Film festivities

Driving home from picking up a vintage Texas Chainsaw Massacre II t-shirt I heard an interesting article on NPR’s Talk of the Nation. The article was about great movie parties, with Neal Conan and a movie expert talking to callers and analyzing some of the greatest party scenes in film history. Of course the standards were discussed: Blake Edwards’ The Party, the Francis Ford Coppola penned version of The Great Gatsby, It’s a Wonderful Life, An American in Paris, Weird Science, and so forth. Some of the callers’ suggestions were excellent, some were maudlin, and others were just stupid. Being the pessimist I am I started thinking about film parties I wouldn’t enjoy. Here’s a list.

American Psycho: Evelyn’s “X-Mas” part, which in the book features midgets dressed as elves, seems like the most excruciating get-together of all time; a collection of self absorbed yuppies and a hostess carrying around a Vietnamese potbellied pig. No thanks.

The Doors: Oliver Stone’s biopic about one of the most influential rock bands of the ‘60s features an Andy Warhol hosted party. Venus in Furs by The Velvet Underground blasts through the rooms, Warhol’s experimental films play on the walls and everybody on drugs – what normally sounds like fun seems like a nightmare. Hanging out with a pretentious group of NYC artists at Warhol’s place sounds like an exercise in patience. Sure Warhol, Lou Reed, Nico, and others were at the party, but it just seems like a giant meat market, fueled by heroin and LSD. I’ll pass.

Sixteen Candles: Jake Ryan’s infamous party contains all the people from high school I hated. It ends with The Geek (Anthony Michael Hall) trapped underneath a glass table. Somebody destroys Jake’s parent’s wine cellar, his girlfriend gets her hair caught in a door, and the nerds are tortured. Once again, I’ll pass.

Touch of Evil: Janet Leigh, hiding in a hotel after a run-in with Mexican gangsters, ends up the target of the same goons. They party next door to her room for hours and eventually kidnap her, giving her a large amount of heroin and framing her for drug possession. It doesn’t sound like a good time. The music is some awful ‘50s rock ‘n roll and the hotel is abysmal. It’s another instance where the drugs introduced to a party ruin a good time.

If anybody else can think of a terrible film party please reply. After all it’s Christmas Eve’s eve and the chances that you, dear reader, have or are about to attend a horrid holiday party is certain. Thankfully the Christmas season offers more than mediocre get-togethers but this aspect of the season is always a headache.

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