Party like your life depends on it.
House Party is a 2023 comedy film directed by Calmatic, written by Jamal Olori and Stephen Glover, produced by New Line Cinema and SpringHill Company, and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. This is the sixth film in the House Party franchise, being a remake of the original film of the same name. It was preceded by House Party: Tonight's the Night. It stars Jacob Latimore and Tosin Cole.
"We 'bouta throw a party in the king's house!" - Damon
Best friends Kevin and Damon are house cleaners. Both are down on their luck and looking for a way to make some money. A golden opportunity presents itself when they discover that they are cleaning LeBron James's house. After finding out that LeBron is on vacation for two weeks, the two of them decide to throw an all-time party to make the money that they need.
House Party is a movie.
This film is funny. If you're my age (high school), you will appreciate the humor and comedy a lot more. It caters to a younger audience. The jokes use teenage slang. There's a lot of social media and modern music. It's very much a movie made for people in their late teens/early twenties. So, because I'm the target audience, there's some fun to be had.
There's a bunch of cameos from celebrities in here that I really enjoyed. I think that was the fun of it. From basketball players to rappers, there's a lot of recognizable faces that will get a laugh out of you whenever they showed up. It was sprinkled nicely throughout the movie so it was never too much. I really, really enjoyed that aspect of it.
There's a sequence near the end of this movie that involves Kid Cudi (not a spoiler that he's in it because he's on the cast list and in the trailer) that was bonkers. It's in the positives because of how crazy it is. The trailers don't hint to what happens here. It's so random. It doesn't really fit into the plot at all, but it's so off the wall crazy that I had to praise it. Easily the funniest and best part of the film.
Unfortunately, that's where the positives end.
If you told me that this movie was a remake of a 90s movie directed by the guy who directed the Old Town Road music video, I'd probably have said "that is not going to be good". And I would've been right.
Beyond comedy, House Party has nothing going for it. It's like a shell with no inside. There's the funny parts...and then nothing else. Nothing else is good. Sure, most of the performances are fine. But this movie just fails at almost every aspect of good filmmaking.
First of all, the story is all over the place. It sounds like a relatively simple story, right? Well...yes and no. The main plot does involve the party, but there's subplots and other random ideas that are just added to the film for no reason at all. The Kid Cudi segment that I praised in the positives is hilarious, but it makes absolutely no sense with what's been set up. It's so weird and so out of place. And there's a lot of things like that that aren't as funny as the Kid Cudi segment.
Secondly, the two main characters are not very good. The first one, Kevin, is trying to provide for his daughter. So his solution is to throw an illegal party in LeBron James's house. That isn't a very compelling or likable setup for a character. The second one, Damon, is significantly funnier, but also is just unlikable. While Kevin does agree to throw the party, Damon essentially manipulates him into saying yes. The two of them are fun together, but when you stop and think about it, you will not like these characters.
And in a movie like this, all logic and reasoning is just thrown out the window. There are so many plot conveniences. There are so many lapses in sense. The whole idea of the film is built on a storyline that's so ridiculous and unbelievable. I do suspend disbelief for movies. You have to. But in this film specifically, the disbelief just gets suspended a bit too much for my liking.
There are also these three characters that act as the film's villains that are just horrible. They are meant to be funny, and there's a few lines that will get a laugh out of you, but if you aren't laughing at them, you're cringing. The actors who play them are all awful. They are so over-the-top and silly to a point where it feels out of place in a movie that is already insanely over-the-top and silly. They really brought the movie down for me, because everything about them was just so awful.
Now, obviously House Party isn't a good movie. I did not like it. But it does know what it is. It doesn't take itself seriously. It knows it's a remake of a 90s movie directed by the director of the Old Town Road music video. But it also doesn't try to do anything to make that sound better. It just lives up to that name.
Final Thoughts and Score
House Party is somewhat fun, but like so many of these B-tier comedies, it's humor can't hold up the entire movie, so the bad direction, story, and characters are all exposed.
I will go Sour here. Age range is 14+.
SWEET N' SOUR SCALE
Sweet (Great) Savory (Good) Sour (Bad) Moldy (Terrible)
Fun Factor: 6.5/10
Directed by Calmatic
Rated R for strong language, sexual content, thematic elements
Released on January 13, 2023
1 hour and 50 minutes
Jacob Latimore as Kevin
Tosin Cole as Damon
DC Young Fly as Vic
Karen Obilom as Venus
Andrew Santino as Peter
Allen Maldonado as Kyle
Melvin Gregg as Melvin Gregg
Rotimi as Rotimi
LeBron James as LeBron James
Kid Cudi as Kid Cudi