Film Scouts Reviews

"It's My Party"

by Leslie Rigoulot

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January 23, 1996

One of the two studio releases being showcased at Sundance, "It's My Party" still has an independent feel to it, but with studio production values. Nick has reached the beginning of the end of the AIDS trail and is throwing his farewell party. Not exactly a potentially upbeat project. But this party is meant to be a celebration of Nick's life as well as a closing of accounts with family, friends and especially Nick's estranged lover.

Eric Roberts is the charismatic Nick and Gregory Harrison is his somewhat cold ex-love. What is remarkable is that "It's My Party" avoids being manipulative and maudlin which could have been its down fall. No one is pure saint and no one is pure sinner. Casting two heterosexual males in the leads could be playing it safe, but it also gives the film a broader appeal. Let's face it, sexual orientation shouldn't matter but it does.

Lee Grant and Marlee Matlin head line the supporting cast which includes Margaret Cho, Bronson Pinchot, Olivia Newton-John, and George Segal. Seems like everyone wanted to be included in this project so Greg Louganis and Sally Kellerman are given walk-ons.

"It's My Party" is so moving that as I'm recalling it's warmth and wit, I start to tear up again. Obviously a labor of love for writer and director Randal Kleiser, we all benefit from his love.

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