‘House Party’ 2023: Review

I will not lie to you all….I didn’t have high expectations for this film and I didn’t even try to find something to like. Did I like things about this film? Yes. Did it need to be a theatrical release? NOT AT ALL. This movie was an elevated BET movie, and honestly, BET where were you? Let me take you back for a moment.

If you recall, House Party was supposed to be an HBO Max movie, but remember, HBO Max merged with another property resulting in this movies, and others, being dropped from the platform. Again, BET, where were you? I was waiting for BET to pick this up for BET+. Instead, the people said, “Theatrical release! That’s what we’ll do.” So, here we are. Now, I didn’t go to the theater, but bless you if you did. Support Black filmmakers!

Here’s what I liked about the movie….DC Young Fly. I laughed the most at his special self! I love DC and you can’t help but laugh at his delivery. The man is funny and it took too long for me to get to him. I liked the dance scene that used elements from the original dance battle. If I think of something else I liked, I will talk about it later because at the moment that is all I can think of that I liked.

How did y’all give me Bill Bellamy for like five minutes? Why? What was the reason? I wanted to see more of him! In the original, we got to see the relationship between Kid and his dad. We understood why his dad was hard on him and why Kid respected him so much. In this version, you gave me a kid that I saw once, and there was no establishment of the relationship between him and his daughter. I have two friends who are fathers and I see the richness of that relationship often. I kept hearing him talk about needing money to move out and get this kid in a fantasy preschool. First off, stop having the issue with these people in these movies be that they need money to send these kids to an expensive high school or preschool with a waitlist. Hey, script writers, stop doing that! These kids can go to regular school! They have public schools! You don’t have to give a mortgage payment to a school for your baby to succeed! Please stop! You will get negative marks all the time with me!

The friendship between Kevin and Damon didn’t feel as lived in as I would have liked. We can’t help but compare to the original because…reboot, so here we go. In the original, it was well established that Kid, Play, and Bilal were friends from way back. Kevin and Damon felt like they are best friends because they work together or because they met after high school. And, yes, I remember that Damon is the godfather to Kevin’s daughter, but still, it didn’t feel like a long friendship. That’s just me. I’m weird. Some of you may feel different.

Venus…came out of nowhere. She called Kevin and I immediately thought she was the baby momma. Would have been funny too add the baby momma in a clever way, but I digress. Anyway, Venus calls and tells Kevin that he and Damon will be fired Monday. Keep this in mind for something I will talk about later. So, Venus, I guess works with them though corporate and she’s the love interest because….because…..she’s available. I didn’t get it. Again, didn’t feel lived in. Just felt forced. The cousin or friend or whoever she was was also random, too.

So, in the original, when Full Force came on screen I was always like, “Again?! Leave Kid alone!” When I saw the three neighborhood gangsters in this film, I was like, “Why are they here?” They were after Kevin and Damon for a botched party and a stolen chain, but I would have loved to see something happen during the film that made their presence make more sense. It just felt that they believed that they needed the Full Force bullies so they just added these three. I love Rotimi and Allen Maldonado but y’all could have done better with them. Rotimi could have been the sexy butterscotch dude that he does on IG and Maldonado could have been great as a hotel type dude that keeps trying to give Kevin and Damon advice. I just came up with that as I’m typing this!

Using Lebron James’ house was just too big a grab. What do I mean by that? The original movie’s plot centered around Play’s mom going down South and leaving Play alone in the house. He decides to throw a party, something I believe we can all relate to. This movie’s plot centers around amateur party promoters, whose daytime job is cleaning houses, finding out that they are cleaning Lebron James’ house and deciding to throw a party. You know how to make this better and funnier? Remember the neighbor with the koala? Make them have the party at his house and Lebron happens to be home while they have the party next door. Add that somehow they get ahold of Lebron’s contacts and invite them next door. Or even take Lebron’s contacts and throw the party at your Suga Mama’s house! I want to see that party!

Let’s pause here and talk about logistics. If Kevin and Damon are to be fired on Monday, how was Kevin able to have access to the house for so long? Sure, maybe they copied the key, but they went out of their way to establish that Kevin would have the key because he was the responsible one, so I’m just wondering why you would but all these elements together in that order. Doesn’t really make sense.

The koala was funny. There’s something else. It was ridiculous which made it funny. No idea why we needed that. The Illuminati scenes were also funny. I did not appreciate that Kid and Play were only in this scene. They could have been used more, Would have loved to see them actually at the party, but ok movie.

Teddy Ray (RIP) was grossly underused. He and DC could have been playing off of each other the entire film, and I would have been on the floor laughing. Missed opportunity. Kid Cudi, you wanted to do that Gladiator scene and told someone that and that’s why we got that scene before you died for, apparently, the fourth time.

What did y’all think? Did you go to the theaters or pay for it on Amazon? Might have been cheaper to go to the theater.

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