The word "party," by it's very nature, implies that you're gonna have a good time. Just think about how we use that word. "Lets partttttyyyyy!!!" In fact, "party" is more of a term than it is a word. How many times have we heard someone say, "We're gonna party"? Now, if you take that term and pair it with a movie, you have something special indeed.
If you can take a movie and convey the frenzied energy of a party, you have that rare mix of comedy gold and spontaneity that can't be contained. In fact, the right party movie, whether it takes place all in one night or over a few days, can be watched multiple times. In fact, the best of these movies elicit a certain warmth that not even the most milquetoast of offerings can dredge up.
At their best, party movies are a true window into our souls. Like porn, they play to our deepest desires. We all want to have one night of total and complete carelessly abandoned fun. We want to be the person who gets the girl of their dreams, or has an encounter that we have only otherwise dreamed about. Simply put, we want to party.
So whether we are celebrating the night before somebody gets married, a high school party gone way too far, or even a party where things go terribly wrong... As long as there is a good time involved, that is okay. This is what puts party movies into such a class by themselves. They can be serious one moment, then become pinnacles of buffoonery the next. Or, they can perfectly show us multiple alcohol laden moments, and suddenly a guy with an axe shows up and it's every man and woman for themselves.
The best part? Party movies can simply be movies about the build-up to a party. That journey of actually getting to "party," is its own reward. So, it is with great excitement that we bring you "The 17 Best Party Movies of All Time"! So kick up your heels, crack one open and prepare to party down!
This 1984 offering is probably the perfect template for a party movie. Tom Hanks plays a lovable lout who is about to marry Tawny Kitaen. However, the night before this all goes down, our main character is taken out by his best pal (played to perfection by Adrian Zmed) and his bros for one last night of freedom. Factor in that our lead has a father who wants to see this wedding not happen, and an ex-boyfriend who is willing to make that a reality, and this film turns into an odyssey of butts, breasts, laughter and just about everything else in between.
While a lot of people probably feel that this film is numero uno on a list like this, we say that if it isn't, it certainly holds a slot close to that position. This high school tale of two guys (Jonah Hill and Michael Cera) trying to create a space for themselves at the party of the year, is a gem because it perfectly mixes fantasy and reality. Not only do they get and not get the girls and then get them again, they learn something truly special about the meaning of friendship. So perfect is Superbad, so much can men and women empathize with all the characters in this film, that it actually rises above being a "party movie" to become art.
The best, perhaps the greatest thing about Animal House is that it doesn't really have a plot. Sure, there's that beef with the rival, uptight fraternity, but this movie is literally one party after the next. Featuring John Belushi in a role that isn't quite the star but more of a supporting player, this party film paved the way for many that followed. Featuring a host of actors who would go on to be strong supporting players within the Hollywood infrastructure, Animal House is as important as it is crude. Having made over $140 million on what had to be a pretty paltry budget, this film clearly demonstrates how much people wanna party.
Risky Business is that perfect movie magic trick. It was sold in trailers and in one sheets as a party movie. And, Risky Business is that, but not in the way that one might think. Set to tunes of Tangerine Dream's moody score, this film is an honest to goodness coming of age story. Like a lot of party movies, the film is a cautionary tale of an all American boy (Tom Cruise) wanting to have a great future, and ultimately realizing that he can get their in many different ways. That he comes to understand that by becoming the neighborhood pimp is even more evidence of the party movie's ability to twist and invert on itself.
This tale from producer Roger Corman is your classic party movie gone awry. The plot is simple, a deranged man with a power drill shows up at a pajama party and basically says "the party's over." Of course, the story isn't as simple as that, but this tale of blood, babes, and early 1980s frolicking is, in many ways, the perfect merging of horror and partying. Director Amy Holden actually took this script and shot about 7 minutes of it for $7000. From there, she showed it to Roger Corman (who owned the property), and suddenly she found herself directing this groundbreaking tale for $250,000.