that doesn’t mean it’s boring. What could possibly go wrong with a bachelor party taking place in Las Vegas, the city of sin?
4. The Party
Hrundi V. Bakshi (Peter Sellers) is a foolish extra who accidentally sets off explosives while tying his shoe. Angry director Fred Clutterbuck (J. Edward McKinley) urges him to get the f***ing f*** out of here. An invitation to a private party at the Hollywood estate of wealthy businessman Clutterbuck was erroneously sent to Bakshi instead of Clutterbuck himself, and he proceeded to ruin the night for everyone in attendance. Okay, so it’s an older film, but that’s part of what makes it fun to watch with friends. This film’s party appeal is heightened by the inclusion of Peter Sellers. The desire to have fun never goes out of style, no matter how the times or the people change.
3. Dazed and Confused
Is it possible to enjoy a party movie without a few moments that make us pause and reflect on what it is to be human? All in all, Dazed and Confused is an enjoyable experience. In this 1976 coming of age drama, the best thing is how easily it switches between genres. Whether it be the Breakfast Club, Midnight Madness or Over the Edge, this tale of teens enjoying the start of summer vacation is always, always a party.
2. Sixteen Candles
Sixteen Candles is unique and refreshing since it is written from the perspective of a girl. Sam (Molly Ringwald) isn’t prepared for her birthday to be eclipsed by the nuptials of her sister (Jennifer Aniston). The only guy who likes her is the school nerd, and he doesn’t even know she exists. Samantha has a wonderful life despite all of this. …I know what you’re going to say… What’s going on? That’s where the film’s genius is shown. There is a party in the middle of John Hughes’ funny, young adult offering. It doesn’t even take up a quarter of the movie, but its partying attitude is so compelling that Samantha’s existence is once again eclipsed.
Isn’t it obvious from the name? After a German beerfest where two brothers had their butts kicked, they return to the United States and, in typical American way, try to rectify the wrongs. As a result, there is a dizzying array of beer-related sceneries to choose from. This film could be a contender for the title of best party movie. Hops and ale are the only things that are sacrosanct in this Broken Lizard-produced comedy. That’s why this party movie list runs all the way to 17 despite not making anyone’s Top 10 list!
How are you doing? You all went out last night? Did our list inspire you to get together with some old friends? Surely we didn’t miss any of the festivities. Is the guest list for our movie a little sparse? Let us know what you think!