This weekend, producer Todd Phillips and his cast of unknown young actors will be trying to convince us that the party in Project X is the place to be. Sure this party in this movie looks depraved, from the midget in the oven to the naked girls in the pool, but any good movie fan knows that cinema history is crammed full of parties you want to attend, whether for the glamour factor or the awesome story you'd have when you got through the night. From refined events with murder happening in the background to the high school graduation party to end them all, so many movie parties have a way of making you feel like you're right in the middle of the action-- or secretly glad you get to watch it from the safe distance of your theater seat. Below are 10 of our favorite movie parties, so don your togas or ballgowns and grab your red Solo cups-- and if the cops show up, turn the lights off and pretend nobody's home.
Can't Hardly Wait
I don't want to have to go back to high school to go to the graduation party in Can’t Hardly Wait-- I really just want to be a fly on the wall to witness this one graduating class's last hurrah. The entire movie takes place at this single party, which winds up being the climax of drama and humor that’s built up over four years of high school. Amanda Beckett was just dumped. Preston Meyers wants to win her heart. Mike Dexter recently became single. William Lichter has a score to settle. Denise Fleming doesn’t want to be there. And Kenny Fisher’s “gotta have sex tonight.” This is probably the last night all of these people will be together and hopes are high for an amazing night. Not everyone has one, but it’s certainly one to remember, and one well worth watching. Plus, Love Burger's playing. Who wouldn't want to be there?
Singin' in the Rain
Is there anything so chic as Hollywood's Golden Age? Gene Kelly's classic movie musical is a loving send-up of the industry set in the transitional period between silent films and talkies. And it's following the premiere of Lockwood & Lamont's latest silent epic that we're given a coveted glimpse of the devastatingly glamorous industry party that not only boasts some of Hollywood's biggest stars, but also displays its latest innovation, "the talking picture." Within studio head R.F. Simpson's luxurious Hollywood home there's glitzy celebrities, a lively floorshow, hot gossip, movie history in the making, and delicious, delicious cake! So of course I want to go to there.
Back to School
“It’s Melon. He’s throwing the greatest party of all time,” the drunken college kid tells Sally Kellerman. “The whole world is there.” And while he’s exaggerating, the dorm-room party thrown by Rodney Dangerfield’s millionaire father in Back to School does have Robert Downey Jr., Oingo Boingo (fronted by legendary songwriter and film composer Danny Elfman), and a hot tub filled with curvaceous coeds helping Rodney study marine biology. Which is why Kellerman does exactly what I would have done had I lived in Back to School-- she goes in. Those of us who survived college know that dorm parties are cramped, sticky messes of cheap beer and terrible music, all kept quiet for fear of disturbing campus security. But the party scene in Alan Metter’s 1986 comedy took School to a new level of rowdy fun, raising the bar set by Animal House while also pinpointing everything we enjoyed about the gaudy, superficial ‘80s. It might not be as pure a celebration as Dangerfield attempting the Triple Lindy during the diving competition, but Downey Jr. making fart noises and pretending to be “the poster child for birth control” is still pretty outstanding.
After Indian actor Hrundi V. Bakshi ruins the climactic scene of a big blockbuster production, the film’s enraged director to calls the studio to get him blacklisted. But instead of the blacklist, Bakshi is accidentally put on the guest list for a swanky Hollywood dinner party. The venue is decked out in true swinging 60s fashion complete with an indoor waterfall, giant birdcage and a bunch of other far-out gadgets controlled by a panel of buttons. It is quite the set-up for the ritzy occasion but not fully utilized until stumbled upon by Bakshi. In fact, he’s the best thing to happen to the otherwise stuffy affair. Well, him and the absolutely hammered waiter. The second Bakshi arrives at the party things start to unravel until eventually the indoor pool is opened and the entire house is full of bubbles. The comedic genius of Peter Sellers shines through the only mildly offensive brown-face in Blake Edwards’ homage to Jacques Tati. The only thing I don’t know is what would be more fun - being the fish out of water Bakshi or one of the invited guests watching and partying alongside the clueless crasher. “Birdie num num.”
There’s nothing quite like partying with a bunch of people who have absolutely nothing to lose, and that’s Delta Tau Chi from Animal House all over. Upon learning that their grades have slipped below acceptable levels and that there’s a very good chance their time at Faber College is over the boys decide to throw one last shindig and it was a blowout unlike anything that the university had ever seen. I am, of course, referring to the infamous toga party, and who the hell wouldn’t want to be there? For starters, practically everyone in the room has come to the party half-naked, which is always perfect for social situations. Then there’s Otis Day and the Knights, a band that can actually play The Isley Brothers’ “Shout” better than the original band. Just putting yourself in the shoes of your favorite major character ends up with you having a great night, whether you’re Bluto (who gets to enjoy the extreme pleasure of smashing a hippy’s guitar into a million pieces), or Otter (who gets sweet, sweet revenge against the dean by sleeping with his lush of a wife). The only argument against this party is that Pinto nearly has sex with a 13 year old, but I think it’s better to focus on the fact that he didn’t and pulled the classy move of taking her home in a shopping cart.
Breakfast at Tiffany's
Living in tiny apartments and surrounded by cranky neighbors, Manhattanites aren't really capable of throwing the kind of sprawling ragers you might see in other entries on this list. But what they do better than anybody else is take a tiny space and make it devastatingly cool, and the queen of apartment entertaining has to be Holly Golightly, who throws the gold standard of apartment parties in Breakfast at Tiffany's. With a wide range of guests wearing only the most fashionable clothing, snacks and drinks set up on her totally empty bookshelves, and an orange cat without a name who somehow manages to stick around throughout all the action, Holly has the perfect party even without adding herself. Her boldly highlighted hair, enormous earrings and super-long cigarette holder capable of lighting hats on fire is the definition of chic nearly a half-century after the movie was released. Even if I can't be one of the hip guests, I'd settle for being George Peppard's out-of-place Paul, getting to wander among the crowds and eavesdrop on their crazy conversations.
There are some pretty crazy parties on this list, but there isn’t a single one here that can match the pure insanity in Neal Israel’s Bachelor Party. In fact, it’s such an ridiculous event that I’m not sure it would even be possible to have fun – the reason to go would just be to see how crazy it got. And Rick Gassko’s friends don’t disappoint. Over the course of the night our fun-loving protagonists enjoy every form of debauchery known to man, be it hookers, mass amounts of drugs, sex, pranks and they even get a donkey to do a few lines of cocaine. By comparison, the boys from The Hangover spent a nice night in playing a game of checkers. The party does have its downsides, including a jealous ex-boyfriend who is doing everything he can to break the shindig up and a suicidal man in the bathroom who is trying to slit his wrists with an electric razor, but that’s just all part of the fun. It’s the kind of party you desperately want to go to and you’ll probably walk out the door wishing that you hadn’t, but at the very least it’s a great story that you can tell for the rest of your life.
George Lucas' fantasy adventure famously followed the journey of the pint-sized Willow Ufgood (Warwick Davis) into the big and dangerous world outside his humble village to save a ginger baby of prophesy. His travels take him to mystical islands, creepy crossroads, fairy-filled forests and a formidable castle stronghold. Yet before all this questing begins, Willow has a far simpler goal: to impress the local sorcerer into taking him on as an apprentice by showing his magic skills at the Nelwyn village's festival. Here, there's spirited folk music, dancing (with tree limbs and burlap sacks), roast meats, and of course Willow's magic show! It looks like a convivial neighborhood celebration, and a great deal of fun! You know, up until the point when those terrifying rat-wolves show up and terrorize everyone.
Rules of the Game
Often regarded as one of the finest films in cinema’s history, Jean Renoir’s The Rules of the Game (aka La Regle du Jeu) also contains one of the great cinematic parties. The comedy of manners unfolds during a weekend hunting at the French Chateau of Robert, Marquis de la Cheyniest. Yes, it’s fancy, but don’t let the party’s highfalutin facade fool you. There are some serious shenanigans going on inside the manor house, especially once the servants or staff storylines start to mix with and resemble those of the bourgeois host and his guests. Besides all the rabbit shooting, sexual escapades and even a dude dressed up in a bear suit (Octave, played by the director himself), the number one reason to attend the party is the show that the Marquis puts on for his guests - a wonderful dance number set to Camille Saint-Saens’ Danse Macabre, all while Renoir’s camera roams the room letting us be privy to the other ‘performances’ going on simultaneously. And if that sounds too intellectual for your taste, there’s also a murder. Party!
All About Eve
When a normal couple gets into a terrible fight right before throwing a party, they might cancel the event, or at least try to hide their animosity for the sake of the guests. But Margo Channing is not that kind of wife, and right before she and her husband Lloyd invite over all of the New York theater world's glitterati, they get into a terrible fight that casts a "Macbethian" pall on the entire night. This is the scene that inspires Bette Davis's immortal line "Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night" -- and immediately after she delivers it, she's introduced to Marilyn Monroe, in one of her first screen roles, as the ditzy date of the film's villainous Addison DeWitt. You can imagine a fancy dress party like this being dull and self-aggrandizing, but with a tornado like Margo Channing running through it, the night becomes unpredictable and full of juicy gossip. Put on your furs and jewels, get drunk, and watch Margo take over the night.