Movies for when you went to get messed up vicariously.
One of life's simple pleasures is collecting a group of close friends and filling a night full of debauchery. It's no wonder a whole genre of movies revolves around this very thing and attempts to capture that feeling. Party movies allow the audience to be nostalgic or even put themselves in outlandish scenarios they will never be in themselves.
Party movies encapsulate youth, reckless joy, and snapshots of wild nights. They are so relatable because they offer fulfilling punctuation to end one era and welcome the next scary chapter. Party movies reflect sobering reality juxtaposed with utter absurdity and fun as a solution until it's time to return to reality again.
Wayne's World follows the stars and crew of a cable access show who accidentally stumble into success. Wayne (Mike Myers) and his friends only aim to put on a good show and party the rest of their weekend away. Suddenly, they are thrust into the world of network television, where they have to choose whether to submit to sponsor demands or lose it altogether.
While the network tried to tear Wayne and his best friend Garth Algar (Dana Carvey) apart in the interest of fame, they pushed back to reclaim their show. By the end, their friendships are reaffirmed, and their mindsets shift to welcome more adult behaviors. The film depicts the catalyst that sets Wayne and his friend's transition into motion, not changing their values but moving into a new stage of life.
Superbad takes place over the course of a single night when three high school friends try to attend a party. The stakes are high as they agree to procure alcohol for the girls they have crushes on. Nothing goes to plan the whole night as they go on a wild series of adventures trying to make it to their final high school party.
The film focuses on a significant life transition, moving from high school into college and leaving behind your childhood friends. Superbad celebrates the excitement and terror of high school ending when the next step is unclear. The movie encapsulates the difficulty of saying goodbye and coming of age.
Shelley (Anna Faris) is a former Playboy Playmate who tasks herself with helping the least desirable sorority on campus becomes the coolest. She forces the girls to undergo makeovers, teaches them how to throw exciting parties, and how to attract guys. Shelley's goal is to open up the girls in this sorority to become a little more like her and have fun while they are young.
House Bunny positions all its characters as people who need to learn from a different perspective. Even though the girls have something to learn from Shelley about not taking themselves too seriously, Shelley also has something to learn about taking herself more seriously. The movie allows the audience to enjoy the riotous predicaments Shelley sets up that only lead to personal growth.
A quintessential party movie, Dazed and Confused, gives viewers a peek into a group of teenagers' night on the last day of school. With some leaving their high school for the last time and about to embark on real life, escapism and fun is the goal of the night. The single night is formative for the whole group and nostalgic for a time most viewers weren't even part of.
The backdrop of the '70s gives the whole film an air of optimism for the characters' upcoming summer and the rest of their lives. Dazed and Confused captures a feeling that's hard to describe and grounded in real life that is easily identifiable. The film is a snapshot of a particular time in a person's life that could be picked up and placed in any decade.
Project X is a mockumentary film that follows three teenage boys trying to put together the greatest party of all time. The party quickly spirals out of control, and the house becomes overrun with people. The boys' lives are immeasurably changed in ways they could never have presumed, and they must reconcile if it was all worth it.
Project X begins with the boys' pursuit of popularity and changing their lives in a big way; of course, they may have gone too far. The movie undoubtedly creates a party that could only be dreamed of, one like never before. The film follows the transformative party format and irreparably changes the lives of these boys but not as they intended.
Samantha (Molly Ringwald) wakes up on the morning of her 16th birthday expecting everything to be different, only to find that her entire family has forgotten. On a day that she sees as the beginning of her adulthood turns out to look exactly like her everyday life. Throughout the course of the night, she begins to find her identity within herself and not within the context of a ridiculous party.
Unintentionally, Samantha grows up and finds her self-worth on the night of her birthday by changing her outlook, not through others treating her differently. She comes of age by looking inward and finding what adulthood means for her. She also connects with the fact that aging does not happen all at once overnight, and she still has a lot of childhood left.
The Night Before introduces three best friends who always get together on Christmas Eve to celebrate and party the holiday away. Their tradition is ending as they realize their friend is now having a baby and that they are all drifting apart. They decide to do it big for their final Christmas Eve together and try to attend the biggest party in the city.
The movie is surprisingly heartfelt and dives deeply into these men's close relationships. The Night Before captures the uncertainty and fear that comes with moving on and leaving behind something that was so sure for so long. It's an endearing adventure that feels very sentimental for close friends who have turned into family.
After being rejected from all the colleges he applied to, Bartleby (Justin Long) decides to fake a college with a group of other seniors who were also rejected. Bartleby and his friends take over an abandoned building and create a fake website to convince their parents of the university's legitimacy. The word gets out about the phony university, more people join, and inevitable chaos ensues as no real learning takes place.
Accepted works as a classic college comedy, regardless of the fact it's not a real school. The students feel unrelenting freedom for the first time in their lives and take their parties and shenanigans too far. They ultimately understand the importance of having some responsibility in their lives because being wrapped up in their lie is not sustainable.
Set in the '80s, Take Me Home Tonight follows Matt (Topher Grace), who has recently graduated from college and refuses to get an adult job. When his high school crush comes back to his hometown and invites him to a party, he must lie about his life to impress her. Matt goes through a lot of trouble to impress all the people he went to high school with who are seemingly doing much better than him in their lives and careers.
Throughout the course of the party, Matt realizes that everybody's lives are not perfect as they are presenting them to be. He must face his fears about what is holding him back from starting his own career and doing what he wants to do with his life. Before the night, Matt and his friend begin to have a different perspective about their futures.
Booksmart looks at two best friends on the cusp of graduation after spending their entire high school experience working very hard to get into college. On the last day of school, they learn that all their classmates who chose to have fun instead of focusing on school work were also accepted into good universities. The girls go to a giant end-of-the-year party to salvage some fun in what they have left in high school.
Throughout the night, the girls try to engage in all the debauchery they once looked down at and end up having a fun night. They come to realize that life is really about balance, and there's nothing wrong with a little slacking off. Amy (Kaitlyn Denver) and Molly (Beanie Feldstein) also resolidify their friendship as they plan to go their separate ways as they enter college and forgive each other for the hostilities they held against each other.
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