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House Party Review

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Kid wants to go to a party at his mate Play's house, but is grounded by his dad after a fight at school, leaving one course of action: wait til dad falls asleep then sneak out of the house. But unbeknown to kid, the three thugs from school are still on his tracks.

★★★★★

Somewhere in America, in a black neighborhood, Play (Martin) decides to throw a house party while his parents are out of town. High on the guest list are his best friends, Kid (Reid), a gawky rapper with an incredible Eraserhead pompadour, Bilal (Lawrence), a DJ with bad breath and lots of scratched records, and a whole bunch of available women. High on the non-invited list are a trio of hoods who beat up Kid on a regular basis and a couple of white cops who cruise around the neighborhood looking for blacks to victimise.

Everyone converges on the party and has a good time. Whilst this low-budget take on black youth culture manages to be funny and likable in a Frankie Avalon kind of way, it also dares to be socially responsible by omitting all but the merest token mention of drugs and endorsing safe sex as the hero refuses to get it on with the girl when the rubber he has been carrying around in his wallet for years turns out to have perished. Frankie Avalon, however, never had to rap to prevent himself being gang-banged in a prison cell, as Kid does in one of the film's funniest scenes.

Rough around the edges, for sure, but well worth seeking out.

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