It's My Party (1996) - Rotten Tomatoes

It's My Party (1996)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

A gay man diagnosed with AIDS decides that suicide is a better option than a slow, painful death in this drama. Nick is an architect and has been living happily with his lover Brandon, an up-and-coming filmmaker. Unfortunately, soon after Nick is diagnosed, Brandon, who does not have HIV, leaves. Brandon still loves Nick, but is unable to cope with the specter of AIDS. Two days before his scheduled death, Nick hosts a farewell party. Most of his friends and family come to personally pay their last respects.
R (adult situations/language, nudity)
Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
MGM Home Entertainment


Eric Roberts
as Nick Stark
Gregory Harrison
as Brandon Theis
Bruce Davison
as Rodney Bingham
Lee Grant
as Amalia Stark
Devon Gummersall
as Andrew Bingham
Marlee Matlin
as Daphne Stark
Roddy McDowall
as Damian Knowles
Bronson Pinchot
as Monty Tipton
George Segal
as Paul Stark
Margaret Cho
as Charlene Lee
Paul Regina
as Tony Zamara
Olivia Newton-John
as Lina Bingham
Steve Antin
as Zack Phillips
Dimitra Arliss
as Fanny Kondos
Christopher Atkins
as Jack Allen
Dimitra Arlys
as Fanny Kondos
Ron Glass
as Dr. David Wahl
Lou Liberatore
as Joel Ferris
Victor Love
as Matt Paulson
Peter Murnik
as Greg King
Felix A. Pire
as Soli Real
Joel Polis
as Tim Bergen
Jon David Casey
as Joe Lovett
Sally Kellerman
as Sara Hart
Greg Louganis
as Dan Zuma
Nina Foch
as Brandon's Mother
Dennis Christopher
as Douglas Reedy
Talia Paul
as Pat Bergen
David Knapp
as Carl Fertig
Jim Kline
as Cowboy
Raul Seymour
as Gym Rat
as Miss Texas-At-Large
Brian To
as Boy in Pool
Michael Kearns
as Party Guest
Matthew Rickard
as Young Andrew
Steve Kmetko
as Newscaster
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Critic Reviews for It's My Party

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (7)

This chronicle of a person with AIDS who decides to terminate his life while his faculties are still intact feels like a personal work, but it's all background detail, lacking a strong dramatic core

Full Review… | December 15, 2006
Top Critic

This Party has its funny, sad and awkward moments. But at the end, you'll be glad you went.

January 1, 2000
USA Today
Top Critic

a powerful experience.

Full Review… | August 25, 2006

Any movie trying this hard to get me misty is a lot more likely to make me angry.

Full Review… | July 6, 2003
Film Freak Central

A powerful and moving film

February 6, 2003
Aisle Seat

Audience Reviews for It's My Party


Roberts best work in years,you can tell this was a very personal story.The film runs the table of emotions but in the end the viewers left fulfilled.

bill secor
bill secor

As terrible as Eric Roberts is, and there's very few actors as bad, he does give his full effort here - but he never stops being Eric Roberts... and that's never a positive.

Bloodmarsh Krackoon
Bloodmarsh Krackoon

(from The Watermark 05/12/96) Just what we always wanted - a long, slow, depressing movie about AIDS. Roberts and Harrison are a gay couple who have been together two years. Roberts suddenly tests HIV+ and the relationship starts to unravel. Eventually Harrison throws Roberts out of their home, and they stop all communication. A year later, Roberts' medical condition is such that his vision and his mind will be completely gone in a few days. So he opts to commit suicide and has a gigantic party inviting all of his friends and family for one last goodbye. Writer-director Randal Kleiser (Grease) has a remarkably simple yet important story that could have illuminated many different dynamics between a gay man and those he loves. Instead, the film is a flat, one-dimensional parade of lesser superstars that reminds us of the tragedy of AIDS, and does nothing to encourage or uplift us. Razor blade, anyone? The main dramatic thrust in the film is when Harrison arrives at the party, uninvited, and wants to reconcile with Roberts. Naturally they still love each other, but the problem is that Harrison has already been painted as the bad guy, and we don't care about him. Even though some of their scenes are touching, the film reduces the impact that such an illness can have on a relationship to the simplicity of one of them being right and one of them being wrong. The entire film has a pared-down feel to it: with the party being the end of the story, flashbacks are used to tell the beginning and the middle. They give no real insight into the characters and clumsily interrupt the emotionality of the party itself. (A director friend of mine thinks they used the flashbacks because they must have run out of money.) True, the film was obviously made on a very low-budget: The sound is poor with snipets of conversation being lost and unintelligible; Margaret Cho's hairstyle inflates and deflates with each new camera angle; the one scene involving prosthetic makeup has Christopher Atkins near-death and looking like an alien specimen from the X-Files. Shortage of funds is no excuse for It's My Party's failure; better films have been made with fewer resources. Many performances help us through the weak material: Lee Grant as Roberts' mother (who should fire her cosmetic surgeon), Cho and Olivia Newton-John who both play concerned friends, Marlee Matlin as Roberts' sister, and Roddy McDowell as an old friend. But nobody works harder than Roberts to make sense of the story. His performance is a true achievement that still isn't enough to save the film. Any movie that can make a party full of gay people so damned dull has got some serious problems.

David Almeida
David Almeida

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